Belak Industries is a wheel manufacturer based out of Miami, FL focused primarily on Honda drag racing. Damian Borroto established Belak Industries in 2012 after a decade working in multiple Honda speed shops in the Miami area, and eventually opening his own shop, TD Autowerkes. Damian has a “can-do, make-it-happen attitude” and he survived some serious setbacks in the last year. In 2014 he had his race car and trailer stolen, only to get pieces of it back. So he set out to build another car, and did! But on it’s first outing, a freak accident caused it to wreck, and total the chassis. Now he’s on to building his third SFWD race car and he hasn’t even considered giving up!
Game Changing Product: ID1700, Belak Wheels, AEM Infinity, FTW Fuel
Most useful software program: Windows
Favorite App: Pandora, WhatsApp, Instagram
Favorite Shop Tool: Hammer!... and his Dyno
Chris Jewell has been around the import performance industry since the beginning with multiple different companies. He currently owns Competition Clutch, a clutch company focused on import performance clutches. In this interview Chris talks a lot about mixing friends with business and how he’s mistakenly thought that his business partners were his friends. Chris says that his Achilles heel is “that I fucking care about people too much.” And he says that he focuses too much on the personal relationship and sometimes forgets that “it’s business.” With only a 9th grade education Chris built an influential business and he talks about how it all went down.
John Veloso owns and operates K-Tuned, a product manufacturing company that is hyper-focused on the Honda K-series engine. They make high-quality, functional engine parts focused entirely on the K-series. John and I discuss his background, and his view on the world. He tells the story of his upbringing and how it all came to be. We discussed his business, and business in general. John’s business is customer focused and he makes a point to not take a customer’s money until he has the product to fulfill the order. He puts the responsibility on himself and his team to make sure they have inventory on-hand. In a time when everybody is trying to be everything to everyone, K-Tuned is successful largely because they stay focused and know their strengths. There’s no fancy this or that, just common sense and treating people right. This is a good listen. Enjoy!
Brian Gillespie is co-owner of Hasport Performance, a company focused entirely on quality engine swap components for Honda’s. The company started out as a Honda/Acura salvage yard and quickly grew into something bigger. Hasport pioneered billet aluminum engine mounts and has a strong focus on customer support. An innovator in the industry, Hasport Performance is now a fully-equipped manufacturing facility and it’s all grown from the Honda street racing scene in the 90’s! Brian’s learned a lot over the years and is here to offer us all some guidance. Enjoy!
Action items that you can do THIS WEEK:
1. Look at what the Hot Rod guys are doing, and use that for inspiration to come up with ideas for the import scene
2. Subscribe to Racecar Engineering Magazine
Game Changing Product: OEM Turbo cars and AEM Infinity
Most useful software program: Solidworks, Skitch
Favorite App: iPhone alarms to keep himself on point and on time, Overcast podcast app
Favorite Shop Tool: Faro Arm, 3d Printer, Mitsubishi Laserjet cutter
Straight outta Detroit, Nick is a big cubic inch kind of dude. His childhood was all about big displacement and American muscle but now he says the focus is on improving engine efficiency. He comes from a family of home builders and electricians and has risen as the gatekeeper at Wiseco pistons. Nick and I discuss his story and how the industry looks today, from his viewpoint. He works for one of the larger corporations in the automotive performance industry so he offers a unique perspective.
Game Changing Product: Davis Traction Control
Most useful software program: Office 365 feature called “Lync”
Favorite App: Soar
Favorite Shop Tool: Kent Moore Digital Torque to Angle Meter
“Bottle” and Nero Deliwala are the owners of Titan Motorsports, one of the founding internet e-commerce businesses in the performance automotive world. They were involved back in the days when NOPI was a big player and the OEM’s were sponsoring import drag racing. In this episode we talk about how racing fuels their distribution business and how their business has grown and changed over the years. From a college dorm room to a multi-million dollar business, Titan Motorsports has taught these guys a thing or two about business and they share some lessons in this episode.