Travis Pastrana will compete in the inaugural NRX event, and the list of drivers slated to challenge for the podium includes the best of the best: Ken Block, Scott Speed, Tanner Foust, Patrik Sandell, Steve Arpin, Mattias Ekstrom, Chris Atkinson, and Timmy Hansen.
The Kicker caught up with Travis, a rallycross veteran who has been instrumental in bringing NRX to the Nitro World Games, to find out more about what to expect from the event.
The Kicker: For the fans who maybe aren’t as familiar with rallycross, can you give a high level explanation of what it is?
Travis Pastrana: Rallycross is motocross with a roll cage. Taking the most exciting elements from stage rally (point-to-point events that are against the clock) and bringing it into an exciting head-to-head racing environment where the fans can see all the action from a single location. And in typical NWG fashion, we will be adding to the excitement by building the biggest jumps ever seen on a rallycross course to date.
TK: Until this year, Nitro World Games was all about freestyle. What makes rally a good fit?
TP: Rally is where all the action sports motor heads eventually end up. Drifting sideways and flying through the air brings in all the elements of excitement we are used to from our childhood, only faster and less physically demanding on our broken bodies. Typical rallycross is fun. But Nitro Rallycross is going to take the sport to another level of excitement for the drivers and our fans.
TK: How will NRX be different from other rallycross events?
TP: Big jumps. Big banked turns. More dirt sections. More sliding and passing opportunities. All made possible because of the permanent track, which allows us testing time to dial it all in!
TK: Why Utah Motorsports Campus?
TP: We needed a permanent track with the proper resources to move huge amounts of dirt. We needed a location with a top level pit area and amenities for the teams. We needed a place that had entertainment for the entire family (like go-karting) that already had restaurants and locations for food trucks and playgrounds set up. We found all of that and much more at the Utah Motorsports Campus. And keeping to our roots in Utah, “The State of Sport,” was the cherry on top. Truly a no-brainer for Nitro Circus.
TK: Aside from you, who are the drivers to watch at the first-ever Nitro World Games NRX event?
TP: All of the drivers participating are a threat to win this event. Current USA Rallycross champion Scott Speed and 2017 World Rallycross champion Mattias Ekstrom are coming into this event as the favorites, but the HUGE jumps are going to play into the favor of Ken Block and myself, and the high percentage of dirt on this track will play into the favor of drivers with a stronger rally background like Chris Atkinson and Tanner Foust. The course is so unique that it is truly anyone’s event to win!