Monthly Archives: September 2012

Champion Tire And Wheel

Jamie Rolewicz and Kevin Mahl of Champion Tire and Wheel in Cornelius are masters of logistics. Their company transports equipment to and from race tracks for race teams, mostly tires, wheels and pit equipment. The fleet of 26 semi tractor-trailers can be found at every NASCAR Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series event across the country, and they make it look easy. But as you drill down, it’s one incredibly organized operation.

It’s also a storage facility of a kind. Consider that teams purchase wheels (Cup cars use 12 sets per weekend, so that’s 64-68 wheels per car at about $130 each) and have them delivered to Champion. Champion warehouses and maintains each team’s inventory, and sees that it goes where it’s supposed to when it’s supposed to. Then there are pit carts. When Champion started in 2001, 14 pit carts could fit in a trailer. Now, with improvements in technology and equipment, that number has been reduced to four as the pit carts have grown in size. Each weighs about 4,600 pounds. Champion also transports ATVs and inventories and schedules transport for equipment for part-time teams as well. There was even a souped-up Best Buy buggy in the warehouse that only goes to a few events.

Inventory includes all team wheels; a single car might have 160 double stems and 100 single stems, the former for tracks more than one mile, the latter for tracks under a mile.

Old wheels go to pit stop practice or to show cars. Or if need be they can be recycled, but only after the $12 stems are removed. Old tires go to go-kart tracks or driving schools or tire swings. Tires can be shredded as well.

The 50-plus full time and 24 part-time employees include truck drivers who may be on the road for six to eight weeks at a time. Their job includes more than driving; they are the folks responsible for unloading equipment and delivering it to the proper pit area, as well as bringing it all back to load after the race. First to arrive and last to leave. As Rolewicz says, “My guys are the hardest working guys at the track. Even NASCAR pays us to set up the tech inspection area.”

The trucks are monitored by GPS, and Todd Carpenter gets instant-read messages if his drivers are speeding or idling too long. Inside the shop, fingerprint scanners have taken the place of time cards. A wheel wash and inspection process reads each wheel to see if it is in balance. A large-screen computer lists every wheel at the end of its inspection ride. Glue is even taken off the lug nut holes, by hand.

To learn more about services offered, visit

Corinne Economaki

Homesley & Wingo

Clifton Homesley started practicing law in Mooresville in 1986 and one of his first clients was Bill Simpson. That they are still friends says quite a bit about Homesley’s character.

That was Homesley’s first foray into motorsports, and he hasn’t stopped since. His five-attorney firm realizes 35 percent of its business from motorsports. He describes his firm as a “broad general practice” that includes estate planning and family law, both used extensively by the motorsports community.

He and partner Andrew Wingo are involved in TRAC (The Racers Attorney Conference), which brings lawyers from North Carolina and Indiana together once a year. Homesley presented at the conference last year on collections using orders of attachment, a process he’s unfortunately had to use in his current practice. He allows the best way to get payment is to seize property after the car has qualified.

Homesley & Wingo are also active in the Mooresville community and annually host the Blues and Burritos, which this year is Sept. 21 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the front lawn of the law practice at 330 So. Main Street in Mooresville. It’s a fundraiser that has raised more than $50,000 for local charities over the years.

Homesley sees some small businesses in motorsports and elsewhere struggling with wage and hour penalties and understanding employment law. He also counsels folks to be wary of folks who want to pay in cash. He can explain all that to you if you are interested. Visit Homesley & Wingo here.

Thanks to Clifton Homesley, Office Manager Kristin Vogel and Andrew Wingo for their time.

Corinne Economaki

Performance Prime

Most of us want to be better at what we do, right? Whether you’re a golfer or salesperson, a tennis player or an executive, being better is better than not being better.

So how do you get there? Well, self-help books, seminars, coaches, videos, practice, all kinds of ways.

Another is to use the services of Jacques Dallaire, Ph.D. of Performance Prime, whose business card reads “Performance Thinking – Mental Skills for the Competitive World…and for Life!”

After attending the Ottowa University and earning his doctorate at University of Alberta, Jacques taught Scientific Principles of Training and Conditioning at McGill University in Montreal. In the early ’80s a student’s project led him to research, and refine, working with race car drivers on the science of racing. Since then, he’s worked with more than 700 high-performance drivers, from F2000 and Indy Car to ARCA and NASCAR.

As drivers and teams became more aware of physical conditioning, and implemented their own programs with tailored regimens and even in-house facilities, Jacques’ work sent him toward the mental aspect of performance.

Clients, whether they be athletes or business persons (Jacques even works with special weapons teams, surgeons, and actors), start with a three-hour questionnaire and then visit with Jacques for almost 20 hours over two days. They leave with homework and support from Jacques that often lasts years.

“My role is education; to simplify the framework that helps them understand how they sabotage themselves,” says Jacques, adding that the primary reason he is retained is because people recognize they are not delivering their best performance.

Quick to point out he is not a psychiatrist or psychologist, Jacques nonetheless says that, “the difference between winning and losing happens from the shoulders up.”

Learn more about Performance Prime here and take a peek at Jacques new book. It’s really fascinating stuff.

Corinne Economaki


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