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BRCC Doubles Down on Motor Sports

Let’s be honest — Black Rifle Coffee Company has a lot going on. If you’re a fan who comes solely for the great coffee, you may be wondering why, among other things, there’s a whole motor sports division and why the heck we care about NASCAR and rally cars. Well, here’s the lowdown on the BRCC motor sports team and a look at each of the team members. 

 

BJ Baldwin: Baldwin joined the team in April 2021. Best known for his off-road truck racing, Baldwin has been racing since 1997. This Vegas native has a docuseries in the works, along with his viral video series, Recoil. He’s a three-time Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts series champion and a two-time Best in the Desert Racing Association series winner. Baldwin won the Baja 1000 back to back in 2012 and 2013, driving the entirety of both races – 1,121 miles in 2012 and 883 miles in 2013. 


“BJ [Baldwin] has had so much success but saw a bit of a lull, not getting podiums or seeing results,” Dov Ribnick, BRCC vice president of media and content, said. “Since joining BRCC, Baldwin’s begun winning again. As BJ puts it, it’s the combination of joining a brand that supports him and finding people who work.”

 

 

Photo courtesy of 4Dirt Media.

 

 

Noah Gragson: Another Vegas-native, Gragson has been part of the team since 2020, with BRCC sponsoring a number of his races in the last three seasons. Referred to as the “West Coast Wild Card,” Noah Gragson began racing in a Bandolero race car at age 13 and joined the INEX Legends Car Racing Series shortly after. From 2019 until 2022, Gragson has been driving the No. 9 Chevy Camaro for JR Motorsports and began the partnership with Black Rifle Coffee Company, Bass Pro Shops, True Timber, and Superior Essex for all 33 races of the 2021 season and into the 2022 season as well. 


“It feels really good to be a part of the BRCC team,” Gragson said. “In this motor sports division, there’s a lot of big hitter guys, like Travis Pastrana, Matt Crafton, Ty Dillon, and BJ Baldwin — these guys that I look up to and want to be like one day. To be able to essentially be teammates with them is pretty special.”
Photo by Jim Fluharty/Harold Hinson Photography.

 

The BRCC rally team has the largest and most varied cast of characters, making up the bulk of the motor sports team this year. 


Travis Pastrana: In January 2022, Travis Pastrana signed an exclusive beverage sponsorship agreement with Black Rifle Coffee Company, leaving his Red Bull partnership after 22 years. A 17-time X Games medalist, Pastrana continues his commitment to excellence across many disciplines, as displayed in the early 2000s when he racked up numerous Supercross and Motocross podiums as well as a Motocross of Nations championship title. Pastrana and BRCC share a passion for pushing the limit, whether by roasting the highest-quality coffee or testing out new ramps and tricks; an often-irreverent approach to entertaining and engaging with their fans; and a deep connection with America’s servicemen and women.


“I’ve been good friends with a lot of the Black Rifle Coffee crew for the last ten years,” Pastrana said. “They’ve supported me in a lot of the fun projects over the past few years, like bringing Pilot X with a minigun for us to jump a dirt bike over for the Action Figures movie, and paying their own way down to help rebuild with us in Puerto Rico after the hurricane.” 


As a member of the rally team and a part of the Flat Out docuseries, Pastrana’s role is, first and foremost, as the defending champion of both the ARA and NRX championships. 


“After a rough start to the year, with some serious injuries, Pastrana is committed to defending those championships and supporting the rally team — who knows if his body will hold up to the finish?” Ribnick said.


The docuseries Flat Out follows the entire rally team and covers BRCC’s first venture into rally with a full season of ARA events.


“There’s no better ambassador for the brand. Travis [Pastrana] has been such a welcome addition to the team,” Ribnick continued. “Not only did we sign him, but by bringing him onbo ard, we signed a sponsorship with his co-driver Rhianon [Gelsomino] and a few Nitro Circus prodigies to round out the motor sports team. We’re also a main sponsor for Gymkhana because of Pastrana, we’re going all in with Hoonigan. We want to support Trav and share Black Rifle Coffee with the Gymkhana audience.”

 Photo courtesy of Rhianon Gelsomino.

