When it comes to outfitting a race shop, the good news is buyers have many options. The
trick to getting it right is knowing where to start and what to use to get the most out of the available
“The trends are twofold: performance and appearance,” noted Anil
Gupta at diamondLife™ Gear, a performance storage and gear
manufacturer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Consumers are demanding high-performance
equipment for their work spaces. They are not satisfied with consumer grade equipment from local
stores, and are demanding tough commercial grade fixtures. Appearance is also becoming
Shure Manufacturing is a race shop equipment supplier in Washington, Missouri, and Peter Richardson has
taken note of some industry trends as well. “There has always been a premium on productivity in
race shops,” he said. “A well organized and efficient shop will allow technicians to
maximize their productivity while working on expensive, high-performance engines and car
“Race shop owners want visibility and versatility to showcase the quality of their tools and
equipment, alongside their honored awards and their care or finished vehicles.” noted Mark Learned
of Corona, California-based Grid Iron.
When speaking with our contacts about the latest trends in outfitting race shops, some noticed a trend
toward a stronger emphasis on flooring.
“The industry has put high emphasis on an easy-down, easy-up floor that can withstand the weight of a forklift and looks
good,” said Randy Nelson at Swisstrax Interlocking
Floor Tile, in Palm Desert, California. He mentioned his company receives custom logo
requests for flooring as well. “We are
capable of logo inserts for teams and their sponsors.”
Brian Horowitz of On the Edge Marketing in Foothill Ranch, California, agreed. “I think on the
trends side, it’s the logo tile, with the interlocking tile that people are looking for,” he
said. “so, they’re putting their Chevy or Dodge, or Corvette logo into the tile, and then
it’s pretty interesting because a lot of these guys are taking the tile and putting it in their
race trailers. Also, diamond plated anything is a
The pursuit of an ideally organized and outfitted race shop is an ongoing one for racers.
Our contacts noted that this season, there are some great new products to solve issues of storage,
improved workspace, and more.
“Lista now offers a more versatile cabinet housing that allows storage of a wider range of
contents,” said Ed Piotrowski at Lista International, Holliston, Massachusetts. “Eleven
different drawer depths with usable widths of 18 to 52 inches can be incorporated into the new full or
shallow depth ‘Combination’ cabinets.”
Shure Manufacturing also has some new offerings for the race shop market. “Our new ShureTech Bench
Systems offer the combined tool storage with a large work surface in a portable or stationary
bench,” said Richardson. “Shure has also introduced the Shure Reel Cabinet to house and
organize the service reels (air, water, oil, electric, light). Shure’s Space saver cabinet is
another new product that allows the technician access to a secured location to obtain necessary parts
and equipment to maximize productivity.”
Danny Delamater of Delson Products, Santa Fe Springs, California, explained that his company has been
busy building custom products for race shops. “What’s been hot is basically, a team coming
in and saying, ‘We’re starting a new shop and heres our floor layout. What do you suggest?’ And then we come in
there and basically decide the width, height, depth, and it allows them to create their own shop at a
fraction of the cost of someone going, ‘Well, that’s a custom charge.’”
“diamondLife™ has just introduced its new line of GridWall MX™, which is a storage/organization fixture
complementing its existing SlatWall MX™ and PegBoard MX™
product lines,” said Gupta. “All fixtures are commercial grade and
built for heavy-duty use. Most are even load rated – our smallest pegboard will hold up to one-half
AAP, Milford, Virginia, markets and services specialized hearing, cooling and power products.
“One of the newest things we have is a reverse cycle heat pump with back-up electric heat for the
transporters,” noted Bill Harris. “We’ve gotten to where they’re using them in
lower temps than they used to. So, what happens then is the hear pump is not effective. So, we have
automatic back-up electric hear to supplement the heating system, should the temps get so low that the
heat pump is no longer adequate.”
Along with new product releases, our contacts, also mentioned some of their
company’s most popular products for outfitting and organizing race shops.
