Bank of America 500 Pit Note #5
BETTER HALF DASH NOTES:
Pastrana Wins Better Half Dash – As her beaming husband said as he watched her drive into Victory Lane, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana is “pretty good with the wheeled stuff.”
An eight-time X Games medalist in skateboarding, Pastrana bested 11 other “better halves” of the NASCAR community in Thursday’s 25-lap event benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities and Motor Racing Outreach. Pastrana and her husband, motocross ace and NASCAR rookie Travis Pastrana, are both into just about anything with wheels, so perhaps her prowess shouldn’t have come so unexpectedly.
“We do like to go karting,” Lyn-Z said. “If we see a track when we’re driving we go there, for sure, and I’m just starting to figure out how to take the corners.”
Pastrana looked like a seasoned veteran, in the corners and everywhere else. After starting second, she began looking to pass leader and polesitter Wendy Venturini on lap four but couldn’t clear her. Pastrana patiently waited several laps before cleanly passing Venturini for the lead. She held on to the lead for the remainder of the race, even as many of the other drivers tangled.
The biggest shunt of the night came when Ashley Allgaier and Kristen Yeley got together midway through the race. As Adriene Pattie braked to avoid them, she made contact with Yeley, and the car rolled over. After being tended to by fire and medical staff, Pattie popped out of the top of her Bandolero car with both fists in the air, much to the delight of the crowd.
Jacquelyn Butler, fiancée of David Ragan, started third but spun on the second lap. By the end of the contest, though, she had worked herself back up to a second-place finish. Venturini finished third.
Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana [on her victory] – “This is my third time in a car. The first time was an off-road buggy; the second time was two laps in a restrictor plate NASCAR celebrity race; and then this car. (Your husband said you did some karting.) Oh, yeah, you’re counting THAT. OK, I guess that’s true. Yeah, I forgot about karting; I forgot that counted. We do like to go karting. (You’re good at this; maybe you and Travis could split a ride in NASCAR.) I skateboard for a living, but this is very different. I was so nervous I don’t think I could do more than one a year. I was white-knuckled the whole time, sweat dripping down my visor. [Travis] was calming me down the whole time. Every time I slid out, I’d comment, and he’d say, ‘Don’t talk, you’re in the lead.’ I’m like. ‘Yeah, but what if I screw up?’ He just kept saying, ‘Shh. Don’t talk, you’ll lose time.’ (What was it like working with your husband?) It was so fun. We don’t do that well when we’re teaching each other stuff, but this was something that we really clicked on. I never yelled at him once, and he never got mad at me, so it was good.”
Travis Pastrana [on wife’s victory] – “I am so proud of her. She did such an awesome job out there. I’m really proud. She is an athlete. I always feel bad now that me going to NASCAR kind of takes away from her. She skates a lot and everything else. She has followed me around for the last couple of years, so for her to get out there and get her moment of glory just feels so good as a husband, just to see her smiling like that. I haven’t seen her smile like that since she was in the X Games. So that was cool. She got a few lucky cautions at the beginning because she was stuck on the outside for a while, but she did so good. I was so proud of her. She’s got a shifter kart, so she drives a bit. Her second day on a motorcycle she back flipped it, so she’s pretty good with the wheeled stuff.”
Jacquelyn Butler [fiancée of David Ragan, second place] – “I kept telling myself, ‘It’s all about MRO and Speedway Children’s Charities.’ So I got a little mad when I spun out (early in the race), but then I thought, ‘Have fun with it.’ Once I started relaxing and made my way back up there, I was like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ My goal was top-three so I’m happy with it. It’s all about raising money and awareness.”
Adriene Pattie [wife of Ganassi Racing crew chief Brian Pattie] – “The only thing I thought that could be a little scary about this ordeal would be flipping. And I thought, ‘No, they weigh 750 pounds – flipping no way.’ And then what happens? It was crazy! So now, I’m one up on my husband. It was very competitive, and it was a lot of fun getting in there and getting passed and back up in the front. That was good. I thought I had her cleared [the No. 00 of Katrina Childers], and I’m slowing down and going around and … Oh my God, I got hit from behind and went flying. I thought, ‘Here we go.’ So, it was a lot of fun.”
Wendy Venturini – [before Better Half Dash on pole run and car] “It went smoother than I thought. And I just tried to focus. It was all really close, though. It was a really tight battle.” [About her car] “The Green Bay Packers logo is for Matt Kenseth. He is my main sponsor, and he didn’t want his name on the car. I’m a Chicago native, so I’m obviously a Bears fan. He made a deal that he was going to sponsor me if Green Bay was on the car. And I told him only if he made a very generous donation to Motor Racing Outreach, which he did. So Green Bay is on my car. The color is Plum-Crazy purple in honor of the Mopar musclecar era of the ‘70s, which is my favorite. And the No. 25 is my family’s race car number.” [On whom she listens to for advice, brother Billy Venturini or father Bill] “My brother, he has been my coach the whole time. He is an awesome coach.” [About finishing third] “The first run was really good. The se cond run I hit speedy-dry, and I totally got loose and lost four or five spots. It was a lot of fun; I had a blast. It was for a great cause.”
David Ragan [NASCAR driver, fiancé of Jacquelyn Butler] – “She spun, but I said, ‘It’s only lap two. You’ve got a long time. Chances are some of these other cars are gonna spin out.’ She did a good job fighting back, and it was a lot of fun to watch.”
UNOH SOUTHERN SLAM 150 NOTES:
Pole Winner George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 09 Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet) – “It was a great lap. The guys worked hard all day in practice and just got it to how we could have a good race run. I really wasn’t expecting the pole because the car felt so good in race trim. It’s just a bonus and hopefully it means we will be that much better in the race.” [On securing the points championship] “It definitely makes it a little easier, but we go out to win every race. So points fall where they fall and we’re at the top at the end.” [On racing at Charlotte] “It’s pretty cool. It’s good to be here close to home. It’s a fun, different venue for us, so something new.”