Wraps, Modern Racing, and the CARS Racing Show

Wraps, Modern Racing, and the CARS Racing Show

On this week’s episode, Kate and Jimmy discussed wraps, modern racing, and the 2024 CARS Racing Show. 

CARS 2024 Recap (0:35)

I thought it was a great show, I think we get a little more refined and tuned in every time we do a show. And, I mean, I thought everything was great. It was unfortunate that we had some weather issues that we had to worry about that we had that I think maybe hurt us, were there crowd some, especially people that across mountains and things like that. But for the people that came, I think everybody really enjoyed it. And I think the exhibitors really enjoyed it. So really looking forward to the next one.

Favorite Moments from CARS (1:19)

For me, always, with the CARS Show, my favorite part is just when I have my cars done, that’s always stressful trying to like, you know, get all that stuff done. But once I’m in my booth, I can’t do anything else, I can’t print anything else, I can’t design anything else and all that stuff. And I can just like, be in my booth and, and talk to people that’s super cool. So, if I took my dirt wrap side away from it, I would probably say, The favorite part is just looking back, it just is being able to look at the show before anybody else when we get in there early before everybody else does. And being able to look at how awesome the show is. And I mean, there’s so much eye candy in there. I mean, you know, all the exhibitors just really go over the top with, with, with their displays, and there’s so many things to see and, and learn and it’s just, it’s just a beautiful environment really is. And we do a good job stage in it with our, with our signage, and our carpet and, and our our pipe and drape and all that stuff. We need to brag about that, because we do a good job with that stuff. And it certainly, you know, looks really professional and, you know exemplifies what our industry is.

Was This the Best Show Yet? (2:38)

Oh, by far, I do agree with that. I think that it was I mean, we actually got a couple of comments, which was really neat from a couple exhibitors that you know, noticed, you know, some of the details that we put into things. So our big overhead sky tubes that we had, and then obviously our, our, our upgraded charcoal drape and the pretty, you know, red carpet and, and, you know, our, our entry kiosk type thing. I thought we were kind of had that down to a science and so I think we just every year we kind of get a little more efficient with a little a little better with everything and, and so is that just always helps just make everything run a little smoother.

A Job Well Done by All Exhibitors (3:43)

Where I was sitting in my booth, I could hear the simulator and the Daytona1 booth going on. And then I could also see in Taylor Griffith’s booth over there, they had that iRacing setup, which was super cool. You could hear that thing going on. And and then with people talking in between there was a great buzz in the air the entire time it really felt like when you walked in, you felt like you were racing. You know, they certainly did a fantastic job of setting the racing mood and tone. And I think that was really cool. But you know, there were so many neat, there were so many cars and chassis and the way that they displayed them, you know was was was really neat.

Racing Simulators at CARS (4:38)

I didn’t have a chance to go do to do Bucks at Daytona1 but I sat in Taylor’s, and it was, it was Charlotte, apparently it was supposed to be a really good setup, I don’t know. But I’d tell you it was way harder on the computer than it is in real life. Like way harder. Yeah, it was way harder like I was, it was not fun for me. I was like, I don’t know, I felt like I was. And maybe that’s just an indicator of how I raced, I don’t know, maybe I was always too straight. But I felt like that, in order to be fast, you had to be like, aimed at the infield the whole time. And then when you counter steer to the right, it just hooked in and wanted to stick you in the fence. So I thought that was kind of crappy. But they like looking in like sideways the whole time, you know?

