Brayton Laster is nicknamed “The Pizza Man” to symbolise his love for pepperoni pizza, and the moniker is represented with his pepperoni-themed helmet and accompanying pit sign. In June, he will aim to add a little pizza flavour to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when he makes his series début at Knoxville Raceway for Reaume Brothers Racing. He announced his plans on Wednesday night, though a number and sponsorship were not immediately revealed.
“We’re going NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing! If you would’ve told me 4 months ago I’d even be practicing at Daytona in January in the ARCA Menards Series I would’ve called you crazy,” Laster posted on Facebook. “The planets have definitely aligned these past couple of months. This is the culmination of 12 years worth of blood, sweat, and a lot of tears, along with the help from countless people over the years. I just gotta thank my parents Tamara Laster and Dane Laster for all the support, no matter how many birthdays or social events we had to miss.”
Savvy with figure-eight racing, Laster began his career on pavement in karting, hornets, and outlaws but did not pursue the traditional path of paved late models due to funding. Instead, he opted for dirt track racing under the wing of dirt great C.J. Rayburn. Much of his experience came at his fifth-mile hometown Indianapolis Speedrome, where he acquired the originally dubious nickname “Master of Disaster” for his propensity to end up in crashes, though he has since embraced the title. However, it perhaps pales in comparison to “Pizza Man”.
Speaking with J.A. Ackley of Outside Groove in 2021, Laster explained: “At [the Indianapolis] Speedrome, the concession stand sold only Papa John’’ pizza. I’, go up throughout the race night and get pizza. Early on in my racing career, I got the nickname ‘Pizza Man’. It almost became my identity. Throughout middle school, I had a jacket that looked like pepperoni pizza. I had shoes, pants, and my backpack was a pizza. All my friends and teachers at school called me ‘Pizza Man’. That transferred over to the racing world.”
The 19-year-old began racing in the ARCA Menards Series in 2022 with starts coming at the two superspeedways Daytona and Talladega in the #03 for Mullins Racing in partnership with Alex Clubb. He finished thirteenth at Daytona before being involved in a wild wreck at Talladega that saw Richard Garvie go airbourne after hitting Laster’s nose.
In an Ask-Me-Anything with /r/NASCAR prior to his Daytona start, he explained his long-term aspiration was to reach NASCAR’s national divisions, though he is also working on his business degree as a fallback. The Indiana native also expressed an interest in competing in the Indianapolis 500. The AMA also saw Laster mingle with fellow Hoosier and NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe, who comes from a dirt background like Laster.