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Travis Pastrana: 'Buck' hunter

Just when you thought Travis Pastrana couldn't master another "sport," he's qualified to compete in the 2010 "Big Buck Hunter" World Championship. Set for Oct. 1 and 2 in Chicago, the championship will bring together the world's best virtual buck hunters at the Cubby Bear bar to battle it out for more than $50,000 in prizes and the much sought-after title of being the best arcade hunter this side of the deer blind.

We caught up with the 11-time X Games gold medalist to see how he qualified in a sport that's so, well, safe, what his strategy will be moving forward and just who Team Whiskey Throttle is.

So, Travis, how long have you been playing "Big Buck Hunter"?
Travis Pastrana: I've been playing on a weekly basis since I got hustled by Dave Mirra for $3,500 one night at the bowling alley. After that, it became my mission to get my money back, so I invested in my future and bought a "Big Buck Hunter" console for my house.

Who do you usually play with?
It gets really competitive now with a group of us back in Maryland. My biggest competition is Street Bike Tommy. He's at my house more than I am and currently holds every top score on the "Big Buck" at my house.

So how'd you find out about the 2010 "Big Buck Hunter" World Championship?
Tommy started looking at the scores online, and we decided to start our own "hunting party." Team Whiskey Throttle is our team, and it consists of Mirra, myself and Tommy. Dave is by far the best playing doubles, but unfortunately he qualified 41st in our region, which isn't actually qualifying.

How do you think you're going to do in the world championship in Chicago next weekend?

I've been practicing really hard and spending a lot of time at my local watering holes in between filming for "Nitro Circus" and racing cars [Pastrana finished third in the Rally America National Championship series this year]. It would definitely be an upset if I made it into the top seven in the regional finals [Day 1 of the championship], but I'm good under pressure, and since I need to make top seven in regionals to make it to the world championships [Day 2], I think I can pull it off.

Do you plan on talking any major smack to your competitors in Chicago?
Yes!

And any final words?

I'd like to thank Red Bull for sending the sweet Red Bull bus to pick Tommy and me up from my house in Maryland and driving us in style to Chicago. Also, a big thanks to DC, EVS, Smith, "Nitro Circus" and Ethika for covering our expenses and bar tab -- plus coming to personally cheer us on at the world championships. Ten Designs and Todd Jacobs for making us custom team apparel, and Steve Astephen for getting me a private jet from "Big Buck" [Saturday night, Chicago] to my Rally Cross [Sunday morning, New Jersey]. But the biggest thanks goes out to Subaru for trusting that I can still do my job and put my Subaru at the top of the podium Sunday after missing practice on Saturday. I have the best sponsors in the world. It's going to be a fun weekend!