Metzger checking out options in NASCAR

LAS VEGAS -- Carl Edwards may soon have a rival in the back-flip department.

Mike Metzger, "The Godfather" of freestyle motocross who achieved cult status by cutting back flips and breaking all manner of bones in X-Games competition, is actively pursuing opportunities in NASCAR, he said Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Metzger was in the garage area Saturday rubbing elbows with NASCAR's finest, and introducing himself to prospective team owners. No question, he's anxious to join fellow motocross star Ricky Carmichael in stock cars.

Metzger said he'd bantered with several teams, and that many are intrigued at the prospect of his coming to NASCAR. If he were to make the jump it would be substantial, and like Carmichael he'd have to start small and work his way up.

The 31-year-old is currently on the mend after crashing badly while attempting a 75-foot back flip during a film shoot. The result was a crushed L4 vertebrae and back surgery.

The injury sidelined Metzger's season in the Championship Off Road Racing Series.

Metzger moved from two wheels to four last October and fell in love, and said he believes NASCAR to be the next step in the progression of his career.

Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. He can be reached at ESPNsider@aol.com.