San Diego, CA – When the Johnson name is mentioned in racing today it’s hard not to think of 5-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson. But for Jimmie and younger brother Jarit racing began in the deserts of southern California and Baja Mexico racing off-road. Nearly every weekend was spent either driving off-road race cars or working around the sport in some way. It’s what inspired Jarit to become an accomplished fabricator in addition to racing. Jimmie later paved the way to circle track racing and the family followed with a migration to North Carolina.

For the past thirteen years, Jarit Johnson has been climbing the NASCAR ranks as both a fabricator and race car driver. Through his fabrication business, he’s worked for some of the sports leading companies, teams and drivers, creating products such as race seats and specialty equipment. His driving career has placed him in the driver’s seat – starting races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and becoming known as a dominate winner at the famed Hickory Motor Speedway. Ned Jarrett once told Johnson that anyone who can win 12 races and 8 poles at Hickory can win races at any level at any track. For Jarit, it seemed he had left the dust behind for a life on the pavement. At least until a phone call came from his hometown of El Cajon, California.

CHICAGO, ILNASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan will debut the new Douglas Motorsports PRO 2WD truck at the Chicagoland TRAXXAS TORC Series presented by AMSOIL race. Sponsored by South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the Ford Raptor carries the legendary Walker Evans Racing colors. Before graduating to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Gaughan honed his car control skills racing in the dirt, competing in both desert and short course. Brendan successfully campaigned a PRO2 truck driving for Walker Evans in the former SODA series and early days of the CORR series.

“Brendan is a very talented driver and fierce competitor. Everyone at Douglas Motorsports is thrilled he will be driving the South Point Walker Evans Racing PRO 2WD truck in Chicago,” commented Scott Douglas. “Walker Evans has had a huge influence on my off-road racing career. More than twenty years ago, he hired me as a full-time professional driver. I owe a great deal to Walker and the entire Walker Evans Racing organization,” continued Douglas.

The TRAXXAS TORC Series kicks off the Chase for the Cup NASCAR week at Chicagoland Speedway with racing scheduled for both Wednesday September 14th and Thurday September 15th. In addition to live internet video streaming on torcseries.com and coverage on Discovery HD Theater, the September 15th race will be covered live on the Speed Channel.

In some ways, Travis Pastrana is like the Tiger Woods of X Games – even if he’s not in the mix he’s still the headline grabber.

Yesterday during the Best Trick competition at X Games 17, Pastrana attempted a 720. His first attempt came up short and he crashed but quickly hopped to his feet. Without waiting for his second run, he went straight into another attempt. It was a better looking start to the trick but a much worse result. He did not complete the final rotation and came down hard on his right side, which ESPN reported resulted in a broken foot and ankle.

The crash during his “TP Roll” attempt was especially bad timing considering he was to race in his first NASCAR Nationwide debut on Saturday and also compete in Sunday’s RallyCross race at X Games 17. (Check out BFGoodrich’s Rally School prior to X Games 17.)

“I am sorry this happened and will be back in action as soon as I can. I look forward to Pastranathon 2012 at X Games 18,” Pastrana told ESPN after his release from the hospital.

Los Angeles, CA – It just wouldn’t be X Games without a good dose of Travis, would it? He’s busier than ever with his Nitro Circus Live show, NASCAR racing, rally racing and Freestyle motocross, but extreme sports icon Travis Pastrana is always sure to be found at the ESPN X Games ( tickets on sale now). He’s not an easy guy to pin down, but in the midst of navigating through LA traffic, Travis phoned in to talk about the upcoming X Games 17 and what he has in store for STAPLES Center fans this weekend.

What events are you going to be doing at X Games 17?
Um, that’s a great question. The first one is best trick [on Thursday] and if I don’t get too hurt there I’ll probably be doing Freestyle X on Friday. Then on Saturday I have to fly back to Indianapolis for the Nationwide NASCAR race. Then I’m going to fly back on Sunday for the Rally event. That’s the plan… unless I’m really hospitalized. [laughs]

The word is you’re going to be attempting your signature “Toilet Paper roll” trick again for Moto X Best Trick. Is that the plan?
Yeah. [laughs] It’s basically a 720. We’ll see how that goes. It’s a lot of mass rotating in a lot of different directions. You have to launch with the same pull for the double backflip and then you have to translate that energy into a spin and then somehow try to land it. I’ve been practicing a lot but right now I’d say it’s about 50/50 [whether I land it or not]. We’ll see how it goes!

Probably the most versatile racecar driver in the world, Robby Gordon is always racing. Whether it’s stock-car racing, open-wheel, or where he got his start in off-road, Gordon is always behind the wheel of some sort of automobile, ready to take on whoever will line up against him.

This weekend, at the Glen Helen round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Robby Gordon will be returning to his roots in short-course off-road racing, taking part in the premier Pro 2 Unlimited class.

“Robby’s from Southern California originally, and having him – a famous off-road and NASCAR racer – out on the track will only bring more fans and more competition to an already popular and competitive series,” says Tony Vanillo of the Lucas Oil Off road Racing Series. “We’re really excited to see how he fares out there against the best of the best in modern short-course racing.”

RZR Mask offers a solution for filtering out dust and dirt particles during an off-road ride. Here is the company’s press release:

Did you know that something as common as inhaling dust, fumes or even just really cold air can be dangerous? “Your lungs are susceptible to airborne particles. Anything you breathe in has a direct pathway to inside your body,” cautions outdoor enthusiast and entrepreneur Steve Torbenson has been riding everything from mini-bikes to go-karts since he was a kid. “People assume cheap dust masks or wet bandannas trap most of the harmful particles, but they can’t do the job as effectively as a mask that uses a carbon-activated filter.”

If the grandstands full of off-road race fans at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is any indicator, off-road racing appears to be alive and well in 2011. Despite recent years where rain and ugly weather plagued this race, sunny skies and a steady desert breeze greeted racers and fans at the Laughlin Event Park.

Although this race doesn’t have the most jam-packed field since it’s so early in the season (SCORE officials told us 123 racers entered), many big-name racers looking to stay in the points battle for the year-end championship were definitely on hand. The race format is unique compared to the longer endurance races SCORE puts on south of the border. The Laughlin Desert Challenge is held on a 6.25-mile loop course just away from the main strip of casinos on the riverbank. The overall time of both Saturday and Sunday’s laps combine to determine the overall winner for each class.

According to a recent report, Travis Pastrana will be adding a new form of competition to his list of motorsports activities – Pastrana is headed to NASCAR. Pastrana started out as a young Supercross and motocross racer, but he is mostly known for his freestyle motocross career that really took off with the success of ESPN’s X Games. In recent years, Pastrana has battled in the rally racing circuit, winning titles from 2006-2009 .

According to the report, Pastrana will compete in the Nationwide tour in 2011 as both a driver and team owner under Pastrana-Waltrip Racing.  Although he is technically not yet approved to race just yet (though there isn’t expected to be any issue with that), he plans to race in seven events in 2011 and jump up to at least 20 races in 2012.

The NASCAR world got the first glimpse of Robby Gordon’s newest venture last weekend at the Talladega Speedway, but the off-road world may just be learning of his exciting new news.

Last weekend at Talladega, Gordon announced that he and longtime friend and attorney Steven Nichols have formed a partnership to manufacture, distribute and retail a new energy drink called Speed Energy. Gordon’s announcement came at a press conference before the NASCAR race, and he sported the new logo on the side of his #7 Toyota for the first time last weekend. He noted at the press conference that Speed Energy will come in three different flavors that include Unleaded, Fuel and Octane.