Rhianon Gelsomino: Arguably the most skilled co-driver in the world, Rhianon Gelsomino has rally in her blood and carries a broken right fibula in her leg. Now in her third year of co-driving with Travis Pastrana, Gelsomino has the pandemic to thank for drawing them together. When COVID-19 struck in 2020, Pastrana’s co-driver at the time was British and couldn’t get to the US to race. Given the number of broken bones and injuries Gelsomino has sustained, she and Travis Pastrana are a likely pairing on the rally course for more than just their sheer skill.  


“It’s so exciting to be a part of a brand that’s growing and doing cool things for people, like what they did at Pastranaland over Memorial Day,” Gelsomino said. “What an inspiration these guys have been … I mean, I’ve been in a serious crash where I broke my legs in 9 places, I’ve been burnt, I’ve had lots of things happen in my sport, and I feel like they appreciate what I’ve been through, and I appreciate what they’ve been through. It’s so cool to see how we all see each other differently. I’m loving it.”

Photo courtesy of Dave Carapetyan.

 

Texas Dave’ Carapetyan: Dave Carapetyan starting competing in rallies in 2004 — not just competing, but focused on learning what makes rally racing the incredible sport that it is today. In addition to competing, Carapetyan created a homegrown rally track in Texas, started offering classes in 2012, and then in 2015, Rally Ready moved into the Rally Ranch, where he hosts beginner lessons, rally stages, and a sampling of terrains for any rally enthusiast. Carapetyan has put his life savings into winning a championship, chasing sponsors, and just putting in countless hours of work to achieve his goals. 

 

Photo courtesy of Tom Williams.

 

Tom Williams: What a wildcard, to have a 23-year-old from London as a part of this scrappy team. Williams comes from a motor-sports-rich family (his father, David Williams, was also a rally driver, and his godfather is the 2001 World Rally Champion, Richard Burns) and joined the team to make a name for himself. Williams has been driving for six years, making his rally debut in the Formula 1000 Junior Rally Championship. 


“Tom [Williams] is a great driver, just outclassing his whole class and nearly beating Trav [Pastrana],” Ribnick explained. “His skills are absolutely above and beyond what we thought we would see when he came on board.” 

 

Photo courtesy of Mike Glover.

 

Mike Glover: Founder of Fieldcraft and owner of Wolf21, Glover has been associated with BRCC since long before joining the rally team (there’s even a BRCC/Fieldcraft coffee available through the Fieldcraft website). He joined the rally team at the start of the year, intent on proving himself on the rally stages while still navigating the demands of running Fieldcraft. In his fourth race, Glover managed to get a podium spot: third in class for L4WD. 


“Trav [Pastrana] said he’s never seen anyone get on a podium, much less figure out rally, so quickly,” Ribnick said. “From the survival world to rally, Glover has just been putting in a lot of work, training with Dave [Carapetyan] and Rhi [Gelsomino] at their respective driver schools.”

 

Photo courtesy of Bucky Lasek (@buckylasek). 

Bucky Lasek: Arguably one of the most iconic skateboarders of all time, Lasek adds this amazing bit of flair to the rally team. An icon for the last 30 years, Lasek is a true pioneer and action sports legend. He’s a staple of X Games competitions and holds 20 medals, 10 of which are gold. When he’s not engineering signature tricks in the halfpipe, he’s carving through the woods as a professional rally car driver, and that’s precisely what he’s signed with Rally Ready and Black Rifle Coffee Company to do.


 “I'm honored to be part of the Black Rifle motor sport team,” Lasek said. “We share the same passion for rally in America and going full beans in life.”


“When we signed him, we didn’t have a full plan,” Ribnick said. “He’s the people’s champ; no one loves cars more than Bucky [Lasek]. He’s the car guys’ guy, and he loves being a part of the team. He’s juggling skateboarding, his other car duties … but when he’s there, his presence is known, and fans and other drivers love him. Like Travis [Pastrana], he’s handling so many different gigs. It just speaks volumes to the team that Jarred [Taylor] has built, there’s so many personalities with the common goal of representing BRCC.”

 

 

Photo courtesy of Bucky Lasek (@buckylasek).

