Travis Pastrana can now add another unique accomplishment to his lengthy list of X Games' firsts: He finished a RallyCross race without using the gas pedal.
Pastrana’s broken right leg and ankle forced his team to create a steering wheel with an accelerator control attached to the back of it. Thus, while flying through the turns of downtown Los Angeles, Pastrana not only turns the wheel but also uses the hand controls to hit the gas.
Pastrana has only driven the newfangled car a few times, and he struggled in his initial heat Sunday, finishing second by 4.18 seconds.
Brian Deegan, who won two silver medals in last year’s X Games, won Pastrana’s heat, and the man who beat him twice last year, Tanner Foust, claimed the first heat.
Pastrana will race in a last chance qualifier heat later this afternoon. If he can figure out how to race most effectively with his new device and win that heat, he’ll move on to the final.
-- Douglas Farmer
Photo: Travis Pastrana guides his car through a turn on the RallyCross course in downtown Los Angeles during qualifying on Sunday. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images