Through the years, Utah has become the home for action and adventure sports. It was in Utah that a little crazy idea called Nito Circus became a reality. Through the years, Nitro Circus has grown into a worldwide phenomenon.
In 2016, Travis Pastrana, the founder and ringmaster for Nitro Circus, stood up at Rice-Eccles Stadium and announced an idea called the Nitro World Games. After multiple "World's First's" tricks landed, the world's premier action sports competition returns to Utah on Sept. 22-23, 2018, with two new sport disciplines added.
For the first two contests, Rice-Eccles was home to the night of chaos. For 2018, Utah Motorsports Campus will host the two-day event.
"It is a world-class facility with fun activities for the entire family already in place," Pastrana said. "With their willingness to build a permanent track that will help rallycross grow into the future and in a great location for action sports enthusiasts, this was a no brainer."
Pastrana was all smiles as he spoke about why the Nitro World Games continue to call Utah its home for the contest.
"Utah is the state of sport. So many active people that are passionate about action sports live in the area, and it is a fun destination for anyone hoping to attend the event from out of town."
One of the core principles in the action sports community is progression. The Nitro World Games are billed as the most progressive contest in the community, and the third annual contest this year takes progression to a new level, adding Nitro rallycross and freestyle motocross quarterpipe.
Rallycross may be new to the Nitro World Games, but it is not new to the motosports racing community. However, Pastrana vows to make this contest different and progressive.
"All of us at Nitro Circus believe in the potential for the rally to be the most exciting form of car racing on the planet," said Pastrana. "It started out with big over/under jumps and captured the imagination of the next generation, but faded as the tracks got less exciting and the jumps were all but taken out. By taking the time to build a permanent track that is made to optimize excitement, while minimizing the chances for unintentional car damage, we believe it will be a true test of driver and machine, not simply a matter of who gets through the first turn."
For the Utah Motorsports Campus, the addition of the permanent rally course will be a massive boost to the facility and for Pastrana. He will be competing for the first time in Nitro rallycross and will compete against Utah resident Ken Block.
"In past years, I have been working on designing the FMX ramps … to dial them in before we implemented them into World Games," Pastrana said. "So I didn't feel it was fair to participate in the best trick event, and I wasn't good enough anymore to compete in the freestyle event. Although I still have a lot of input in the Nitro rallycross course, we are reaching out to the other drivers to make this the most fun, raceable and exciting rallycross event of all time. There is no way I would miss being a part of this."
But racing a driving superstar like Block will be no easy task.
"I have raced Ken all through my career, but this will be the first time we will get to compete head to head on a track that we both have had a hand in designing and against the best drivers from many disciplines from all over the world racing stage," Pastrana said.Comment on this story
After creating jaw-dropping moments last year in its debut, freestyle motocross (FMX) best trick will return, along with newly added FMX quarterpipe, which will launch riders 60 plus feet into the air. According to the press release from Nitro World Games, the FMX quarterpipe competition will see eight riders invited to compete. Each will have two attempts to clear the baseline starting height before it is raised to a higher level. The height will be increased until there are only two competitors left who will go head to head in the finals. The rider who is then able to clear the highest mark will become champion.
Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, said, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with one of the top action sports events in the world, the Nitro World Games, that also brings significant economic impact and extensive international exposure to our great state.”
Tickets are already on sale and are available through Ticketmaster.
For more information, go to NitroWorldGames.com