Greenwood Native Is Pursing His Racing Dreams at Full Speed
Nothing bonds a father and son like a cherished activity. For some, that’s football. For others, fishing. For Brayton Laster and his father Dane, they have spent countless hours watching cars racing.
“I started racing go-karts when I was 8 years old at the Indianapolis Speedrome,” says Laster, now 19. “I kind of grew up there.”
Laster slowly moved his way up through the classes, racing Jr. Faskarts, Thundercars, crate dirt late models, stock cars, factory front-wheel drive cars and super dirt late models (which is what he races primarily).
Born and raised in Greenwood, Laster graduated from Greenwood High School in 2021 and is now a full-time college student studying business at Liberty University. He also works at Indy Auto Recyclers. After nearly a decade of racing, Laster got his first-ever win in 2018 at a factory front-wheel-drive race.
“This is where you knock the windows out and go racing,” 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 typically want to grow their brand as much as possible.
“You’re a walking billboard and a race car is a billboard on four wheels,” says Laster, who has used TikTok to expand his fan base, which has now grown to 12,000. He posts GoPro clips and invites followers to ask him questions.
“It provides a behind-the-scenes feel that fans usually can’t experience,” he says.
Laster came across Dinah and Willie Mullins of Mullins Racing via TikTok. They own some ARCA Menards Series cars. They were looking for drivers to come to Daytona and run a test in January of 2022, so Laster expressed his interest.
“They had no idea who I was but they invited me down,” he says. He was at once ecstatic and overwhelmed because Daytona is a two-and-a-half-mile track – the biggest and fastest track that stock cars race.
“Most tracks I race at on a regional level are no bigger than a half-mile,” Laster says. “It’s a big jump to go from a half-mile track to a two-and-a-half-mile track, where cars run 185 to 195 miles per hour. It’s no place to play around.”
Though he felt somewhat in over his head, having never practiced on a track with 36 cars (he had run with five or six at most), he was excited to give it a go. It was an 80-lap race, and after making a rookie mistake early on, he spent 60 laps playing catch-up. With 20 laps to go a caution flag went up, which gave him the opportunity to make some moves.
“We started making magic happen and moved up to 10th place with five laps to go,” he says. “We slayed it. They had 60 total drivers down there, and on the second day we were 15th fastest.”
Next up is a race at Talladega Superspeedway, another notorious track for NASCAR and ARCA. The track is actually bigger and wider than Daytona at 2.66 miles.
“It’s hard for grassroots guys like me to get noticed,” Laster says. “I personally never thought I’d make it to this level. It’s mind-blowing.”
His ultimate goal is to make it into a top-tier national NASCAR division series, and he has a number of sponsors who are helping him on his way. His parents certainly believe in him and have bet on his son’s success by supporting him financially.
“He made an investment in me, which means a lot,” Laster says. “It would be hard to make it without the support of my mom and dad. I’m grateful I have parents who trust and believe in me.”
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