Despite his multiple successes in the series, including taking home the title in 2017, Pastrana said he won't return in 2023 due mainly to his desire to dial down his motorsports participation to spend more time with family, while still being able to focus on his own Nitro Rallycross series.
He also said he will step back from his participation in offshore powerboat racing.
Pastrana also made reference to a BASE jump accident during filming of "Gymkhana 2022" and the deaths of two friends as reasons for his desire to step back and spend more time with loved ones. One of those friends was fellow rally driver Ken Block who was killed in a snowmobile accident in January.
“A bad injury to kick off 2022 followed by the passing of two close friends has me taking a step back to reevaluate priorities,” Pastrana said on social media.
Separately, the organizers of Nitro Rallycross announced in late January that the series will permanently retire the racing number 43 in honor of Block, who supported Pastrana and the Nitro Rallycross series during its early years. Similarly, organizers of the World Rally Championship have also said they will retire the number 43, though only for the sport's 2023 season. Block competed under the number 43 from the earliest days of his motorsports career, including in some rounds of the WRC during the 2000s.