Travis Pastrana lands Caesars Palace jump in Las Vegas

Updated July 9, 2018 - 1:02 am

It has been said that only The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

But Evel may no longer lurk under the jumpsuit of Travis Pastrana.

Paying homage to legendary daredevil Evel Knievel, Pastrana successfully re-created three of his most iconic jumps on a sweltering Sunday in Las Vegas.

The 34-year-old action-sports star vaulted over 52 flattened cars and 16 buses in a vacant lot behind Planet Hollywood Resort before successfully landing a jump over the ornamental fountains at Caesars Palace, a stunt that nearly took his predecessor’s life on New Year’s Eve in 1967.

The jumps were part of “Evel Live,” a three-hour tribute to Knievel’s legacy that aired live on History in partnership with Nitro Circus, an action-sports tour co-founded by Pastrana.

“Man, it’s such an honor to live a day in Evel’s footsteps — and literally in his boots,” the personable Pastrana said on the landing ramp as a huge crowd of onlookers cheered. “To be here in Las Vegas, so much of my history has been here. I proposed to my wife (Lyndsey) here; I had my first Nitro Circus show here.

“So thank you to everyone watching, and thank you to all in Evel’s family for coming out and helping my dream come true. I’m not done yet, but this was one of the coolest things — the coolest thing — I’ve ever done.”

Pastrana made the jumps on an Indian Scout FTR750, a more advanced motorcycle that resembled the Harley-Davidson used by Knievel.

“I’m jumping a bike that’s not made for jumping,” Pastrana said after arriving in Las Vegas. “This is a tribute back to when men were men and bikes weren’t meant to fly.

“In order to get here and to do all this stuff, Evel Knievel had to be a showman, he had to be a salesman, he had to convince people he could fly a motorcycle.”

On Sunday, Pastrana wore white leathers, boots and a cape similar to Knievel’s iconic costume. He convinced huge throngs at both jump sites that he could fly a motorcycle, too.

He covered 143 feet over the crushed cars and 192 feet over the buses in the first two jumps, bettering Knievel’s records. After making the short jaunt up Flamingo Road to make the showstopper jump, Pastrana soared 149 feet over the fountains with little run-up.

“This is modern-day Evel Knievel,” the 11-time X Games gold medalist said of the stunts after sticking the landing over the 16 buses amid plumes of red, white and blue smoke. “These bikes are a little faster and a little lighter (than Knievel’s Harley), but it’s similar.”

Pastrana, who also had a brief career driving in NASCAR’s Xfinity and Truck Series, received a police escort to Caesars Palace after the first two jumps. He did wheelies and burnouts and posed for selfies with people riding in taxis while saluting the huge crowd on the Strip with clenched fists and upturned thumbs.

Of the three jumps, the one over the fountains was the shortest but the most technical, the cramped confines of Caesars’ front courtyard leaving little room for error.

After warming up at 400 feet for the first two jumps, Pastrana had only 210 feet to get up to 70 mph before launching off an elevated ramp that catapulted him over the fountains and onto a landing ramp on the other side as the crowd roared.

Among those cheering was Kelly Knievel, one of Evel’s sons and a longtime Las Vegas resident.

“I look around, and I think this is as big a spectacle today as it was 50 years ago,” he said.

There would be a fourth, unadvertised jump before the end of the night. Pastrana celebrated and cooled off at the same time by taking a flying leap into Caesars’ fountains.

It was a stunt his famous predecessor never got to attempt but almost certainly would have applauded.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

