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September 18, 2013

RCR Crew Member Spotlight: Matt Kreuter

Seven Questions with Matt Kreuter, gasman on the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

RCR/HHP Photos RCR/HHP Photos

Matt Kreuter, gasman on the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series didn’t always dream of working in racing. As a youngster, the Zanesville, Ohio, native had ambitions of becoming a fighter pilot. As he grew older, he realized his eyesight was not up to the standards of the Air Force and he was informed he would never be able to fly fighter jets. After receiving the news, Kreuter decided to take a path that would lead him to the world of motorsports. As a teenager he spent his summers working at Thompson Dragway and helping his father restore old hotrods. After high school graduation, the Ohioan worked odd jobs until an old friend who was home visiting for the holiday’s convinced him he needed to go to North Carolina and peruse a career in auto racing. Kreuter took the advice of his friend and moved to Wilkesboro, N.C., in 1997 to work for a small family-owned race team as a road mechanic and front-tire carrier for their NASCAR Nationwide Series team. From there, the then 21-year-old went to work for Aiken Motorsports, before eventually moving to Richard Childress Racing in 1999. Since starting at RCR 14 years ago, Kreuter worked for a variety of drivers and teams at the Welcome, N.C. –based organization before moving to the No. 27 Sprint Cup Series team with driver Paul Menard in 2012. Kreuter resides in Welcome, N.C., with his wife Wendy and their son Easton.

Seven Questions with Matt Kreuter:

1.    What was your dream job as a child?
I wanted to join the ROTC and then become a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.


2.    If you could have any job in racing what would it be and why?
If I wasn’t a crew guy, I’d like to do something in the marketing or public relations field. I enjoy interacting with people and I like to talk, so I think that would be a good position for me. If I did that, I’d still like to pit the car on Sunday’s. I really enjoy the team comradery and adrenaline rush that comes with being a member of the over-the-wall pit crew.


3.    What is your favorite track to visit on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit and why?

My favorite track is Richmond International Raceway. I love short-track racing and Richmond provides some of the most thrilling racing we see all season. I especially like racing there in the fall under the lights. There is just something about night racing at Richmond that makes it extra exciting.


4.    What is the best prank you have ever played on a teammate?
I’m always playing pranks on our rear-tire carrier Ray Wright because he is so gullible, but the best prank I played was when I let one of my guys put the whole fuel cell together in the car and then we had all the officials make him take it out and re-inspect it.


5.    If you had a five song pre-race playlist on your iPod what songwriters would make the cut?
They would all be old school country artists: Easton Corbin, Jamey Johnson, Aaron Lewis, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
 

6.    How many different job positions have you been in since you started working in racing?
I’ve done pretty much everything but play the role of a crew chief or team owner. I’ve been an engine tuner, front-tire carrier, rear-tire carrier, jack man, gasman, shock specialist, set up mechanic, car chief, fabricator and hauler driver. In my 17 years in the sport I’ve just about done it all.

7.    What’s your favorite racing memory?
My favorite memory is winning the Daytona 500 and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in the same year with Kevin Harvick.

 

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