"My dad always joked, [Matt] has all of his money in stocks … stock cars,” Matt Crafton said.
Matt Crafton’s racing career began long before he’d ever heard of NASCAR. He got behind the wheel of a go-kart at age 7, and from there he won a number of national and regional championships. At age 15, Crafton moved to the midget car series and won 20 main events racing in that circuit.
“I have a little book that he made in kindergarten. It said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And Matt drew a racecar and said ‘I want to be a race car driver,’” Jeannie Crafton, Crafton’s mother, said. “And he was 5 [years old].”
“Growing up, I didn’t have everything given to me,” Crafton said. “I’ve known nothing other than automotive shops and working on my race cars.”
Photo courtesy of Matt Crafton.
When his father was injured, Crafton joined the Featherlite Southwest Series to sub in for his dad, driving the No. 46 entry for the last three races in the 1996 season. The following year, he raced the car full time, and in 1998, his career went national when he was featured in the Winter Heat Series against drivers like Kurt Busch. Crafton won four races in 2000 en route to the Featherlite Southwest Series championship, and following that championship, ThorSport Racing named him the driver of the No. 88 truck for the season finale at Auto Club Speedway. For the last 12 seasons, Crafton has been the driver of the No. 88 truck and became the first series back-to-back champion, winning titles in 2013 and 2014.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) is one of three national NASCAR series. The biggest difference among them, aside from the vehicle you’re racing in, is the racing itself.
“The Truck series doesn’t have the same level of technology and resources as the Cup Series,” Crafton explained. “The truck drivers are able to be more competitive, which just makes for better racing. We also race fewer races during the season, which means that I can do what I love and still have work/life balance.”
“I’ve built my entire career in the Truck Series, racing almost exclusively with ThorSport Racing, and I plan to retire there as well,” Crafton continued. “It’s more than a paycheck, it is a family, and loyalty is priceless to me.”
Photo by Dave Reardon/Black Rifle Coffee Company.
“My good buddy Travis [Pastrana] introduced me to BRCC, and I quickly became a fan of the brand,” Crafton said. “My personal beliefs align with BRCC’s, so the relationship has been a good fit. I also genuinely love the coffee, so that is an awesome perk (pun intended).”
Crafton’s partnership with BRCC began just ahead of the 2022 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. His post read: “Proud to join the BRCC Motorsports team. Black Rifle Coffee is a veteran owned company that gives back in big ways. I’ve been a fan of their coffee for a while now, and look forward to representing them on and off the track.”
“I love that they are a veteran-owned company, and that they give back so much to veterans and first responders,” Crafton said. “I have been known to not have much of a filter, so I admire that BRCC doesn’t have much of one either.”