J&J Auto Racing Having Solid Season With 2001 Car Design McKENZIE, TN - Jack Elam has been building racecars for almost 30 years. His J&J Auto Racing business has supplied some of the best drivers in sprint car history with chassis since the ...
J&J Auto Racing Having Solid Season With 2001 Car Design
McKENZIE, TN - Jack Elam has been building racecars for almost 30 years. His J&J Auto Racing business has supplied some of the best drivers in sprint car history with chassis since the 1970's. After spending most of last fall designing and developing a new car for 2001, the chassis manufacturer is pleased to see that their hard work is paying off as J&J sprint cars are winning races all over the country this season.
"I've always said that it takes a lot of people to have a successful product," said Elam. "I have to give a lot of credit to the people here at my shop. Every person here is important. From Dale Garrett to Danny Brockwell to everyone else that helps build our racecars, everyone has a part in it. We've got great people outside of our shop like Jim Mahan doing our fiberglass and Johnny Roberts doing our sand blasting and powder-coating. Our customer service people that make sure we take the orders and the people that fill the orders and get the pieces shipped out. It's a total team effort here at J&J.
"When the car leaves our shop, I tell the drivers, mechanics and car-owners in order to win races it's going to take a team effort to make everything work right. If a team has everything in place, they'll be able to win races. Right now, we've got a number of teams that are working together and winning races."
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws are the pinnacle of sprint car racing and Elam has two primary clients competing with the Outlaws. Andy Hillenburg and Donny Schatz are the two regulars that drive the J&J sprinters and in the last two weeks, they have both won two races. Central Pennsylvania has one of the toughest contingents of competitors in the country and Lance Dewease has been leading the way on a number of nights in a J&J as well. Winning races that get maximum exposure helps the company get the recognition for their hard work, but it also helps weekly racers realize that they can be competitive also.
"A big goal for us is not only to have our top of the line guys going fast, but also keep our weekly racers in a competitive car all season long," continued Elam. "When the traveling series come to town, we want our guys to feel like they have a competitive chance because of the equipment they are using. If we can build cars that win races for those guys, then I'll feel like we're doing things right."
Late last summer, WoO President Ted Johnson made a statement that all cars would need a full hood to compete with the World of Outlaws in 2001. Elam and his staff spent many hours coming up with a new body that would meet these specs and also provide a competitive advantage. With the help from some of his loyal customers, J&J Auto Racing was able come with the 2001 car which features a new body allows maximum air flow around the car. The car utilizes a unique radiator placement that helps keep weight over the front axle and a new aerodynamic piece takes the place of the flat area that used to house the radiator which blocked lot of air flow.
"We did more R&D on the 2001 car than any other car that we've ever built," said Elam. "We actually built a prototype car and had some help from a couple car owners that furnished a motor and some components so that we could test it. Al Hamilton was a big source of help. Fred Rahmer put a lot of laps on the track in the car. Kenny Woodruff came to the shop while were building the car and gave us some input. We spent a lot time and resources getting the prototype built, hoping that we would have a great product for our customers. Everyone that has received one of the new cars has been pleased with the performance."
As the season reaches the middle stages and the "month of money" looms ahead. Many teams will be ordering new cars. J&J Auto Racing is still shipping out the same style cars today that went out in January. The cars have proven to work very well for a long period of time. Donny Schatz recently won a World of Outlaws race at Topeka in a car that had almost 30 races on it.
"We need to keep winning races. Donny Schatz and Andy Hillenburg have been doing a good job for us. I think Daryn Pittman is going to be really successful with the WoO Gumout Series. Lance Dewease has been leading the pack in Pennsylvania and we know that Fred Rahmer and Keith Kauffman will continue to be strong out there. Ed Lynch has been doing a terrific job for us in the Pittsburgh area. Terry Gray just put together a new car and has won three of his last five starts. It's all going well right now and we just hope it continues."