Sunday night, in front of an estimated 25,000 fans watching in-person from Las Vegas and more tuning in live on television across North America, action sports superstar Travis Pastrana celebrated Evel Knievel during the unprecedented HISTORY® live event, “Evel Live.”
Produced in partnership with Nitro Circus, “Evel Live” saw Pastrana pay homage to Knievel’s legacy as he set out to recreate three of the American legend’s most iconic jumps. Pastrana pushed the limits even further though, breaking Knievel’s famous car and Greyhound bus jump records before completing the epic Caesars Palace fountain jump that left Knievel grasping for his life 50 years ago. Shortly after Pastrana took a celebratory dive into the Caesars Palace fountains to cap off the night, #EvelLive trended at #1 on Twitter.
“I’m thrilled to have had this opportunity to honor Evel Knievel, whose guts and showmanship created the foundation for action sports,” Travis Pastrana said afterward. “Evel pushed himself and flew further on a motorcycle than anyone thought possible. So with this modern day tribute, we wanted to bridge generations – from my parent’s generation who was inspired by Evel to the generation after me who may not know much about the original stuntmen who paved the way – HISTORY® and Nitro Circus wanted to show just how incredible his accomplishments were. To be able to do that in Las Vegas and at Caesars Palace, where Evel’s legend was born, is so awesome.”
In just three hours and under the pressure of a live TV broadcast, Pastrana first topped Knievel’s 1973 jump over 50 crushed cars by soaring more than 143 feet in the air over 52 vehicles. Then he surpassed Knievel’s 1975 jump over 14 buses, flying nearly four stories high and covering a jaw-dropping 192 feet to clear 16 modern-day Greyhound buses. In order to make room for the massive setup, these jumps required the production teams from HISTORY® and Nitro Circus to take over the space behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas.
Afterward, Pastrana took to the streets with a police escort to ride to the Caesars Palace jump site. Fans quickly lined Las Vegas Boulevard, exchanging high-fives with Pastrana from taxis and the side of the road as anticipation for the finale built. The motorcade quickly closed The Strip.
Then Pastrana faced the Caesars Palace fountain jump that nearly took Knievel’s life a half-century ago after his infamous crash. As if that wasn’t daunting enough, given the expansion of Caesars Palace since Knievel’s ill-fated attempt, Pastrana had only a 200-foot run-in to accelerate to the 70-mph speed necessary to clear the fountain. Pastrana also had to contend with stifling heat reaching 102 degrees and, just before the event, potential thunderstorms. Even in ideal conditions and if he hit his speed marks perfectly, Pastrana would land with just a few feet to spare. But, after arcing over the fountains, Pastrana touched safely down on the landing ramp to the roaring crowd and a flash of pyrotechnics.
This electrifying event paid tribute to Evel Knievel in every possible detail. From Pastrana riding a Indian Scout FTR750, a modern day evolution of the flat track motorcycles of the past — and very different from the modern-day dirt bikes Pastrana usually rides – to the white leather suit and helmet decked out in American stars and stripes just like Knievel’s classic livery, these specifics illuminate how much Knievel achieved and the impact he has had on generations of fans.
“Evel Live” launched HISTORY’s second annual “Car Week” in breathtaking fashion. Upcoming “Car Week” programming includes “Hot Rods and Muscle Cars” (Monday, July 9), “Truck Wars” (Tuesday, July 10), “Speed Demons” (Wednesday, July 11) and “Hot Wheels: 50th Anniversary Special” (Thursday, July 12). All times 8 pm ET/7 Central.
North America can look forward to more daredevil thrills from Travis Pastrana and Nitro Circus this fall with the world debut of the “You Got This” tour, kicking off September 28. Pastrana will also throttle up on four wheels when he competes in the inaugural Nitro Rallycross, part of the groundbreaking Nitro World Games action sports competition, coming to Salt Lake City on September 22 and 23. Then in Spring 2019, Nitro Circus returns to Las Vegas in a big way, launching its first-ever resident stage show at Bally’s Las Vegas.
“Evel Live” was produced by Nitro Circus Media Productions in partnership with HISTORY® and Caesars Entertainment. Trip Taylor and Dave Mateus are executive producers for Nitro Circus Media Productions. Zachary Behr, Sean Boyle, and Mary E. Donahue were executive producers for HISTORY®.
Jump Photo Credit: Patrick Gray/Kabik Photo Group; Aerial Image Photo Credit: Erik Kabik
About Travis Pastrana
Travis Pastrana is an American professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer who has won championships and X Games gold medals in several events, including supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. He runs a show called Nitro Circus and previously competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing and the Global RallyCross Championship for Subaru Rally Team USA.
He currently competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports. – Wikipedia
HISTORY®, now reaching more than 96 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate features a roster of signature series including The Curse of Oak Island, Forged in Fire, Alone, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, as well as the hit drama series Vikings and SIX. The HISTORY® website is located at history.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/history and Facebook at facebook.com/history.
About Nitro Circus
Nitro Circus, the world’s biggest action sports entertainment brand, creates electrifying live events and unbelievable original content that at once exhilarates, captivates and inspires thrill-seeking fans worldwide. Co-founded by global superstar Travis Pastrana in 2003, Nitro Circus has since grown into a multiplatform phenomenon producing hit television shows, critically acclaimed documentaries and innovative digital offerings. That success gave rise to the Nitro Circus Live tour. Created in 2010, Nitro Circus Live has traveled the globe, playing to sold-out stadiums on five continents. The company introduced an innovative breakthrough in 2016 with the debut of Nitro World Games, completely rebooting action sports competition in the process. With over three million tickets sold to date, television programming that has aired in over 60 countries, more than 20 million engaged fans across its social media platforms and a burgeoning consumer products business, Nitro Circus is at the forefront of action sports and entertainment. For more information visit www.nitrocircus.com and follow Nitro Circus on Instagram and Facebook.
About Caesars Palace
World-renowned Las Vegas resort and a Top 10 “Best U.S. Casino” by USA TODAY 10BEST Readers’ Choice, Caesars Palace features 3,980 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the all-new Palace Tower featuring 10 new luxury villas, the 182-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Forbes Star Award-winning The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace. The 85-acre resort offers diverse dining options from the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, to celebrity chef-branded restaurants, including the newest additions Gordon Ramsay HELL’S KITCHEN and from Giada De Laurentiis, Pronto by Giada, as well as Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, one of Nobu Matsuhisa’s largest Nobu Restaurant and Lounge, Restaurant Guy Savoy and MR CHOW. The resort also features nearly 130,000 square feet of casino space, including a recently renovated race and sports book boasting the largest screen on the Strip at 138 ft., a five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa, COLOR Salon by celebrity hairstylist Michael Boychuck, five wedding chapels and gardens, and the new 75,000-square-foot OMNIA Nightclub with the top DJs such as Calvin Harris, Kaskade and Zedd. The 4,300-seat Colosseum, Billboard Magazine’s Venue of the Decade, spotlights world-class entertainers including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Jerry Seinfeld and Mariah Carey (opening July 2018). The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace showcases more than 160 boutiques and restaurants. Caesars Palace is operated by Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR). For more information, please visit caesarspalace.com. Find Caesars Palace on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.