Summit Racing Equipment
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2013)|
Summit Racing Equipment is the world’s largest mail order automotive performance equipment company, with thousands of performance parts, aftermarket accessories, tools and garage equipment, collectibles, and stock replacement parts to choose from. The company stocks parts for cars (race, street, daily driver) and trucks/SUVs (street, performance, off-road).
Summit Racing Equipment began in 1968, as a part-time, one-person business. The owner and founder is an engineer with a passion for fast cars - especially Corvettes.
In 1969, Summit Racing Equipment opened it first store in Akron, Ohio. The company's early product line included performance parts from Accel, Holley, Mallory, Hurst, Mickey Thompson, and other "big names". Throughout the 70s and 80s, Summit Racing Equipment continued to grow, and the company’s Summit Racing Catalog grew from an annual buyers guide to a bi-monthly publication.
In 1992, the company moved its headquarters to a larger facility in Tallmadge, Ohio and fired multiple employees for attempting to organize with the Teamsters union due to poor wages and unfair treatment by management. With a larger Retail Store and Distribution Center, the company expanded its product offering to include truck, SUV, and Jeep-specific parts.
The company's growth was guided by simple mandates: be a price leader (lowest price) and gain market share from major competitors. This was done through intense examination of competitive pricing, advertising pages in top automotive enthusiast magazines, providing free shipping, and creating a private label credit card (the Summit Speed Card).
In 1998, Summit Racing Equipment opened a second Retail Store and Distribution Center in Sparks, Nevada. That location enabled customers in the western United States to receive parts in one to two days via ground shipping.
To keep up with the high demand for performance and styling parts, the company doubled the size of its facility in 1999. With the new space, Summit Racing Equipment could stock millions of parts from hundreds of manufacturers.
In 2002, the doors of Summit Racing Equipment's new 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) Retail Super Store opened in Tallmadge, Ohio. The store is a destination for enthusiasts, with thousands of parts on display, legendary vehicles like Don Garlits' Swamp Rat 32, plus customer-built vehicles on display. A third location, in McDonough, Georgia, opened in 2006. That location solidified the company’s ability to ship throughout most of the United States within 1–2 days via ground shipping.
In 2007, Summit Racing Equipment acquired Genuine Hotrod Hardware, a direct mail company specializing in apparel, decor, gifts and other hot rod lifestyle products.
Ray Tatko is the current President of Summit Racing Equipment.
There are three Summit Racing Equipment retail locations:
Team Summit Legends (former Team Summit racers and friends of the company) include the following friends of Summit Racing Equipment: Don Garlits, Frank Hawley, Jim Oddy, Connie Kalitta, Kenny Bernstein, Bob Chandler, John Lingenfelter and the late Scott Kalitta.
Summit Racing Series and Summit-Sponsored Races
Summit Racing Equipment supports and sponsors a wide variety of motorsports events and organizations, including the NHRA Summit Racing Series, the IHRA Summit Racing Pro Am Tour, and the IHRA Summit Super Series. Summit Racing also sponsors three NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series national events (the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals).
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park
In 2007, Summit bought the naming rights to Norwalk Raceway Park, becoming Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park (often shortened to Summit Motorsports Park, though it is still sometimes referred to simply as "Norwalk"). The track hosted its first NHRA national event upon becoming an officially sanctioned track the very same year. Summit is also the title sponsor of Norwalk's national event, which features both the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.