Ashley and Matt: A love story

Matt Crafton and fiancee Ashley Greer on the grid prior at Charlotte
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
You may know Matt Crafton, driver of the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet Silverado for ThorSport Racing, and the fact that he is engaged to be married to Ashley Greer in just a few months, but let me introduce you to Ashley and the love story between her and Matt.

Ashley Greer, daughter of Ronda and Jeff Greer, has an extensive background in racing and has grown up with her father himself being a racer. Jeff Greer claimed his first dirt racing championship the same year Ashley was born. Jeff later purchased the local dirt track in Owensboro, Kentucky, where Ashley and her family lived. He owned the track until Ashley was about 6 or 7 years old, though she never took an interest in racing at that young age. The racing bug bit all the other Greer children except Ashley, but she excelled in other areas of sports.

Amanda Ebersole (AE): So tell me, how did you meet Matt? Was it at a race?
Ashley Greer (AG): Well my mom (who is a photographer for the NCWTS) had convinced me to go to Nashville, which is only about two hours away from home. Matt’s mom (who is a scorer for the series) and my mom used to room together and I had no idea that they had this plan to hook us up. My mom kept calling and calling and I forgot my phone, so I had to go back home and she seemed mad at me. I kept thinking why is she is such a hurry to get me to the track - well they set us up then. Our first date was Matt, myself and both of our moms. I went to the Nashville race with him the next day and we have been pretty much inseparable since.

AE: I see you at most races (when they show coverage of pre-race) with Matt. Do you travel to every race? I know the schedule can be grueling.
AG:  I haven’t missed a race in three years! I go to every race.


AE: How do you manage that? Plus have your own life at the same time …
AG: You just get into a routine, it’s actually harder when we have weekends off because I get out of my routine. I always have a suitcase on the floor, I am either unpacking it or packing it. You just get used to it, you come home, unpack, do laundry and than repack.

AE: When I spoke with Matt (Matt Crafton: I'd Rather Be Lucky) he mentioned he lives in Mooresville, the epicenter of NASCAR. Is it harder being away from the team?
AG: Yeah, his team is based in Ohio, but he moved here because it's centralized and all racing is around here. His team visits here to go to the wind tunnel and seven post stuff so its pretty much if you want to be in racing you have to be here.
A Love Story

AE: As a woman I would be shamed to not ask for wedding details … please share what you are comfortable making public knowledge.
AG: We decided since we are both kind of laid back, we were looking around here and we knew we wanted to do it during the off season cause we didn’t want to be stressed out during the season. I even started planning around here with the location that we found, then one night we were sitting on the couch and I just looked at him and said I never really wanted to be cold on my wedding day. He said me either and since we got engaged on the beach he said let’s just go somewhere and get married on the beach. I was like, perfect! We are going to go get married in Mexico in the off season and it’s been so much easier. I am excited that our friends and family will still be able to come with us.

AE: Wow, you don’t find planning a destination wedding stressful given the fact that you travel so much during the race season?
AG: Oh no, that part doesn’t stress me out at all. I get to go online and pick everything out instead of interviewing 15 photographers and this many cake people, less options are better sometimes.

AE: How hands on has Matt been in planning the wedding?
AG: His only question is "how much does that cost?" and I give him a little tidbit here and there. As far as flowers, dress, anything that has to with the the girlie aspect – he could take it or leave it.

AE: Is the wedding going to include fellow NASCAR stars?
AG: Yeah, that is another reason we really couldn’t do it until off season because there are a couple of guys that will be in and at the wedding.

AE: You mentioned that you and Matt became engaged on the beach and are now marrying on the beach. Can you share a little story of your engagement and how it happened?
AG: Every off season we go to two places, one place is the desert for him, where he runs his sand cars. Then we take our motorhome and go to Huntington Beach, this was probably our fifth or sixth time. It happened to be one night this last December and it was right at sunset, which is so not him. It was nice and romantic, right on the beach in front of our motorhome. We have been there so many times and I am sure we will continue to go there now.

AE: I guess that is kind of your spot now?
AG: Yeah, and not many places let you pull your motorhome right on the beach. Our motorhome is like our second home, it's so much nicer than hotels.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
A Personal Side of Matt:

AE: To learn a personal side of Matt, can you tell me his pet peeve?
AG: Oh, his pet peeve about me or in general? (laughing) Most of his pet peeves are probably about me. (laughs) Let me think … I would say his biggest pet peeve is he is completely borderline OCD. He can’t handle anything lying around, a water bottle left in the car, something left on the counter, it drives him crazy. But the second part is, he is OCD but he doesn’t want to clean it up!

AE: Tell us something about Matt that not everyone may know about Matt?
AG: Well, I don’t know if anyone cares, but he is deathly afraid of snakes. I think it's hilarious. I mow the grass at our house all the time and we got really busy a couple weeks ago and I didn’t have time so Matt did. Well it took him about four hours because he would stop and talk to all our neighbors every five minutes. Then he found a snake! Now he is looking into buying a riding lawn mower and I am back to mowing the grass.
Racing…the backdrop to the story

AE: Onto NASCAR talk: how does the schedule being so spread out at times effect you? Is that easier or harder?AG: He has been doing a lot of extra things this year that he doesn’t usually, helping Travis Pastrana who is starting to run some East and West races in the Pro Series and he is going to start Nationwide in the middle of the year. This past weekend when he raced at Charlotte, he came home, slept for three hours and then got on a plane at six o’clock in the morning and flew to Iowa. The schedule is hard this year since he has been gone a lot more and I have been staying at home. It’s hard to get into a routine when you race one weekend then off, than race two and off. I would rather them space it out a little better. Then in the summer you almost get burnt out a little because it's so hot and you race every single weekend. We actually take our motorhome (I don’t think we are coming home in July), we travel to three or four races in a row. That’s always an interesting trip. With our dogs also, two bull mastiffs, one is 100 lbs. and there other is 150 lbs. In our motorhome we have our little traveling family.

AE: Wow, I didn’t realize that you would pack up for such an extended period of time.
AG: Some people have coach drivers but that is not Matt’s style. If he can do it himself, plus he likes to talk on the phone. If it is less than eight hours away, we drive it … with the dogs.

AE: I guess the road trips are a good thing, you get to spend the quality personal time together unlike many others who use a coach driver.
AG: We have lots of personal time. (laughing) Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad.

AE: Fans complain about the off season being so long, but I know that is down time for you all to rest and recuperate after the hectic year.
AG: It's drastically different now that they don’t test anymore. It used to be that we really didn’t have an off season and now that you can’t test it's different. Now we actually get an off season, which is nice.

AE: In closing, is there anything you want to be known about Matt?
AG: I think it's hilarious when people think he is serious, a tough guy or even a bad ass. He so is not! We both are total goofballs and we sit around and laugh at each other all the time. He is so not serious and I think it's funny when people think that. We sit around and joke and laugh about half the day. Everyone (that knows us) thinks we are so funny cause we just play off of each other. He couldn’t be with anyone that couldn’t dish it back. He is serious about two hours out of the day, not very much at all.

Ashley and Matt can be thankful to their moms Ronda and Jeanie for their matchmaking skills. Now Ashley, Matt and both families await the big day … as it rapidly approaches and Ashley Greer becomes Mrs. Ashley Crafton.

Amanda takes NASCAR seriously and is willing to pass up other activities to watch the boys have at it. NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two main focuses with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless. Amanda also frequently writes the post-race recaps for Skirts and Scuffs. Feel free to contact Amanda via Twitter.
Ashley and Matt: A love story Ashley and Matt: A love story Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, June 03, 2011 Rating: 5