Travis Pastrana will skip the Lake Superior Performance Rally, the next round of the American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National championship, due to a clashing television appearance as a talent show judge.
Pastrana and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino claimed the 2021 ARA title – the sixth US rallying title of Pastrana’s career but the first for Gelsomino – on the Ojibwe Forests Rally in August.
Missing LSPR therefore has no consequences for the Subaru Motorsports USA driver, who will join TV judge Simon Cowell, actor Terry Crews and former professional wrestler Nikki Bella on AGT Extreme – a spin-off show of America’s Got Talent.
Gelsomino confirmed on social media that Pastrana’s opportunity meant the pair will not be able to compete on the LSPR on the October 15/16 weekend.
“Congratulations on this awesome opportunity!” Gelsomino said. “Unfortunately it means one less rally for us but with the championship already in the bag, what perfect timing!”
Pastrana is not the only ARA frontrunner who will be absent from the LSPR. Last year’s champion Barry McKenna has not entered the event, while Pastrana’s team-mate Brandon Semenuk is likely to miss it too with a schedule conflict of his own.
DirtFish understands that Semenuk, a freeride mountain biker, could be competing in the Red Bull Rampage event in Utah.
Ken Block is therefore likely to start LSPR as the overwhelming favorite in his Subaru WRX STI.