Now, with that it was what I thought was so interesting is you had the one simulator that you’re talking about in Taylor’s booth there. And that it was, you know, you’ve got the computer screens right there, and you’re sitting in it, you know, it’s, it’s just right there. I think it’s much like most of the iRacing simulators that we saw, especially when iRacing became super popular. And like when racing, when we couldn’t physically race. A lot of like those simulator rigs, whereas the the one in Daytona1’s booth, it was a full built out car, right, like going to a flight simulator where the whole thing moves. So this there’s a, here’s a full size, late model on whatever hydraulics so that, you know, like you literally are moving your whole, the whole car was moving, not just the seat. So two totally different setups, but so incredibly cool. (5:39)

I wish I had a chance to go over and do that one. But I wish I had known that either one of them were going to bring them I mean, I think it’s it’s just another part of racing. I mean, you know, I mean, I think if you’re, if you love racing, it makes you a racer. And so you don’t have to go out there and spend, you know, like, a million dollars to go to prove yourself that you’re a racer, but I’m because I mean, I think if you’re all forms of racing, or racing, and so I think that we should, Will, we’ve you and I talked about it, like we really want to do a whole lot more from from that side to from the, from the, you know, from the digital side of things and, and, you know, start and go on up. So hopefully we can, you know, fill in some gaps. So some of the things we’re talking about, as far as you know, you know, with some coverage of some different types of racing, you know, like the small car racing, go karts, things like that, all up to the late models and street stocks and, and always try to mix in some asphalt people, you know, but they Yeah, yeah. So we’ll see how that goes.

Steve Brendle from ATC Bolts says “Best show for dirt racers hands down”. (7:48)

Steve has a great setup. I mean, you’re talking about me and Steve’s products are awesome. And, and it’s one of those things that it’s really cool that Steve, Steve is a perfect example of like finding a, a, like a need in the industry. And then doing a really good job with it. I mean, I you know, like, you know, like you think like bolts are simple. It’s not, when you put you know, it’s when you bend fasteners, you know, everything that you need, when you put a car together or put anything together. I mean, it’s no different than here I’ve got for my display there, I had everything I had my grid walls, I had the, the hooks, I had the stands that the roll around things, I could not find those stupid little clips, I must have done something with them to put them together. So I had to come home and, and found them on a shelf here, you know, but you know, it’s like how frustrating that can be. But when I would go by Steve’s booth, it was like, he has all these amazing look in cases with everything organized. And that would be you know, that’s, that’s I’m really glad that he’s really successful doing what he’s doing. Because that was a that was a big time need for this industry.

Jack from DirtCarLift says “can’t wait for next year got some new products coming up soon”. (10:05)

That is awesome. Yeah, well either need in the industry right there too. You know, it’s like, you know, I mean, have you ever you ever jacked up a car you ever tried to get jacked up a late model? I was never one. I think it was I was like, I don’t I think people had pit lifts. They’re kind of towards the end of me racing but like, I never broke down to buy one or anything or, or anything. So I was still in a plus, I didn’t really jack up my car that much. Whatever I would, you know, you know, everybody else kind of lists. They the first thing they do when they get in they put their cars up on stands or their lifts or whatever. And like, I don’t know, I just didn’t I didn’t have a need for it. I wasn’t going to do it. It just let it sit there but but but that’s but the but those lifts Sure. Make it a lot easier for sure. That’s why everybody’s got them now. Oh, yeah, I actually used one for the first time because it had Willie’s car there on the lift. And I had to go up and down with it a couple of times in order to to like I had to go down with it to put the roof number on the spoiler on it but then up it’s easier at the sides. And I had never really used one before but that was pretty. That’s pretty slick. I’m kind of made me mad that I didn’t get one before I’m probably mad might still be racing. If I’d gotten a dirt car lift a long time ago.

Well, and now there’s that new innovation with the dirt car looked at. It’s got wheels on it. And you can spin the car around. (11:18)

They did it for Chris’s car in Benji Hicks’s booth, because we had wrapped, the left side of it was facing out. And then he had put up on the lifts. They just have casters on it. They just spun it around. And we did the right side. So that was pretty slick.

Wedge Cars are Making a Comeback (11:54)

How cool was it to see a wedge car? Yeah, that was that was really neat. That really took me back about I don’t know, 40 years ago, I guess I don’t know, long time ago to see like a wedge car. So that was that was pretty neat. So I’m gonna have to go to one of those wedge car races just to watch him.

