Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they are cloaked in well-worn leathers stained by fuel and oil and scarred from high-speed battles. Jeffrey Carver Jr. from Alton, Illinois, is a hero to flat-track racing fans around the country. He personifies the spirit of an earlier, simpler time in American racing when chasing points was secondary to chasing fun.
Carver Jr. is not afraid to have a few beers after a race or give someone he just met bike-setup tips. On the road, he is no stranger to sleeping on the ground or accepting tires from fans so he can compete. Down-to-earth, free-spirited, and passionate, the 26-year-old Carver Jr. is a man of and racer for the people.
Last month, Carver Jr. took a popular win at the American Flat Track Lone Star Half-Mile in Fort Worth, Texas, aboard a Harley-Davidson XR750. Nicknamed “The Wizard” for his unorthodox setup that stems from his motocross days, Carver Jr.’s magical sense of bike preparation and unquestionable natural talent were the perfect combination for his first national victory.
We caught up with Carver Jr. at California's Perris Raceway, where he was tuning up for this weekend’s AFT Finals at nearby Perris Auto Speedway. In this video, he speaks of the trials and tribulations of privateer life, his burning passion for racing, and living life on his terms. “I’m not out here for all the glamour,” he said. “I do it for the fun of it—the love of it.”