February '20

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FEBRUARY 2020 THE SHOP 21 Of course, part of that strong employee base is knowledge. "When it comes to increasing business with local racers, it is important to help them make educated choices and purchases," says Drake of Holley/ MSD. "It can be easy to overwhelm new customers with all of the available product lines, but asking a few simple questions about their next project can build trust and ensure you create a lasting business relationship. Once the customer's knowledge base is established, it should be the shop's goal to guide them through their next purchase." LaFleur from Lucas also suggests taking steps to understand each cus- tomer and their individual needs. "Most engine builders and shops do a very good job, but if there's one thing we try to help them with it's understanding what the customer is looking for and guiding them in the right direction. Take the time to understand the differences between brands, for instance, to help guide customers in the right direction." Along with hard parts and rebuilding services, VP's Rueckert recom- mends taking a look at add-on sales opportunities and ways to keep customers coming back for more. "Sell more consumables such as race fuels and lubricants, as it will drive repeat traffic with racers. Once they are in the store to pick up fuel and lubes, the salesman has an opportunity to sell them a new ECU or ignition system. Fuel, oil, tires—these are the best things a shop can sell to the drag racing market." Successful shops also need to be visible in their local markets in order to build trust and name recognition. "Shops should most definitely push the success of their builds on social media," suggests McLeod's Baldwin. "Everyone wants to see the fastest street cars go down the track on Instagram, so it only makes sense to continue the support of your local racers. Do a multiple video series of the car in the shop to making that great pass. Do a follow-up story on how the parts hold up. People want to see a product in action and, when they do, they'll want it for their car." And, finally, get out to the track as often as possible. "Be supportive of local racetracks," says Aeromotive's Barrick. "Have a presence at the races and be available to help racers with issues that come up during an event. Build those relationships into loyal customers and offer discounts to local racers on product that is applicable to their series." AEM's Mollica agrees that having a helpful presence on race day is invaluable. "Our most successful shop customers offer track support for their racing customers, whether it is onsite or remotely by looking at tuning software and data logs over viewing software to help them diagnose issues and make adjustments," he reveals. "Typically, these shops have several racers who all travel to the same events, which reduces each racer's overall cost for support and also serves as an excellent source of branding for the shops because other racers see them supporting their customers onsite and flying their shop's flag." Go-Fast Drag Racing Parts Manufacturers share updates on their hottest products for the strip: Hot Seller: CD Carbon Digital Logging Dash Displays Features/Benefits: Communicates with hundreds of standalone, programmable ECUs and loggers using CAN bus; easy to wire; logs hundreds of channels from different CAN-based devices in one log; direct sunlight readability; total display customization. Lawson Mollica AEM Performance Electronics Hot Seller: Electric Brushless Fuel Pumps Features/Benefits: Available in traditional A1000 size up to a new 10 gpm fuel pump; covers from 700-6,900 hp; E85-compatible; lighter; reduced current draw at pressure; helps keep fuel cooler. Johnson Barrick Aeromotive Inc. Hot Seller: E3.112 DiamondFIRE Racing Spark Plugs Features/Benefits: Patented DiamondFIRE Tech- nology; dyno-proven to increase horsepower, provide better fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Rob Fisher E3 Spark Plugs Hot Seller: MSD Pro 600 CDI System Features/Benefits: Eight-channel ignition with 680 mJ; compatible with almost all major fuel injection systems; output voltage adjustability for tuning and customization. Skylar Drake Holley/MSD Hot Seller: FL-0 Weight Full Synthetic Racing Oil Features/Benefits: Exclusive lightweight blend of PAO, organic esters, dispersants, organic borate com- pounds, friction modifiers and ZDDP; ideal for Pro Stock, Competition Eliminator, Super Stock and Stock applications. Duane LaFleur Lucas Oil Products Hot Seller: SFT2000 (Street Fighter 2000) Twin-Disc Clutch Features/Benefits: Accommodates up to 2,000 hp to make your car a great on-track piece while being street-friendly. Krista Baldwin McLeod Racing Hot Seller: X14 Fuel for NHRA Super Class Features/Benefits: Super-consistent fuel that doesn't have big swings as the weather changes. Jason Rueckert VP Racing Fuels FEBRUARY 2020 THE SHOP 21 Expect plen- ty of racers coming in soon for the latest and greatest upgrades. (Photos courtesy McLeod Racing)

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