By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
Recuperating from injuries suffered during the X Games will keep Travis Pastrana out of action for much longer than was originally thought and will delay his Nationwide Series debut until next year.
Pastrana broke his right foot and ankle during an attempt at a Rodeo 720 with a back flip on a motorcycle during the July 28 Best Trick competition in Los Angeles. Pastrana subsequently underwent surgery in Annapolis, Md., with the operations completed Wednesday night.
Pastrana, who was to have made his Nationwide debut July 30 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, will remain in traction for 30 days and must keep weight off his right leg for another month. Dr. Tom Dennis, who performed the surgery, expects Pastrana to make a full recovery after the strict healing process.
"To give my ankle and foot time to heal properly, we have decided to wait until 2012 to make my (Nationwide) debut," Pastrana said. "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."
Pastrana made his NASCAR debut Jan. 29 at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., where he finished sixth in the Toyota All-Star Showdown for K&N Pro Series cars. Pastrana was scheduled to run seven Nationwide Series races this season.