“The System 7 and Action Station products are growing significantly in popularity,” noted
Roger Hiscock at System 7 North America, Campbellville, Ontario, Canada. “Our Action Station is an
ideal product for areas of limited space. With its patented lock and fold-away work surface (which
incidentally can support 136 pounds), it has become very popular with the weekend racer for their
trailers, and vans, etc.”
Hiscock noted the following trends in race shop cabinets, fixtures and flooring. “By utilizing the modular concept, our clients
can mix and match the components and accessories to best suit the type of products that they are working
on and their working environment,” he said. “Our customers have fallen head over heels for
the height adjustable bench legs, the infinitely adjustable accessory rails that allow the user to place
the cabinets, tool boards, louver panels, overhead lights and power source to their desired working
height for overall comfort and increased productivity.”
Ricky Sanders at Pitboxes.com, Stockbridge, Georgia, noted the following trends in the race shop
cabinets market. “The main thing we do is mobile stuff, such as the pit boxes, because a lot of
guys are using our boxes around the shop.
“Overall, our boxes are all aluminum
construction,“ he continued. “so, they’re more durable and lighter, which works more
for transporting them, but it also helps the boxes be very versatile around the shop.”
“For guys buying stuff for the workshop, it’s usually our work bench series box that’s
most popular, which is work bench height,” he continued. “So if a guy’s putting a
motor in or out, then he can lay out his parts and such on top of the box and just have everything
there, real handy. You can work right off the top of it and it’s protected with the spray on bead
diamondLife™ Gear’s Gupta noted, “Our
storage and organization products and flooring
products are our strongest sellers. However, our
line of MX moldings gets overlooked, but
actually is one of our strongest lines. Real aluminum and stainless steel moldings that are self adhering not only protect a race shop
from unsightly wall damage, but also add a great appearance.”
Workbenches and portable pit carts are some of Delson Products’ most popular products for race
shops. “Strong sellers are our work benches for the shops and pit carts,” said Delamater.
“We build a wide variety of them and we only advertise for a few because everybody likes to
change. Our most popular would be our work benches because we can make them in any length,
we’ll give you any style or deign and you can pick out your drawer sizes that you want to go with,
you can also pick out your shelving cabinets. You can make it all drawers or all shelving and we can build it to your
Aside from new releases in cabinetry and overall organizational products, our contacts also had some
solid product recommendations to report in race shop safety, flooring, and cleaning items.
“Non-Skid Tape is a popular item for outfitting a race shop,” noted Paul Northrop of ISC
Racers Tape, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. “Non-Skid is the easy way to prevent slipping and
falling with its instant, self-adhesive, anti-slip surface. It makes walking, stepping or climbing safer
Swisstrax’s Nelson also had some feedback about what flooring types sell best for those working on outfitting a race
shop. “The solid surface floor – Diamondtrax and Floortrac – are hands down the
highest in demand,” noted Nelson. “But, our Ribtrax product solves the issues for ease of
maintenance and has the added benefit of durability and design.”
“Any of our automatic floor scrubbers with cylindrical scrub brushes have proven to be strong
performers in the race shop environment,” explained Sara Thurston of Nilfisk-Advance, a
manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment, located in Plymouth, Michigan. “The scrub
brushes are available in various materials ranging from very soft to varying degrees of aggressiveness.
These work well on the painted and finished concrete that is being used as a flooring surface. The
cylindrical brush action also sweeps the fine dust particles as it scrubs the floor surface”.
PIMP MY SHOP
Taking your race shop from dutiful workspace to sleek hub of productivity can take some
hard work, and knowing where to start and what to buy are the keys to achieving your goals. Here are
some valuable tips for anyone planning on purchasing products to effectively organize and outfit a race
“Racers need to consider two factors when planning their race shop workspace: versatility and
mobility,” advised Pitrowski at Lista. “Most teams work in limited areas with limited
budgets; consider combining storage and work surface into one footprint. It will save your floor space and put less pressure on the budget. Also, consider
workspace mobility; you’ll probably want to take your workspace with you, from the shop to the
trailer to the track. Also, cleaning up around the race shop becomes a lot easier and faster when your
equipment is on caster.”