I think one of the things one of the big complaints, the big complaint about the wedge cars was you can’t see around them. You know, so who knows, like you couldn’t see if you’re behind somebody. But honestly, it’s, you know, a long time ago, 20-25 years ago, some time or another. I mean, I don’t know if people remember or not, but like, lexan spoilers used to be the thing. Like everybody had a lexan spoiler. You couldn’t even run a solid spoiler. You had to have a lexan spoiler, then somehow or another, they got somebody random aluminum spoiler, and it was like, they let it go, or whatever. And then, and then then everybody had them. So once everybody on aluminum spoiler you can’t see around anybody. Anyway. So and then now the car is all hyped up and all that you can’t see around anybody. So everybody’s used to race on that way. So you might as well go ahead and just wedge them up.

I don’t get offended that people buy their race car parts from other places by any means. And I think that there’s enough business out there for all of us. (26:13)

And that’s what’s cool to see like just the dirt late model chassis people that are that were at the show, um, you look at you know, Benji Hicks with the Double Nickel Car. And you look at Benji Cole with the Train car. And then you look at Taylor Griffith with the Lazer. And all three of them have had a great deal of success. Yeah, with with with multiple drivers. And it’s and they all of them sold cars, you know, at the show. And so I think that’s awesome. That’s awesome that we have a balance of like, and I do root for I like to see, I like to see the the the off guy win. You know what I’m saying? Like, I would love to see, like, you know, I think it’d be super cool to see, you know, like, not one of the big ones. You know, the big chassis builders like to see somebody you know, when Lucas Race World of Outlaws race or something like that, or whatever, or you know, or, or the, you know, Aldora race or something like that. That would be really cool.

Changes in the Wrap Industry (32:56)

I’ve had this discussion before. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about it, because I already have a solution to the problem that that that has been created with these composite panels. But that’s a big deal. In fact, I, I ran into somebody who, who was an acquaintance it was is that guy that came to the booth from 3M. And he was an acquaintance of somebody with Five Star. And the Five Star guy was telling him about how he was kind of throwing off on the wrap people he was, he was saying I the way I understood it was was that they’re they’re taking a lot of flak because the wraps won’t stick to their plastic panels. And so they’re like, why do they have to take the, you know, they’re making the panel? Why do they have to worry, you know, get, you know, catch all the hell for it, when it’s not their problem. But it really is their problem, because I told him I was like they didn’t, the one thing they could have done is reached out to somebody, and anybody reputable in this industry would have told them because they know that they mean anybody reputable knows what the different like where we’re at with materials, you know, you’re out with a standard calendar error aggress you know, semi permanent adhesive, you know, and then also, you know that you’d have to have a high tech adhesive. Now the problem with it is, is the fact that you can solve that problem. Like it’s not and I’ll just tell everybody, you can solve the problem with the plastic panels, but you have to buy in high tech adhesive. Now that would be like, if you’re buying our line, it would be like their 8000 Um, let’s see who else would it be? I know that. I think there are three Emma’s HTA um, all of them have a high tech adhesive. The problem with it is it’s a high tech adhesive vinyls expensive, like really expensive. I mean, like three times the cost expensive. And so now we’re this is where you run into a problem where you’re a wrap guy, and somebody calls you up We’re like, hey, I want to get you know, and that’s this is as a wrap guy, even if you even know, half the time, I don’t even know what people are running for panels. So so then you send him send him a standard wrap, and then then find out that plastic panels written, there might be a problem, you know, or whatever like that I could see that happening. But the if you if you did no, and you say, okay, that means that now I have to sweat. Now I have to stock another type of material, I have to stock a High Tack adhesive. And then I also have to switch my printers out or whatever you’re gonna do and different sizes, or whatever it may be. And then, but now you’re gonna have to charge more money. So now in this wrap game, which is kind of a cutthroat business anyway, you’re gonna have to raise your price over somebody else. And so even though you have a better product, it’s like, is that going to be successful for you? Or do people value that? You know what I mean? Yeah, I my experience, they don’t, they’re there, a lot of them are going to go and they’re price driven. And they’re gonna go, you know, well, this guy here is like, you know, he’s gonna charge me $400 a wrap because he’s got a printer in grandma’s kitchen. And but you’re like, you know, $700 a wrap. And even though that, you know, your stuff is got, you know, better quality and your stuff fits and, and it’s more tailored, and you know, all these things. But that doesn’t matter to people as much so. So that’s what that’ll still be going on in history. Now, luckily, I have a great material that sticks to the plastic, that’s not expensive. So it’s, so I kind of get to sit back and watch all this play out. And I don’t have to worry about it. But so yes, DirtWrap stuff sticks to pretty much everything. So but but also, but tell you don’t, don’t do that whole thing that MD3 says to do, don’t like sand your panel and paint it with primer 45. That’s stupid. That’s beyond stupid. You know, just make sure your guy uses a high tech adhesive. And it’ll work but still want to clean it with like a rubbing alcohol or whatever. But that’s the biggest change in the, in the wrap game is the composite panels.

