For once, Travis Pastrana experienced life in the slow lane.
The 11-time X Games gold medalist-turned-NASCAR driver joined fellow Nationwide Series driver Regan Smith to pilot a pink ice cream truck around the Loop on Monday. They were offering cold confections to Chicagoans to promote Chicagoland Speedway's Rally, Rock & Race weekend next month.
The speedsters weren't allowed to race down Michigan Avenue, but instead competed in ice cream sales—with Pastrana peddling bomb pops and Smith offering ice cream sandwiches at several spots downtown for a $1 donation (Smith barely won the checkered flag by $2), with the proceeds going to charity.
RedEye rode shotgun with Pastrana during his first drive in an ice cream truck to get the inside scoop on all the fun.
Would you have been tempted to race Regan if you'd each gotten an ice cream truck to drive?
Originally they wanted us in our drive suits and I was like, "Look, if I'm going to wear a helmet, there's going to be a race from Point A to Point B and we'll each have our own vehicle." So they're like, "Yeah, OK, you can leave the helmets."
How do you feel this truck has been handling so far?
I'm optimistic that this could be a great-on-two-wheels kind of vehicle. It's top-heavy so that will help out, but we'd have to ditch some ice cream or people in the back first. [Laughs.]
If you could, what would you do to customize this bad boy?
I think you start with the KMC rims, that's the first thing I'd do. I might get a turbo or maybe just put the NASCAR motor under the hood, although there may not be the room. We could definitely get some more horsepower in there. I mean, until this thing is doing wheelies or we're in the air, it's not a real ice cream truck.
What would your own ice cream flavor be like?
I love ice cream. I'm a big fan of Blizzards, I'm not a big candy fan, so if I could put brownies and cookie dough in it, maybe a little Heath bar and mix it all in, that'd be awesome. But maybe bacon? OK, how about this, the Travis Pastrana Bacon Ice Cream Bar.
Is there an ice cream flavor or confection that represents Chicago?
I actually had my bachelor party here in Chicago and I also played in the Big Buck Championships here in Chicago for a couple years here—which is embarrassing, but I get hurt a lot so I play bar video games. For me, if there's an ice cream to represent that, it'd be a Moose Track Bar.
We're guessing you won't give up your stock car for an ice cream truck anytime soon.
No, this is why I race NASCAR, because you get to go really, really fast. And if you don't go fast enough, people yell at you. That's an awesome thing, 'Hey, you didn't take that turn fast enough. You went 200 mph, you should be going at least 202."
Ryan Smith is a RedEye special contributor.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.