 

The dream of involving BRCC in the motor sports world, and more specifically, rally, is a long time coming. 


“When Jarred [Taylor] and I met, one of our original conversations was around being able to sponsor a rally,” Hafer said in an interview with Heavy.com. “That’s one of the first things we talked about because we’re both — Like, I wouldn’t say that I’m a hardcore enthusiast. I love racing. I love the competitive nature of it, the technology piece of it, the strategy piece of it. It’s incredible.

“And so my dream initially was to be able to make enough money where we could sponsor ourselves to go rally and wrap the car like weekend warrior style,” Hafer continued. “Turn wrenches and do the whole thing. So it was one of the first things that we had discussed. ‘How are we going to get into racing?'”

 

Photo by Dave Reardon/Black Rifle Coffee Company. 

Jayden ‘Jayo’ Archer: An Australian native, Jayden Archer came to the team through Pastrana, whom he’s known since age 15. BRCC signed Archer this year, supporting the young up-and-comer in the freestyle motocross world who also happens to be healing from his fourth broken femur in just two years. Regardless of the injuries, Archer is predicted to be a strong competitor for the X Games and great performer for Nitro Circus, and he still maintains a full-time job in civil construction. 

 

Photo courtesy of Jayo Archer.

 

Troy ‘Smalls’ Neault: Neault also came to the team via Travis Pastrana, and he has Nitro Circus and “Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes” on his resume. 

 

Photo by Dave Reardon/Black Rifle Coffee Company.

 

Phil Smage ‘Smagical’: Another protege of Pastrana and also a former stunt performer on the same Marvel Universe Live set as Neault, Smage comes with his own amazing story. In a 2018 event, the Brimstone White Knuckle, he survived a crash, and after being rescued with the Jaws of Life, found himself paralyzed from the neck down. After outpatient rehab care and a stay at the Virginia High Performance (a state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation facility) he began to regain control of his limbs and left the center walking on his own two legs. Smage has represented BRCC in past iterations of Pastrana’s Pastranaland Pit Bike Championship, and having him as a part of the motor sports team just solidifies that partnership.

Photo courtesy of Phil Smage (@smagical).

“Both Smage and Smalls [Neault] were signed to the BRCC team because Travis [Pastrana] has a vision for them and really sees them and Archer as great content producers for BRCC motor sports,” Ribnick said. “Obviously, we’re making a huge effort in the motor sports space, with Pastrana and Baldwin and NASCAR … but we’re also focusing on the grassroots by utilizing Jayo [Archer], Smagical [Smage], and Smalls [Neault] and their love of all things motor sports.”


“The way Trav [Pastrana] put it is, you’ll never find more passionate guys than those three,” Ribnick continued. “They’re the opposite end of the spectrum from Pastrana and Baldwin, where this motor sports realm is a full-time job for those two, but Neault, Archer, and Smage have full-time jobs outside of the motor sports world.”

 


 

The motor sports division isn’t confined to the land. BRCC also has a freestyle jetskier on its team: Mark Gomez. Gomez has previously been featured in a number of Gymkhana episodes as well as content that BRCC has created. According to Ribnick, Gomez can do things on a jetski that most people don’t even know are possible. 

 

 

Photo by Logan Robertson/Logan Robertson Photography.

 

“Simply put, our goal is to have the large audiences within motor sports become familiar with BRCC,” Ribnick said. “A lot of people that love motor sports and action sports, they’re our audience. Because they love those things, it’s more than likely that they’re also going to love BRCC.”


“We look forward to filming more projects with industry leaders and hosting more events like our Pastranaland Memorial Day event with Travis [Pastrana],” Ribnick continued. “The goal is to be very inclusive and accessible to the veteran community. This team of athletes wants to ensure that they’re accessible, as are things like Nitro Cross and Pastranaland.”

 

Photo by Owen Lauerman/Black Rifle Coffee Company.

 

BRCC’s love of doing epic shit and America is what the motor sports team hopes to share. 


“The genius of signing with these guys is they all have an amazing audience, and they love America,” Ribnick said. “They’re the best ambassadors, and they want to share BRCC with their fans. This is an area where people are really only familiar with energy drinks, and BRCC is a new brand to share.”