Fuel Shot – Towne Post Network
Greenwood Native pursues racing dreams at top speed
Nothing binds a father and son together like a cherished activity. For some, this‘football. For others, fishing. For Brayton Laster and his father Dane, they spent countless hours watching car races.
“I started racing go-karts when I was 8 years old at the Speedrome in Indianapolis,” says Laster, now 19. “I sort of grew up there.
Laster slowly worked his way up through the ranks, racing Jr. Faskarts, Thundercars, dirt crate models, stock cars, factory front-wheel drive cars, and super dirt models (which he pilot mainly).
Born and raised in Greenwood, Laster graduated from Greenwood High School in 2021 and is now a full-time business major at Liberty University. He also works at Indy Auto Recyclers. After nearly a decade of racing, Laster earned his first-ever victory in 2018 in a front-wheel-drive factory race.
“This is where you smash windows and race,” Laster says. “When I got out of the car, my dad was crying, and my mom and dad hugged me. It was a great day.
Drivers generally want to grow their brand as much as possible.
“You‘re a moving billboard and a racing car is a billboard on four wheels,” says Laster, who used TikTok to grow his fanbase, which has now grown to 12,000. He posts GoPro clips and invites subscribers to ask him questions.
“It offers a behind-the-scenes feel that fans can usually‘t experience,” he says.
Laster met Mullins Racing’s Dinah and Willie Mullins via TikTok. They own ARCA Menards series cars. They were looking for drivers to come to Daytona and test in January 2022, so Laster expressed interest.
“They had no idea who I was, but they invited me,” he says. He was both ecstatic and upset because Daytona is a two-and-a-half-mile track — the biggest and fastest track stock cars race on.
“Most of the tracks I race on regionally are no longer than half a mile,” says Laster. “This‘It’s a big leap from a half-mile track to a two-and-a-half mile track, where the cars go 185 to 195 miles per hour. This‘this is no place to play.
Although he felt a little over his head, having never practiced on a track with 36 cars (he had raced with five or six at most), he was glad to give it a shot. It was an 80 lap race, and after making a rookie mistake early on, he spent 60 laps catching up. With 20 laps to go, a warning flag went up, which gave him the opportunity to make some moves.
“We started doing some magic and moved up to 10th with five laps to go,” he said. “We killed him. They had 60 riders in total there, and on day two we were 15th fastest.
Next up is a race at Talladega Superspeedway, another notorious track for NASCAR and ARCA. The track is actually taller and wider than Daytona at 2.66 miles.
“This‘It’s hard for grassroots guys like me to get noticed,” Laster said. “Personally, I never thought that I‘d do it at this level. This‘it is breathtaking.
His ultimate goal is to make this a premier NASCAR divisional national series, and he has a number of sponsors helping him on his way. His parents certainly believe in him and bet on his son‘success by supporting it financially.
“He made an investment in me, which means a lot,” Laster says. “It would be difficult to do this without the support of my mother and father. I‘I am grateful to have parents who trust me and believe in me.
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