THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - December '14

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24 n Performance & Hotrod Business n December 2014 PERFORMANCE bucks more, but when you can run two years on one set, they become way cheaper than inferior Chinese parts." Gill says money will always be the key decider. "Controlling the cost of racing is the biggest challenge. Sponsorship for grass- roots racers continues to be hard to come by. Self-funded racers generally cite the cost of going racing as the primary reason they stop going to the race track." And Disterheft agrees. "The cost to be competitive versus payout continues to be a big challenge as the circle track industry moves for- ward. Without race series or rule pack- ages designed to contain costs, car counts will continue to decrease, which leads to reduced fan attendance and ultimately race series' failing and tracks closing." Get Ready Knowing your customers, what they need and what it takes to succeed is an instrumental part of finding success in this market as the calendar flips to 2015. "It's very difficult to narrow down to one single success point, but understand- ing your customer base is a big piece of the puzzle," says Motor State's Disterheft. "You need to understand what they race, what sanctioning body or rules package they race under and what their needs will be for the upcoming season. It helps to find the trend or niche within your cus- tomer base and work to service and expand that market." And that includes thoroughly under- standing the products you offer circle track racers, adds Bilstein's MacDonald. "Be sure (you) really understand the product offerings in order to get the customer into the best product for their needs/budget. Getting them in the right product will keep them coming back." Another key to success: when you know which products your customers want, get them in your shop right away. "Early inventory supply is the key to capturing the wheel sale," explains Bassett's Gill. "Racers are much more likely to pur- chase from you if you have a product in stock versus having to order it for them. This C&R portable engine heater incorporates state-of-the-art design and fabrication, and uti- lizes a self-contained, diesel-fired heater to handle all pre-heating requirements. (Photo courtesy C&R Racing) (Photo courtesy Johnny B Imagery) Manufacturers recommend know- ing your product supplier, as cheap knockoff parts will quickly be exposed in racing condi- tions. (Photo courtesy Fragola Performance Systems/FK Rod Ends) As with all types of motorsports, you want the costs associated with circle track rac- ing for your clients to be as inclusive as possible, while at the same time allowing for innovation and improvements. (Photo courtesy Canton Racing Products)

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