Industry Mourns Passing Of Chuck Watson Sr.

Chuck Watson Sr. in front of the Watson Racing 2016 Mustang Cobra Jet at NMCA competition
Photo courtesy of NMCA, Facebook

Chuck Watson Sr. of Watson Engineering, Inc. and Watson Racing has passed away. He was 74.

“Chuck wasn’t your typical businessman. He built two successful businesses out of nothing. Still, along the way, he was connecting and building relationships with those around him, whether he was at the track or in the shop with customers and his employees,” Watson Racing Parts Division Manager Frank Naglich said. “Watson made the company a family business, and it has stayed that way since he started it. I was blessed to know this man.”

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Watson started his racing industry career as a skilled welder for Chrysler after graduating from high school. Later, he went on to work as a welder for Ford, a position he held for nine years.

In 1981, Watson founded Watson Engineering, Inc. out of a three-car garage behind his house. Today, the company is a full-service prototype and production manufacturer specializing in metal fabrication, with facilities in Michigan’s Metropolitan Detroit Area and upstate South Carolina. 

He later went on to form Watson Racing, a race car building division of Watson Engineering based in Brownstown, Michigan. Officially launching in 2011, Watson Racing focuses on performance parts designed to fit out of the box without modification. An official distributor for Ford Performance Parts, Watson Racing also offers turnkey road racing vehicles, performance parts, and drag and road racing services.

Watson, a successful racer, could also be found behind the wheel, most recently campaigning a 2016 Mustang Cobra Jet with a Coyote engine and Whipple supercharger in the NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Cars and NHRA SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown. He earned second-place points finishes in the NMCA division in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and earned a spot in the NMCA’s coveted Holley EFI 7-Second Club in 2019.

Watson’s sons Chuck Watson Jr. and David Watson will continue to run operations for Watson Engineering and Watson Racing.

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