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.
Taking after family history, Ryan Truex has ascended to the top of the motorsports ladder in just a few short years competing throughout the top tiers of the sport. Driving for several well-acclaimed teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing, Pastrana Waltrip Racing, BK Racing, Biagi Denbeste Racing and Hattori Racing Enterprises, Truex has made starts in all three top NASCAR series.
Truex kick-started his racing career by competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series in 2009 and 2010. Winning back-to-back championships in the series, Truex had already begun to make a name for himself in the motorsports industry before he even graduated high school.
In 2011 Truex made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing. Throughout the next two years he started in 13 NXS races, earning one pole award along with a career-best second-place finish. Making his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2013, Truex continued to run on a part-time basis for the duration of the season.
After signing a developmental contract with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2015, Truex returned to racing part-time in the NXS.
In 2016, he made the move back to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and just completed a full-time run for the 2017 season. Coming off of a ninth-place finish in the NXS Playoffs, Truex now turns his focus back to the Xfinity Series. Taking over the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet, Truex will try to etch his name in the history books and bring Kaulig Racing its first win, and hopefully, its first championship.
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.