TRAVIS PASTRANA PERFORMS DRIFT STUNTS DURING VIDEO SHOOT IN THE KEYS

Stuntman Travis Pastrana performs a drift during a film shoot on U.S. 1 near Tavernier Creek Marina, MM 91, on Jan. 20. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

Professional motorsports competitor and stuntman Travis Pastrana brought the stunts and action not normally seen on U.S. 1 on Jan. 20.

A portion of U.S. 1 at MM 91 was closed off by Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies for brief periods of time as Pastrana performed drifts in a roaring 1983 Subaru GL Monster unveiled by Hoonigan and Subaru. It was all part of a video shoot with film crews. Pastrana used the road leading to Tavernier Creek Marina as a runway to perform drifts onto U.S. 1. 

On the Old Highway, curious residents, deputies and fire rescuers on scene heard the engine roar as Pastrana, 38, zoomed up the access road from the marina, drifting onto U.S. 1 before turning back around to go again. Smoke rose from the tires as film crews caught the action. 

“Like always, we have some people who are just so excited. We had one lady who found out we were here and drove 200 miles to come down,” Pastrana told the Weekly.

He’s a gold medalist of the X Games and creator of the high-flying, action-packed show “Nitro Circus.” Before landing in Tavernier for the shoot, Pastrana put the pedal to the metal on the 7 Mile Bridge in Marathon. Videos on social media showed the Subaru zooming on the road as a jet flew above during filming on Jan. 19. 

Pastrana said they were supposed to be shooting the main stunt in the Keys on the morning of Jan. 20. That plan was nixed, however. 

“We had helicopters and all sorts of cool stuff down here,” Pastrana said. “We had 90 hotel rooms, so we were bringing some impact to the local economy.”

An accomplished racer and stunt performer, Pastrana said the 1983 Subaru GL Monster is far and away the coolest car he’s ever driven with all the speed and control. Pastrana is a member of the Subaru Motorsports USA team. 

Pastrana said it was his first time visiting the Florida Keys. 

“The weather’s great. There was a blizzard in Maryland. This is way better,” he said. 

Days after his time in the Keys, TMZ reported that Pastrana was injured during a parachute stunt that went wrong in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 22. A video showed Pastrana jumping from a high rise and deploying his parachute before hitting the ground with force. A publicist told WSVN-TV’s Frank Guzman that he’s expected to make a full recovery.

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.