Mike got his start with race cars be being a corner worker at the local track. After a near-death experience with a crashing car, Mike decided to move to tech inspection. Here, he started to offer repair services to the guys going through tech and then branched out to helping them modify the race cars. Then he dabbled in co-driving with Rod Millen and helping them build cars. Mike was then approached by a friend who wanted to open a shop so they opened Road Race in late 1993. Over the years, the business never really got a strong footing and the friend left the company. This forced Mike to reevaluate his situation and move the business to a smaller & cheaper location. This was at the same time that he started to focus on Mitsubishi’s. When the Evo hit the states in 2003, the market changed pretty drastically. Road Race went from mainly selling parts online to mainly installing parts and tuning customer cars.
But during a race in Mexico, Mike met Rossy. She had grown up in drag racing and was checking out the rally racing. They hit it off and Mike proceeded to go out of his way to help Rossy’s team with parts and repairs. They married 3 years later and now Rossy runs the shop. Road Race is now in a 6500-square foot building and is made up of 8 people. They specialize in Evo’s but still work on a lot of DSM’s and still dabble in various random vehicles.
James Siebert has partnered with his friend and fellow car enthusiast, Scott Frazho, to start their own brick and mortar performance shop. They have both been interested in and have owned Mitsubishi’s over the years and exchanged stories at the annual Buschur Shootout. Individually, they both have been working on friend’s cars in the respective garages and would purchase parts via another shop to install on customer’s cars. They also would buy race cars, part them out, return them to stock, and then sell them to raise working capital.
In 2016, they decided to partner up and create F&S Motorsports. In the beginning, they just had a website that sold parts, but in November, they opened their brick and mortar location in Michigan to begin working on customer cars. Scott is about 30 minutes from the shop, but Jason commutes 1.5 hours each way to be at the shop. The hours are pretty brutal now, but he considers the initial time as an investment in the company with the intention that it will pay off in the future.
They are navigating the waters of starting a business with building up their customer base, marketing their business, and figuring out the best packages to offer their customers. We will be following up with James and F&S Motorsports in the future to see how they are progressing.
Marty Staggs was born into drag racing. Both his father and grandfather raced meaning that he was always around fast cars. As a child, Marty helped his dad build dune buggies in the garage and learned to weld at a very young age. He pursued an education in mechanical engineering but never got his college degree. He met his wife and quickly started a family so he got jobs working in commercial controls businesses. But he was always building stuff for cars and focused on the VW platform. Eventually, he stumbled upon a Turbosmart Wastegate and loved the product! In 2006, Marty went to SEMA and met with the owner of Turbosmart. They started to hang out and formed a friendship right away.
Marty found out that Turbosmart had a US distributor and they stayed in contact over the years. This friendship turned into a business partnership when Marty was asked to take over the US market of Turbosmart as the Vice President & General Manager. Since 2009, Marty has grown and expanded the business with proper planning and passion to make it more successful.
Frank Rehak grew up working at the family’s shop and initially thought he was going to find a career as a motorcycle mechanic. He got a few jobs working on motorcycles and realized it wasn’t as great as he hoped. So he went back to work with his dad. He started at the bottom cleaning the machines and sweeping the floors. Frank worked his way up and eventually had quite a lot of responsibility at the shop. He had a few ideas about doing exchanges with customers and boxing up product to sell them anywhere and slowly began implementing these ideas.
He started to transition the shop to doing more CV axle rebuilds. But then the market was flooded with new replacement parts from China and he had to reevaluate his business model. So, he began offering upgraded drive shafts. Now, things have become very serious! They own a 50,000-square foot facility in North Carolina and employee 29 people.