In terms of organization specifics, Gupta at diamondLife™ Gear
offered the following advice. “Figure what equipment needs to hang from a hook and what needs to sit on a shelf, then decide what style of fixture
you like from a functional and aesthetic standpoint: pegboard, slatwall, or gridwall,” he said. “Get rack shelving units for the sitting stuff. Get
hooks for the hanging stuff.
Install, organize, and smile every time you walk into your shop seeing how wonderful it looks with
everything in its place and a place for everything!”
Thurston at Nilifisk-Advance had some specific advice for purchasing race shop cleaning equipment.
“When outfitting your race shop with cleaning equipment, look for equipment that offers new
technologies – such as detergent dispensing that will increase the operators productivity and will
also protect the environment,” she said.
When asked to prioritize the top three things people are looking for when outfitting a race shop, out
contacts offered the following insights.
“One, space. The more space available the better,” said Shure’s Richardson.
“Two, organization. A more organized shop is a more efficient shop. Organization affords
less time looking for parts and more time being productive working on the car. Three, image. A clean,
organized shop with matching color equipment is a great environment to work in. Technicians are more
likely to stay or be recruited into a great shop, and customers and friends will love to
Nelson at Swisstrax cited the top four things he feels business owners should look for when shopping to
outfit their race shops. “Durability, design, functionality, and price point.” He also
stressed the importance of getting flooring
Other contacts agreed that quality flooring is
very important when outfitting a race shop.
“The most important thing in the shop is the floor,” noted Mike Ramy at Precision Epoxy Products in
Douglasville, Georgia. “So you want to make sure you have plenty of square footage and protect the
base as much as possible, and you want it to be as aesthetically eye pleasing as possible. And you want
to do it right the first time, so you’re not always having to redo it every few months. If you use
a cheaper product, you’re going to have to be recoating that floor every six to 12 months.
Valspar Flooring, Minneaplois, Minnesota, has a new flooring solution for race shops this season. “Valspar
Flooring’s new EC-17 UVR Epoxy uses advanced polymer chemistry to deliver a UV-resistant,
color-stable option in the low odor, very low VOC, epoxy-based flooring,” explained Lysa Young.
“While epoxy coatings are an excellent medium for decorative quartz and flake broadcast systems,
over time, UV exposure can give traditional epoxies an amber hue. The discoloration could make the floor appear dirty and not true to its original
color scheme. EC-17, also provides good chemical and wear resistance, making this product ideal for
storefront areas and lighter maintenance areas.”
Describing the durability needed in race shop flooring, Young also mentioned her company’s most popular
product. “The cost effectiveness and improved color stability of Valspar Flooring’s highly
versatile EC-15 UVR Epoxy makes this performance floor coating the epoxy choice for vinyl chip, quartz
broadcast and colored, seamless, floors,” she said. “The chemical resistance and scratch
resistance of our product offers great benefit in race shop maintenance areas. These concrete coatings
retain their color and gloss in these highly demanding environments, enabling facility owners to show
off their shop floor.”
When shopping for the right race shop flooring to
meet your shop’s needs, Young advised, “Use color and patterns in your flooring to differentiate areas and to guide
traffic flow and consider any area you customers see – including vehicle maintenance areas –
as an opportunity to make you company shine. Concrete coatings and seamless flooring systems provide a durable, attractive and
easy-to-maintain solution. Ultimately, determine the demands of each area – chemical exposure,
heavy pedestrian or wheeled traffic, color stability – and choose a flooring product that matches those needs.”
“Don’t be nervous,” said Gupta. “Start slow if it suits
you better. Start with a few fixtures and see how you like them. Rome wasn’t built in one
day. Your shop didn’t become a mess in one day. Oh yeah, and have lots of fun with it.
As Henry Ford said – doing a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”
Lista’s Piotrowski stressed the importance of quality and durability when outfitting a race shop.
“Invest in quality,“ he said. “Your equipment must be durable to endure the rigors of
the racing world. Look at the materials and the construction. Investigate the product warranty.
Second best doesn’t win races.”