Travis Pastrana will miss the remainder of the 2011 NASCAR season after surgery Wednesday night to repair the broken foot and ankle he sustained in the X Games.
Pastrana is expected to make a full recovery from his injury, but will spend the first month after the surgery with his right foot immobilized in traction. He'll be unable to apply any weight to his leg for another month after that.
As such, Pastrana's Nationwide Series season is over before it started. Pastrana was scheduled to run seven Nationwide races with his debut at Indianapolis. But he crashed at the X Games the night before the race.
"To give my ankle and foot time to heal properly, we have decided to wait until 2012 to make my NASCAR debut," Pastrana said in a statement released by the team. "I probably could have been ready for the final couple of races in 2011, but it just makes more sense to start fresh in 2012.
"We are already starting to talk about testing and what I need to do to prepare for next season. My sincere apologies go out to my NASCAR team, fans and sponsors for this delay. Thanks for all of the support. This will be a fun ride –eventually."
This is purely speculation, but it would make sense for Pastrana to make his Nationwide Series debut at Phoenix International Raceway – the second event of the 2012 season.
Throwing Pastrana to the wolves at Daytona with the two-car draft wouldn't seem to be a recipe for success, even though that's what Danica Patrick did.
Pastrana at least ran the K&N Series race at Phoenix earlier this year, and although the track is being reconfigured, some familiarity might offer a better opportunity for a debut.