Matt Kaulig, Owner of Kaulig Racing and LeafFilter North, Inc., has always been passionate and involved in sports. Born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Cincinnati, Matt moved to the Chicago area at age 14 where he attended high school. Matt came to Northeast Ohio to attend the University of Akron, where he was a standout quarterback for the Zips. Till this day, Matt remains heavily involved in the Akron Zips community as he provides aid for the school’s football programs and lends a helping-hand in sponsoring events.
Matt met his wife, who was an Akron Cheerleader from Copley, Ohio, during his time at the University of Akron. Falling in love with the area, Matt decided to establish roots in Northeast Ohio when he started LeafFilter Gutter Protection in 2005 from the basement of his home.
Ten years later, his fast-growing company grew from one small office in Hudson, Ohio, to the leading national gutter protection brand with multiple offices that span across the nation from Seattle to Boston. LeafFilter has been recognized nationally by numerous publications, earning awards for being a Top Remodeler in the nation, and receiving recognition for the company’s growth and expansion.
Kaulig brings the same passion and drive to his newest endeavor — NASCAR. As an industry leader, and a recognized, successful entrepreneur, Kaulig has a proven record of developing new ventures that thrive. In 2016, he founded Kaulig Racing and established the headquarters in Welcome, North Carolina. Setting the team up for success early on, Kaulig Racing joined forces with Richard Childress Racing to create a technical alliance, including the use of ECR engines.
Growing up in the Midwest, Justin Haley currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing. The Winamac, Indiana native started his racing career at the age of nine when he competed in the Kokomo Quarter Midget Club. Since then Haley has been on the fast-track, for a lack of better words, to NASCAR stardom.
With a couple of Quarter Midget Championships under his belt, Haley burst on to the NASCAR scene in 2014, when he entered his first NASCAR K&N East Series races. 2015 brought another first for the young driver, as he entered his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) events for Braun Racing, a team then owned by his uncle, Todd Braun.
In 2016, Haley recorded his first-ever NASCAR Championship, at the age of 17, by securing the NASCAR K&N East Series title. He then went on to announce that he would compete full-time in the NGOTS in 2017. During his rookie season in the truck series, Haley recorded one pole award, three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
2018 was coined a record year for the sophomore driver in the NGOTS. He established his first-ever playoff berth and recorded three wins, nine top-five and 18 top-10 finishes; the next level was on the horizon.
Additionally, during the 2018 NASCAR season, Haley made three starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). During those three events, he brought home a 12th place finish and he even challenged for the win in his second NXS start, during the July event at Daytona International Speedway.
With experience and the taste of Victory Lane under his belt, Haley will be a force to reckon with as he enters the NXS season full-time in 2019.
Native to the racing world since birth, Chris Rice is no stranger to all things NASCAR. Born and raised in South Boston, Va., Rice grew up at racetracks and around the sport. His mom, Cathy, runs the South Boston Speedway, a racetrack in Rice’s hometown, and also sits on the NASCAR Appeals Board. When Rice was five years old, his dad, Allan, and uncle started their own race team. Rice immediately started working on the pit crew for his family’s team. This was just the start of Rice’s future NASCAR career.
In 1989, Rice worked as a gasman for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, now known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He worked closely with Hermie Sadler, who was named Rookie of the year in 1993, and quickly moved on to win a championship in 1995 with Hermie’s brother Elliott. Because of his accomplishments with the Sadler brothers, Rice became a well-known name in the industry. He’s worked in every elite series in NASCAR with over 18 drivers.
In 2000, Rice worked at Richard Petty Motorsports then moved to Bill Davis Racing in 2002. From 2011 to 2015, Rice worked as a Crew Chief at RAB racing for four drivers. In 2015, he moved to NTS as the Competition Director and Crew Chief.
As Crew Chief and General Manager at Kaulig Racing, Rice led the team to ten top-10 finishes, one pole and two consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff berths.
In his spare time, Rice loves to golf and spend time with his wife Tammy and two daughters, Kelsey and Elizabeth.
Rice still carries the same passion and excitement he had 20 years ago. With a “whatever it takes” attitude and years of experience, he’s driven to continue the success as Kaulig Racing enters their third season in the Xfinity Series.