Now, with using the high tech adhesive, do you also run into a situation where, like, you know, the bigger wrap, you can kind of pull it back? You know, that’s it, but you know, then like the minute it touches, it’s like, you’re committed? (37:12)

Pretty much. Yeah, it’s like a, it’s stickier, it’s harder to put on, you got to really know what you’re doing. So a lot of people would probably have a problem with that and be upset and be like, Man, this stuff is so sticky. But that’s what you kind of got to do.

Can you use like a spray of some kind? I mean, back in the day you used- I don’t know if it was like Dawn dishwashing soap and some water. (37:40)

Oh, definitely not that I mean, everything is dry. Now, like don’t, you don’t even use that on aluminum, you know, at all, because it’s got the little air channels in the back. So So we’ve we’ve all graduated from that, you know, quite a quite a while ago. But um, so what what MD3 has sent a video out, the last one I saw was where they’re telling everybody to send their panel or something like that, or they’re clean it with lacquer thinner. And then there’s a, there’s what’s called primer 45. Three, I made this stuff like 20 years ago, it’s an akan. And they’re wanting you to paint, especially the edges, the leading edges and all that sort of stuff with primer 45. And then how that works as it’s almost like an adhesive promoter. And so when you put your panel on, once it hits the primer 45, that kind of makes it high tech, but you’re really need to go hit it with with a heat gun afterwards. And you really need to get it up to temperature, it’s like 230 230 degrees that you need to get all those edges leading up to but basically what you’re wanting to do is your wrap, then we’ll stick to the primer, the primer then sticks to the substrate, but your wrap isn’t going to stick to the substrate.

So why don’t they just prime them at the factory? (38:57)

Ask them because I don’t know, maybe they thought they were gonna make a bunch of panels that people weren’t gonna put graphics on. I don’t know, they they started the way it sounds is they just kind of think it’s everybody else’s problem, not theirs. So I don’t know, if I was in their, their shoes, I probably would have thought about that, before I released the product and said that, you know, I mean, it’s no different than then if they made body panels out of the polypropylene that the nose pieces are made out of. I mean, you’re talking you you’re totally changing the game, then you know, so but you know, then you’d have to balance it out. It’s like okay, I might, I might be able to save some money on my panel, because it doesn’t bend up like your aluminum but now I’m spending more money on the panel, because my wrap is more expensive. So I don’t know. I mean, it’s just a it’s a trade off. But like I said, I have a great solution. So I’m good with it.

Be sure to check out the 2024 CARS Racing Show, January 5-6th at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. You can buy tickets here.