SPEED NEWS June 2016

Speed News Magazine - The Official Magazine of the National Auto Sport Association

Issue link: http://mag.speednewsmag.com/i/686241

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Page 51 of 87

ON TIME, ONLINE AND ON-SITE TOM MARTIN AND THE WINDING ROAD RACING TEAM ARE THE GO-TO GUYS ON AND OFF THE TRACK D river Corey Rueth walked into the paddock and spotted the CEO of Winding Road Racing washing Rueth's MX-5 Cup car. Rueth tried to shoo Tom Martin away from finishing the job, but Martin wasn't having it. The car needed to be washed regardless. "He's a real humble guy who's not above anything," said Rueth, who is a customer, racer and head of driver development for Winding Road Racing's MX-5 Cup team. "And I think that's one of the secrets to his (company's) success." The no-job-is-too-small philosophy is one of the reasons the Austin, Texas,- based Winding Road Racing has become a household name in grassroots motorsports. Need a new helmet? They've got it. Want to watch some racing videos or ask a setup question on a forum board? They've got that covered, too. Initially Martin didn't set out to create the Swiss Army knife of motorsports, but the Great Recession made him rethink his publishing company. Today's racers are better off for it. Anyone who races in NASA probably has a Winding Road Racing decal on the side of his or her car, using some of those contingency bucks to buy racing products from the company, trackside or online. The company has grown to offer an arrive-and-drive program and a full-service race shop based in its Austin headquarters. To complement its online store, Winding Road Racing opened a retail operation in Austin and in Fountain Valley, Calif., with another store planned for Sonoma, Calif., this summer. At the company's core are a monthly digital magazine and a large social media presence, feeding enthusiasts' demand for news, videos and camaraderie. Winding Road Racing's YouTube Channel has more than 272,000 subscribers and the company has another 65,000 combined followers on Facebook and Twitter alone. "We didn't do a giant study of the industry and figure out our optimal strategy," Martin said. "It was because we were getting more and more into racing and just loved it, and thought, 'Man this is something that people can be passionate about. It's something we're passionate about.' "Why don't we combine those two things and we'll get together with customers and try to give them what we think they would really enjoy, because we've had the personal experience of going up the learning curve in racing." Martin's philosophy is that Winding Road Racing should appeal to newcomers and professionals alike. It's also why the company supports all 52

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