Thursday, January 19, 2023

Black Rifle Coffee Company helps Travis Pastrana fulfill his dream

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When Travis Pastrana signed with Black Rifle Coffee Company in 2022, it was a “dream come true” for the veteran-owned company. Now BRCC is retaliating by helping the motorsport icon fulfill a lifelong dream.

Black Rifle Coffee Company will be the main partner for 23XI Racing’s #67 Toyota Camry TRD Pro as Pastrana attempts to qualify for the Daytona 500. The company has assisted him in several unique ventures. Some were on the water, others on land, and one on the streets of Boerne, Texas. However, the NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race is in a class of its own.

“I’m sure you know how prestigious the Daytona 500 is,” Jarred Taylor, BRCC co-founder, told Heavy. “I mean, it’s the race event of all race events. No matter who you are, you have a certain fondness for the Daytona 500 and Speedweeks just because it’s like Christmas, motorsport’s holiday season, if you will. That’s great, super cool.”

BRCC had a strong presence in NASCAR and the ARA Rally Championship in 2022, but the company always strives to do more. They sat down with Pastrana and asked what’s next and he responded by expressing his desire to compete at the Daytona 500.

“[Travis] says, ‘My absolute dream was to race at the Daytona 500,'” continued Taylor. “And we kind of all looked at each other in the room and were like, ‘Well, let’s do it.'”

Pastrana also wanted to bring Days of Thunder star Robert Duvall along as his crew chief. However, he could not fulfill this special dream.

When Pastrana and BRCC decided to take on Speedweeks and the Daytona 500, excitement was high. Only after that did it increase The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi reported that Pastrana would merge with 23XI Racing. BRCC saw the reaction on social media and knew it was a great decision to support Pastrana’s dream.

“We knew it was a big deal,” Taylor explained. “… But seeing the response on the internet just last week really opened my eyes to how big this is. I mean, the amount of comments I’ve seen like, ‘I’ve never seen a Daytona 500 but now I am.’ That must be great for NASCAR.”

Officially launched in 2014 following the successful release of the limited edition Dark Roasted Freedom coffee, BRCC has always had its eye on motorsport. Taylor and his co-founder Evan Hafer were the ones who spearheaded this push, which resulted in partnerships with multiple competitors across a variety of motorsport series.

This foray into motorsport has resulted in several appearances at Speedweeks. For example, Ty Dillon attempted to qualify for the 2021 Daytona 500 while driving for Gaunt Brothers Racing, but failed to get the BRCC/Bass Pro Shops-branded Toyota into the feature race.

A year later, however, he made his Petty GMS debut in the Black Rifle Coffee Company’s #42 Chevrolet. Dillon started his 2022 Cup Series schedule, finishing 11th overall.

Now Pastrana will first qualify for the Crown Jewel event and then put on a strong performance provided he makes the show. He will also help bridge the gap between racing fan bases while continuing to attract new viewers.

“He was only able because of his character, and I blame him,” Taylor said of Pastrana’s popularity. “He has become a global identity because of his appreciation of the fans, because of his behavior over the past 20 years and because of his enthusiasm for motorsport.

“Since we’re losing Ken [Block] A few weeks ago the entire motorsport world and fans of the motorsport world got hurt. And I think this news came at just the right time, because you saw the sparkle come back where it was like, ‘Oh, I’m witnessing something that we never thought was going to be.'”

BRCC has worked with a stacked roster of athletes in motorsport. These include Noah Gragson, Ty Dillon, three-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton, Pastrana, Rhianon Gelsomino, ARA Rally Championship co-driver, seven-time off-road racing champion BJ Baldwin, five-time jet-ski freerider champion Mark Gomez and rally driver Tom Williams, and ARA Rally Championship driver Texas Dave.

The partnership with Pastrana is something special. Taylor also jokingly referred to it as crazy. This is because he grew up skateboarding, listening to punk bands and watching Pastrana compete. Now Taylor can spend his post-military life working with someone he admired.

“It’s hard to put into words any value or anything,” Taylor said. “Because sometimes when I’m talking to the military and things like that, I’m like, ‘I’m living my dream.’ And when I say that, I really mean that I built a company with my two best friends [Mat Best and Evan Hafer].

“And as we grew, it got to the point where I started hanging out with one of the iconic heroes of my childhood. And then suddenly we got to the point where he asked to come over. You realize how crazy that is!

“That was the thing, Travis just asked us. He just said, “Hey, I’m on my way to retirement. I just still want to do really, really fun, cool things. But I want it to be with the people I love and like and with my friends. And he says: “So this year my Red Bull contract expires. I want to come over with you.’ I almost passed out.”

This deal came about largely because of the relationship Pastrana, Nitro Circus and BRCC had built over the years, which included a wild stunt in the documentary Action Figures 2. Now the partnership continues with the biggest week on the NASCAR schedule and an upcoming multimedia project called “Flat Out,” which Pastrana and BRCC will detail in the near future.

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