Why the company is now RPS Manufacturing
June 8, 2016
WHY THE NEW NAME?
In 2002...I was working with Pete Martins of South Central Race Center at Texas World Speedway setting up bikes. I setup over 60 bikes that weekend. It was incredibly hard work, but very rewarding. When you can make a living making someones passion truly enjoyable...what a great way of making a living.
Pete was burned out within a year of taking on the Traxxion Dynamics product and operating the suspension company. I saw the great untapped potential of providing full service trackside...something most vendors don't like to do, because of the tremendous amount of money it takes to properly stock inventory and tools and the incredible amount of hard work it takes.
I purchased all of Pete's suspension tools and inventory and started RACING PERFORMANCE SERVICES On most weekends, I would build 5-15 sets forks...valve/service 3-8 shocks. I also provided chassis measurement via the Faro Arm that Traxxion Dynamics provided me.
Within 2 years of my business starting...about a half dozen other shops popped up in the Colorado and Texas areas I serviced. I quickly found out how dirty and nasty the business becomes when someones wants to profit off trying to only work half as hard as you do.
Because road racing is not as exact as a science as drag racing, suspension guys can lie and bullshit anyone in believing anything. I saw some of the worst human behavoir from my competitors. It was almost comical to a large degree as guys that had never worked with a rider to win a National Championship, never built anything that set a track record...or even won a race yet were slinging shit at my company as fast as they could to try and take my company's business. Again, guys like Ty Howard, Dane Westby, Ricky Orlando, and many others were winning big on my products...it was beyond ridiculous.
Ironically, the more my competitiors tried to disparage my company....the more business I got. WIthin 3 years of opening my doors, Racing Performance Services customers won over 500 races, set over a dozen track records, won the Horizon Award and over a dozen national championships. The success was beyond amazing.
In 2007 I decided I had enough of "dirty nature" of being a public suspension service provider and went private...as well as changed to running the RPS RACE TEAM. This was a lot of fun and allowed me to continue working with Danny Kelsey. It also allowed me to bring on new riders and have a unique relationship with them. It was truly a great time and the team won over 125 races from 2006-2009.
In 2009, Danny Kelsey and I just focused on him WINNING. This is something that is really hard to do...just winning. Danny and I agreed, he wouldn't run "bullshit classes" and he and I would both elevate our game to grow
In 2010, I was forced to spend a tremendous amount of time working in Las Vegas on some projects. Danny Kelsey and I decided that we would keep things going as well as possible.By June 2011, I was back to being solely focused on Danny Kelsey and creating a winning brand with him. Danny won his first CMRA Overall Championship in 2011 with the help of Mitch McGinnis and his CBR-1000's. He also competed in his first AMA Superbike event and finished an impressive 13th during Race 2 of the weekend.
In 2012, we started gaining momentum and we expanded our marketing platform. I continued to work privately for National and Regional racers, but mostly focused on our team growing. We started to operate under RPSRaceteam.com. Danny and I formed a limited partnership with RPSRaceteam.com LLP being the owner of the company and assets.
In 2013 the team won over 50 races, received accolades from national press and was on multiple podcast/radio shows. We took in over 100,000.00 in sponsorship, contingency, and winnings. IT WAS AN AMAZING YEAR!
As 2013 quickly ended, it was apparent to Kelsey as well as myself that the sponsorship they had been privledged to recieve was quickly drying up due to unforseen issues from several sponsors. It was devastating. As the 2014 started, the team was already behind $10,000.00 in sponsorship. This me to re-use marginal parts...and the expected results happened. Kelsey crashed hard the first practice of the year when a hose burst.
Racing is hard enough. We both had spent considerable money up to this point...and with roadracing continuing to deteriorate as a sport...we pulled the plug.
Well, about that time...JRi Shocks and I agreed to have me come on as Market Manager for motorcycles. So RPSRaceTeam.com was effectively "Shut Down". A little over a year later, I had decided that I really just wanted to retire and "do things my way...or not at all".
So I moved to Missouri and my wife and I retired. Within a month, I got a call asking if I would start up a "drag race division" for a manufacturer. My first thought was not, "I am retired", but rather it was "if we do things MY WAY", I would love to do it.
I then realized I love doing what I do, but really don't want to deal with any bullshit other than the hard work...so I began to think about designing my own shock. I spent some months reviewing parts sources/providers.
Rickey Gadson called me up and asked me, "You building your own shock yet", and I put some of the stuff together so he could start the year off. As I thought about it...RPS (Racing Performance Services) has always been in the name of the company needs to stay that way. Looking at the fork kits I am designing and perpared to build...and that I am going to building parts and products in house..
We are now RPS Manufacturing