Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 - Page 20

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You Don ’ t Know What You Don ’ t Know Travis Pastrana breaks down Top Fuel experience BY KAYLA ZADEL

You don ’ t know what you don ’ t know .” These seven words were the theme of Travis Pastrana ’ s Top Fuel dragster experience at zMAX Dragway following the NHRA Carolina Nationals in September . Thanks to an offer from Top Fuel veteran Scott Palmer and driver Alex Laughlin , Pastrana was able to make his first few passes in a Top Fuel car .

Pastrana ’ s resume is extensive , from X Games gold medalist to motocross racer , then NASCAR driver and rally racer , and now offshore boat
racer , but one thing that wasn ’ t on his list was drag racing .
“ I don ’ t know much about drag racing . I don ’ t know a lot about anything that has 11,000 horsepower ,” Pastrana confessed during an interview on The Wes Buck Show . “ I thought , ‘ I ’ ll put my foot to the floor , four seconds keep it straight , nothing to it , no problem .’
“ Then I got a call from Tony Stewart at 10 o ’ clock at night ,” he said . Stewart , former NAS- CAR and IndyCar champion turned NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car team owner , called Pastrana
to offer a bit of advice . Stewart had previously experienced driving a Top Fuel dragster for the first time in 2021 . Stewart told Pastrana that he needed to start familiarizing himself with the procedures that go along with driving a Top Fuel dragster as soon as he arrived in Charlotte , North Carolina .
Enter the theme for the experience . “ You don ’ t know what you don ’ t know ,” Stewart told Pastrana . “ Everyone thinks they have a plan until they get punched in the face .” Stewart , along with Alex Laughlin , Scott Palmer , and Leah Pruett ,
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BOB SZELAG / NHRA
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