Local Videos
Property Brothers visit Michael’s in Las Vegas Valley
Twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott are the hosts of Property Brothers, the hit HGTV show where they help couples find fixer-uppers and transform them into dream homes. In 2018, the brothers collaborated with Michael's on their first custom framing program. Today they're releasing new frames into that collection that range from natural to bright looking. Jonathan and Drew discuss their brand and why frames was something they wanted to pursue. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
I-15 traffic jam
A semitrailer stopped in the middle of Interstate 15 near Charleston Boulevard has slowed traffic in central Las Vegas Wednesday morning, April 17, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rainy Tuesday
The Las Vegas Valley saw cooler temperatures and rain Tuesday afternoon. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Tiger Woods Bettor Collects
James Adducci bet $85k on Tiger Woods to win the Masters. He collected his $1.19M from William Hill sports bet in the SLS today. (Mat Luschek /Review-Journal)
Endangered frogs released at Springs Preserve
Dozens of endangered Relic Leopard Frogs were released at the Cotton Grove inside Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Thursday, April 11, 2019
Vintage World War II aircraft arrive at Henderson Executive Airport
The Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom tour comes to Henderson Executive Airport with a B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, P-51 Mustang and a P-40 Warhawk. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Honoring Pearl Harbor veteran
Ed Hall, a Pearl Harbor veteran in Las Vegas, is honored with Quilt of Valor during an event in a Las Vegas. (Erik Verduzo/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Anthropology professors excavate Maya ruin site of Caracol, Belize for 36 years
The husband-and-wife team of UNLV anthropologists has spent several months a year at the remote site of Caracol in the jungles of Belize, excavating ruins and uncovering secrets from the region’s once-dominant civilization. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Things to remember when adopting a rabbit this Easter season
As Easter and spring time approach, some people may be tempted to adopt a rabbit for the holiday. But like adopting any animal, it is important to be responsible and know what a rabbit requires to be a happy, healthy pet. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bike Giveaway in Las Vegas - Piero’s Italian Cuisine
Evan Glusman of Piero’s Italian Cuisine hosted a party in the restaurant’s parking lot to distribute over 150 bikes to local kids. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Charleston/I-15 ramp configuration
The new Interstate 15/ Charleston Boulevard ramp configuration was unveiled Tuesday morning. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Northwest Vegas farm's abandoned pig problem
Someone abandoned a several hundred pound pig at Sharon Linsenbardt's farm. Her farm is a rescue for animals, but she doesn't have room or resources to take on another such creature, so she's asking the community for help. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Chalk Talk: Black Student Union
Students talk about the Black Student Union in the latest episode of Chalk Talk. (Angus Kelly and Amelia Pak-Harvey/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Individuals with Parkinson's participate in dance class
Pamela Lappen leads a dance class for individuals with Parkinson's Disease at the Nevada Ballet Theatre in Las Vegas, Thursday, March 28, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Review-Journal
Animal Foundation Preps Pups For Best In Show
The Las Vegas Animal Foundation is preparing its prime pups for their 16th annual Best in Show event, which takes place at the end of April. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Dog Yoga At Hydrant Club
The Hydrant Club in downtown Las Vegas, is a social club for dogs and their people. Recently the club started hosting dog yoga. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Butterflies At The Springs Preserve
The butterfly habitat is now open at the Springs Preserve. Learn about butterflies and take in the peaceful surroundings. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
The Bellagio Conservatory's spring display has a Japanese theme
The Bellagio's conservatory is hosting around 65,000 flowers, to form a Japanese theme this spring. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs closes (Caroline Brehman/Kimber Laux)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas officially closed its gates Sunday, March 17, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Honoring a fallen North Las Vegas Police officer at his namesake school
The 20th Annual Raul P. Elizondo Honor Day celebrates the fallen North Las Vegas Police officer's legacy at his namesake school. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Windy day in Las Vegas Valley
The Review-Journal's camera on the under-construction Las Vegas Stadium the was buffered by high winds on Wednesday, March 14, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
March gloom falls on Las Vegas
After a rainy overnight, gloomy skies hover over Las Vegas Tuesday morning. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
John Katsilometes gets his head shaved at St. Baldrick's
Las Vegas Review-Journal man-about-town columnist John Katsilometes gets his head shaved by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman during St. Baldrick's Foundation shave-a-thon on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York in Las Vegas Friday, March 8, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Blue Angels take flight over Las Vegas Strip
The Blue Angels’ U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron flew their signature Delta formation over a part of the Las Vegas Strip, McCarran International Airport and east Las Vegas and were scheduled to fly over Hoover Dam. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Gross World Records
A group of about 20 children gathered around a TV at Sahara West Library on Feb. 27 for a history lesson on the most disgusting world records.
Graduation for Renewing HOPE program
The Renewing HOPE program graduation for homeless who spend nine months in Catholic Charities program. Graduates are preparing to enter the workforce. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Car crashes into Starbucks near Las Vegas Strip
Lt. William Matchko of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police gives details about a car crashing into a Starbucks at Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road, near the Las Vegas Strip, on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Jessica Terrones/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Car crashed into PT’s Gold
A 60-year-old man who police believe was impaired drove into a PT’s Gold at Silverado Ranch and Decatur boulevards Thursday night, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. William Matchko said. The driver was hospitalized and is expected to survive. A man inside the bar was hit by debris but drove himself to the hospital, Matchko said. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driver crashes vehicle into PT’s tavern in south Las Vegas (part 1)
A driver suspected of impairment crashed a vehicle into the wall of a PT’s Gold tavern, at 4880 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd., in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driver crashes vehicle into PT’s tavern in south Las Vegas (pullout)
A driver suspected of impairment crashed a vehicle into the wall of a PT’s Gold tavern, at 4880 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd., in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It is a rainy Valentine's Day in Las Vegas - Video
These scenes come from the Las Vegas Stadium LiveCam (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Home Front Page Footer Listing