Travis Pastrana and his crew take on the 24 Hours of LeMons

The team of daredevils at the Nitro Circus can handle all manner of vehicles. Be it two wheels or four, motorized or pedal and foot powered, this is a crew of men and women that can shred, slide, drift, wheelie, flip, and kick ass. They even compete in top-tier motorsport events… and now that includes the 24 Hours of LeMons. Okay, so it’s not all top tier stuff.

Travis Pastrana, his wife, Streetbike Tommy, and Trevor Piranha prepped a 1983 Chevy El Camino for LeMons duty. Well, Trevor did all the work. He sourced the car, rebuilt an engine, and put the whole thing together. Having a major tire sponsor like Yokohama doesn’t hurt things either.

The Nitro Circus team ran at the MSR Houston event, which was one of the rare true 24 hour races on the calendar. And they went into it with the right attitude. Trevor points out that the Miatas and gaggle of BMWs are almost against the true spirit of what LeMons is all about. Those are real race cars… their El Camino is not. Regardless, they push on and actually run quite well.

How’d they do?

Friend of Hooniverse Phil Greden is on hand to meter out justice as needed though, and it is needed. This is a team, after all, that winds up with around seven black flags. It’s mostly for the occasional spin and a pass under yellow. Nothing too crazy.

I reached out to our friends at LeMons to see how the Nitro Circus team stacked up. Eric Rood said

“They were foolishly bad drivers, but they seem to understand why they sucked, in retrospect. They had a ton of fun and are already talking about the next time they’re gonna race.

The Nitro Circus West dudes are also building a different car for a later race or two this year.”

Also, you can see that Pastrana can rip when he’s tapped for driving duty. At night, Travis runs through the flocks of other machines somehow still running. And when’s done with his massive 98-lap stint, Pastrana is offered some seat time in a competitors car. He says yes and heads back out.

Nitro Circus gets this series. It seems like they had fun. And it will be great to see them return to the LeMons racing world in the very near future.

5 Comments

  1. I’m a little out of touch (I had to look up Nitro Circus), how common is it for paid, professional drivers to compete in LeMons? (Professional being most of your income is from motorsports.)
    It must be a real treat for the competing teams to get a chance to race against a pro, especially if they get one over on them. I’m betting there’s also some that whine about sandbagging, or not taking it seriously.

    1. There have been a handful of stories related to drivers and teams showing up at LeMons events. It certainly happens. Phil or Eric could chime in and fill in all the details certainly.

      Our own Hooniverse Ranchero team raced against the Top Gear US crew a few years back (which included Tanner Foust on the team).

    2. Emanuele Pirro is a LeMans victor who went on to race in Lemons.

      Pratt&Miller built a 3rd gen Camaro with a “305” SBC made with something like $7,000 in parts recycled from a customer’s engine.

    3. I remember someone from NASCAR or IndyCar running in one. I thought it was Tony Stewart, but Google isn’t turning up anything. As I recall, he came in like 6th, so a handful of average Joes can say they raced Tony Stewart and beat him.

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