THE SHOP

Performance Business - May '13

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n TALKIN' PERFORMANCE By Cathie Beck Lake Speed Jr. Co-owner and general manager, Driven Racing Oil W What was your first car? My very first car was a 1978 Buick Regal, black with T-tops and a small-block V-8. What's your dream ride? That depends on my mood. Nostalgic? Well, I've had this crazy idea since Dad was a NASCAR driver to get a stock car—a big, late-'70s-era stock car. That's why I loved that '78 Buick Regal—it was the same body style they ran in NASCAR. That would be a crazy fun project. It would be unique to have a '70s-era NASCAR stock car that I could drive on the road. That would be fun. Those cars had chrome bumpers too. It'd be very cool. ith his name and pedigree, Lake Speed Jr. was destined to make his mark in the performance aftermarket. His name came from his father, who was named after his father's two business partners from back in the day: Bob Lake and Paul Chambers. Lake Speed Jr., owner and general manager of Driven Racing Oil, Huntersville, N.C., got something else from his Dad as well—an unbridled, life-long love affair with cars, engines and racing. Lake Speed Sr. was a NASCAR driver and businessman and, as Lake Speed Jr. says, "I've never known anything else." We found time to chat with Speed in between appointments that have him flying across the country to teach the fine points of lubrication and then returning to Huntersville, where Driven Racing Oil's crew and company work to keep their products and knowledge two steps ahead of the rest of the automotive and racing crowds. PB: Hi Lake. It's great to get a chance to talk with you. I guess we'll start with the obvious—what got you interested in the automotive aftermarket? LSJ: I grew up in it. My Dad, with his racing career, had me growing up at the race track. In the '70s my Dad had a mail-order go-kart parts business. We sold complete racing karts, engines, everything for racing karts. We were racing and selling parts. The truth is that I was born into this business and lived in it. I've never known anything but racing. Today, our business is not a typical oil company. I don't define us as an oil company. We're a technology solutions company that specializes in using chemicals to overcome challenges and limitations. What we're best at is looking at performance engines, drivetrains, anything that involves a vehicle, and we look at limits or problems. We know how to overcome some of those problems with chemicals. What's on your computer/phone wallpaper? My family. Person you'd most like to meet. I get to meet a lot of interesting people in real life; really great people. For example, Coach Joe Gibbs, who I work with. He is somebody I wish I could spend more time with. There's no one particular person, because I've been fortunate to have met a lot of great people. But I suppose it'd be cool to meet Henry Ford or Rockefeller, one of the early titans of industry. If I wasn't in the performance aftermarket, I'd probably be … I'd probably go back to racing. Driven Racing Oil is an independent business that operates alongside Joe Gibbs Racing. 32 n Performance Business PBMAY 2.indd 32 n May 2013 3/29/13 10:21 AM

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