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Bowman Gray Q&A: Freddie Kraft – Weds April 3rd 2024

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the first Q&A of the 2024 season. I had the opportunity to catch up with Freddie Kraft a Nascar Cup Series Spotter and co-host of a podcast on Dirty Mo Media “Door Bumper Clear”. He currently spots full time for Cup driver Bubba Wallace and Truck Series driver Ty Dillon. Kraft has spotted for a variety of drivers in other series over the years, picking up his first Cup win in 2021 with Bubba Wallace at Talladega in a rain shortened race.

Q: First things first, How great is Denny? 

I know you have talked about it on Door Bumper Clear. But what is it really like to work around Michael Jordan?

A: Denny is great. Lol. All the ownership is really committed to making sure the team has everything it needs to accel. And they never settle and continue to push us all to be better. 

Q: What was it that got you interested in racing, and what was it about racing that got you interested in being a spotter? 

A: My dad raced at Islip and Riverhead racing before I was even born. Racing on Saturday nights was the only life I ever knew. Once my driving career ended I wanted to be more involved with the race than just helping my buddies in the shop. Spotting gave me the opportunity to continue participating in the race. 

Q: I know you have spotted for multiple drivers for many years. Have there been any difficulties  knowing that each driver has a different driving style? 

A: It’s not so much driving style as it is what they want to hear on the radio. Some guys want a ton of info, some guys want to be left alone to work. You just have adapt to whatever each driver needs. 

Q: You co-host a podcast Door Bumper Clear with two other spotters (Brett Griffin and TJ Majors) which is known as one of NASCAR’s top podcasts; what does it mean to your voice gets heard by NASCAR when it comes to positive and negative feedback, on how you guys feel about the previous week.

A: I think our goal is just to have an open and honest dialogue each week. We all love racing and make a living doing it and want it to be the best it can be for the fans in the stands and watching on tv. Plus we get to have a little fun along the way. 

Q: I have heard you mention on your podcast Stafford would be one of your favorite tracks. What would be your other four tracks to complete your favorite five tracks?

A: Stafford is the nicest race track in the country right now in my opinion. My favorite track is Riverhead Raceway where I grew up. Wall Stadium, and Thompson Speedway would probably be the other two that complete the list. 

Q: What track would you say you love to spot at? 

A: On the Cup schedule my favorite track is Martinsville or the plate races 

Q: Alright I have waited long enough; Let’s talk about what has the whole Bowman Gray community in an uproar. You recently went on DJD Reloaded and debated in with Matthew Dillner. You basically said “it’s not real racing and it’s a bunch of clowns”.  

Drivers have chimed in expressing their frustration about the comments that were said, I read where you said you stand by what you said.  

1. What is the biggest issue you see with Bowman Gray? 

A: My biggest issue with BGS has always been what I feel is a lack of officiating. 

2. How is it a clown show and not considered real racing? 

A: The problem with the lack of officiating is when you give guys an inch they take a mile. And my main concern is that it’s eventually going to go too far and someone will get seriously injured. The word clowns probably isn’t the right word to use cause it’s not everyone that acts that way. But there’s many weeks that I see a lot of people including friends act like clowns. 

3: Do you think with the news that NASCAR is taking over the operations, will possibly make things better for the future of Bowman Gray? 

A: I hope that they would put people in place to make calls and crack down on the nonsense. I want the place to be known as good hard short track racing with some beating and banging. Not a place that produces viral clips seemingly every week with people wrecking each other under yellow or chasing each other around the track. It’s one of the most legendary places we have in the sport, but the perception of the people that don’t go or watch weekly is that it’s a shitshow. I think NASCAR will want to change that narrative. I just hope they don’t come in and try to adjust prices cause I think that’s the biggest thing BGS has going for it. It’s fun, affordable, family entertainment that only happens for few months out of the year. 

4: A video surfaced of Kyle Busch being asked about the possibility of Cup cars being ran at Bowman Gray. Do you think there could be a possibility that we see a Cup event ran there? Even Xfinity or Trucks?

A: It’s hard for me to see a Cup race at the stadium without expanding the seating capacity.   I could see maybe ARCA East or Nascar Mods or returning. Maybe even a truck race. 

Q: What kind of advice would you give those who are wanting to get into being a spotter?

A: It’s a long road. And you’ve gotta be prepared to struggle. It took me 15 years of climbing the the short track ladder to get to the cup series. But the best advice I can give someone that wants to become a spotter is just spot as much as you can and hone your craft. Using BGS as an example it doesn’t matter if it’s a stadium stock, or a modified. The job is the same and the more reps you get the better you will be. 

Q: Of all your other victories from the short track ranks to the ones with Bubba in Cup. What victory meant the absolute most to you?

A: The Talladega win with Bubba. I know some people wont like that answer cause it was rain shortened. But that actually made it more rewarding for me. Cause we all knew the rain was coming so we had to first get to the lead, and then defend it not knowing when the race was going to end. So you’re making blocks and being much more aggressive for more laps than you normally would be. 

Q: You have been Bubba Wallace’s spotter for a very long time, so you have witnessed the good times and the bad times. What impresses you most about the guy he has become?

A: I’m just glad to see he’s starting to ignore the nonsense and race for him. Before he was racing to prove to haters that he belonged. Now I think he truly believes he belongs where he’s at and is racing for himself for the first time in a long time.

Q: If you are a fan of Door Bumper Clear you usually hear about the funny stories you guys tell. Is there a quick story you could share for the fans who haven’t had a chance to experience a Freddie and Brett story?

A: There’s so many stories it’s hard to come up with any off the top of my head. Just come to Big Al’s in Mooresville on a Sunday night during the season and there’s a chance you’ll be in a story lol 

Q: Of all the drivers you worked with who would you say would probably be the easiest/more fun to work with not named Bubba?

A: Jimmy Blewett. We’ve won a lot of races together and have been friends for over 20 years. I still go back and spot for him every chance I can. 

Q: What would you say motivates you to be a better spotter? 

A: Just striving to be the best I can be and help Bubba become the best he can be. 

Q: Would you say there is more pressure being a spotter since you’re pretty much the one who can see everything and tell the driver what line to take and etc? 

A: I never really feel pressure anymore. I’ve been spotting for 25 years now, and have been spotting over 100 races a year for the last 20. It just comes as second nature nowadays. 

Q: Last question, it’s something I always like to ask drivers and spotters but if you could spot anyone in any series past or present who would it be?

A: This answer always changes for me. Right now I’d probably say my dad just cause I never got the chance to spot for him and he passed away last year. Guys like Dick Trickle or Richie Evans also come to mind though.

I want to give a special thanks to Freddie Kraft for taking time for this interview, also I want to wish him and the rest of the 23 team good luck the remainder of the season. 






NFL/Carolina Panthers


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