I once rode in a rally car with Travis Pastrana around a tight X Games track and the experience was a harrowing blur, not unlike a ride on a mega-roller coaster.
I would not like to be in Pastrana's car tonight as he rings in the new year by jumping his street-legal Subaru more than 250 feet from a ramp on the Pine Street Pier in Long Beach to a barge near the Queen Mary.
The freestyle motocross legend and perennial X Games star, who now races rally cars professionally, told me the idea was born on the simple premise of how far a person might be able to fly in a car. He plans to jump between 250-270 feet, shattering the world record of 171 feet, set by friend and fellow adrenaline junkie Ken Block.
The jump is part of the annual Red Bull: New Year, No Limits extravaganza and will be televised on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. PST.
Pastrana, who will use a hand-brake and throttle to control his car's trajectory, will play the wind much like a golfer. But if his shot is errant, he concedes, it's the player who will suffer the consequences, which could be serious if you consider he'll hit the takeoff ramp at about 100 mph and will travel more than 25 feet over water and must land smoothly in a sweet spot to avoid ending up in the chilly harbor.