For as long as I can remember, PRI has made a habit of regularly checking in with our industry friends, whether it’s parts manufacturers, WDs, retailers, engine builders, sanctioning bodies, or track owners. 

These year-round calls and emails help keep us connected with our clients and partners who, in addition to providing updates on how business is going, often let us in on new product developments, emerging technologies, innovative solutions, and which market trends are worth following. I don’t mind saying, we’ve gotten some pretty compelling story ideas in the process.

This practice hasn’t stopped amid the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything, the current crisis has caused us to ramp up our efforts, as we feel these communications are more important now than ever—if for no other reason than to let folks know we’re here and ready to assist if needed.

Unsurprisingly, between March and April a common theme had emerged in response to our outreach. Many businesses had adopted new safety measures—requiring masks, providing hand sanitizer, spacing out employees, implementing split shifts, taking retail customers by appointment only, etc. And while most of these arrangements that began some months ago remain to this day (in accordance with local health department mandates), there was something else happening around that time, something unexpected: We started getting reports of motorsports parts suppliers who were actually…doing well.

It began with a performance exhaust company whose owner told us their DIY, at-home build projects had increased; and their retail sales were up, as were their auto sales for non-race parts. Another manufacturer, this time a maker of race safety gear and equipment, reported one of their 10 best months ever in June. 

These weren’t isolated incidents, either: “We’re busier than ever,” noted one builder of transmissions and torque converters. Followed by a driveline components manufacturer who revealed that summer 2020 had produced “some of our best months,” while another trumpeted “record sales” in July and August.

As still more accounts emerged, our duty to report became clear. There are good stories out there—real wins happening in this industry—and it’s important not only to acknowledge them, but to share how these businesses are making hay through challenging times. So that’s what we’ve done. And the first of what will be a regular series of articles on the subject, “Success Stories,” begins on page 26.

Representing one of the companies featured in this month’s report, Jason Bruce spoke glowingly about the resilience of Holley Performance Products’ workforce in a time of uncertainty—particularly after a brief drop-off in early April. Despite not knowing what was next, Bruce told us he was humbled by the “outpouring of support from our staff at every level, that whatever needed to be done, we would do… Everybody just knuckled down.”  

Once the dust had settled and sales rebounded—well beyond pre-pandemic levels for a number of the company’s brands, in fact—Bruce relayed that “every employee at Holley was standing tall. It was very gritty, very racer.” 

A definite victory, one worth saluting. And a notion we’ll be reinforcing today and into the future: Namely that it’s OK to feel good when good things happen. Especially now. Not that you need anyone’s permission, but go ahead.... Whenever you can, celebrate the wins.

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