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 repaying the favor by helping the motorsports icon fulfill a lifelong dream.
Black Rifle Coffee Company will be the primary partner for 23XI Racing’s No. 67 Toyota Camry TRD Pro as Pastrana attempts to qualify for the Daytona 500. The company has supported him in several unique endeavors. Some were on the water, others were on land, and one was on the streets of Boerne, Tex. However, the NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race stands 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 is the racing event of all racing events. No matter who you are, you have some sort of love for the Daytona 500 and Speedweeks just because it’s like Christmas, the holiday season of motorsports, if you will. This is super, super cool.”
BRCC had a strong presence in NASCAR and in the American Rally Association Championship in 2022, but the company is always looking to do more. They sat down with Pastrana and asked what is next, and he responded by expressing his desire to compete in the Daytona 500.
“[Travis] goes, ‘My all-time dream has been to race in the Daytona 500,’” Taylor continued. “And we all kind of looked at each other in the room and we’re like, ‘Well, let’s do it.”
Pastrana also wanted to have “Days of Thunder” star Robert Duvall along for the trip as his “crew chief.” However, he was not able to make this particular dream come true.
Pastrana Has Already Brought Extra Attention to the Daytona 500
When Pastrana and BRCC decided to take on Speedweeks and the Daytona 500, there was a considerable amount of excitement. It only increased after The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi reported that Pastrana would join forces with 23XI Racing. BRCC saw the reactions on social media and knew that supporting Pastrana’s dream was a great decision.
“We knew that this was a big deal,” Taylor explained. “…But seeing the response on the internet just last week, really it was eye-opening of just how big this is. I mean, the amount of comments I saw of, ‘I’ve never watched a Daytona 500 but now I am.’ Like, this has to be great for NASCAR.”
BRCC, which officially launched in 2014 after the successful release of the limited edition Dark Roasted Freedom coffee, has always had an eye on motorsports. Taylor and fellow co-founder Evan Hafer were the ones spearheading this push, which led to partnerships with several competitors across a variety of motorsports series.
This push into motorsports has led to multiple appearances at Speedweeks. For example, Ty Dillon attempted to qualify for the Daytona 500 in 2021 while driving for Gaunt Brothers Racing, but he was unable to get the BRCC/Bass Pro Shops-branded Toyota into the main event.
One year later, however, he made his points-paying debut for Petty GMS in the No. 42 Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet. Dillon officially kicked off his 2022 Cup Series schedule, and he finished 11th overall.
Now Pastrana will set out to first qualify for the Crown Jewel event and then turn in a strong performance, provided he makes the show. He will also help bridge the gap between racing fanbases as he continues to draw in new viewers.
“He has been able to just because of his character, and I blame it all on his character,” Taylor said about Pastrana’s popularity. “Because of his appreciation to the fans, because of his behavior over the last 20 years, and because of his enthusiasm inside motorsports, he’s become a global identity.
“With us losing Ken [Block] a couple of weeks ago, the entire motorsports world and the fans of the motorsports world have been hurt. And I think this news came at the right time because you saw the sparkle come back where it was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna get to witness something that we never imagined would be a thing.’”
The Partnership With Pastrana ‘Is Insane’
BRCC has worked with a stacked list of athletes in motorsports. It includes Noah Gragson, Ty Dillon, three-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton, Pastrana, ARA Championship co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino, seven-time offroad racing champion BJ Baldwin, five-time champion jetski freerider Mark Gomez, rally driver Tom Williams, and ARA Championship driver “Texas Dave” Dave Carpetyan.
The partnership with Pastrana is something special. Taylor also jokingly referred to it as insane. The reason is that he grew up skateboarding, listening to punk bands, and watching Pastrana compete. Now Taylor gets to spend his post-military life collaborating with someone he admired.
“It’s hard to even put a value or anything into words on that,” Taylor said. “Because sometimes when I speak to the military and stuff like that, I go, ‘I am living my dream.’ And when I say that, I mean that in an actual perspective standpoint in the fact 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 got to start hanging out with one of my childhood, iconic heroes. And then all of a sudden we got to the point where he asked to come over. Like, you realize how insane that is!
“That was the thing, Travis just asked us. He just said, ‘Hey, I am on my way towards retirement. I just want to still do really, really fun, cool things. But I want it to be with the people I love and like and my friends.’ And he goes, ‘So this year, my Red Bull contract is up. I want to come over with you guys.’ I about passed out.”
This deal came together largely due to the relationship that Pastrana, Nitro Circus, and BRCC had built over the years, which featured a wild stunt in the documentary film “Action Figures 2.” Now the partnership will continue 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.