With the recent announcement and introduction of the LFR Chassis to the racing world there has been an abundance of questions and emails. We sat down with Rob Fuller, owner of LFR Chassis, to get the complete story on the merger with Steve Leavitt and goals for the company.
Q: The word is out now on the LFR Chassis. This is a huge undertaking. How did this come about and why?
A: It is a big undertaking for sure. I have a great relationship with Billy and all the guys at Troyer. I have really challenged those guys with creating custom parts and pieces for my cars so the thought of doing something like this has been there for years. It’s really no surprise to Billy. I offered to get involved with the asphalt side of Troyer back in May and was honest with Billy in telling him I planned on doing the Troyer asphalt side of things or doing this deal. I really want to design and build a chassis that is on the cutting edge of technology. I think the timing is right and the racers are ready for it. I worked closely with Steve on his late Model chassis and enjoyed every minute of it. The end result was a late model that was heads and shoulders above the rest and the performance was there. The partnership with Steve will be a win-win for both of us – Steve has tremendous talent but is not getting any younger! This provides him some security and me the opportunity to develop chassis so it’s a great opportunity for both of us.
Q: Back to Troyer. You and your family have been running under the Troyer banner for years. How do you think this will affect that relationship?
A: I have a ton of respect for Billy. Like I said it was my first choice to get involved with his product. That being said I really don’t expect much to change. Billy has a lot going on in other areas. He has a niche with the name and his huge customer base so I’m sure the effect on his business will be minimal. I don’t expect building 30 chassis a year for sure. My focus will be the guys who want something different and a more custom part. I want a smaller clientele with higher customer service.
Q: The modified chassis has changed very little over the past 20 years. Why do you think that is and what will your chassis offer that the others won’t?
A: You’re correct. Honestly, I don’t know why it hasn’t changed at all over that much time. It is difficult for a team to test different things while fighting for a championship. For example, it will be impossible to think I will sell anyone in the top 10 for points a chassis before I can prove it out. My cars have always been different as I said earlier which makes it tough for me to focus on results while I am collecting data. I’m fully aware of the challenges ahead and actively look forward to them. Six years ago we started a spring line when everyone said it wouldn’t sell because a spring is a spring. Look at the product now; we are the winningest spring line the country. My chassis will win races and sell in due time. A chassis isn’t a chassis and I’m out to prove that.
Q: So what will make them different? Everyone knows 5’s and 2’s in a Troyer car will win race.
A: That’s where I disagree. Yes, 5’s and 2’s with Pro Shocks will get you close but I want to win. If you look at the top 5 cars in every division of modifieds they are all different. If the top 3 guys tell you they are on 5’s and 2’s with a 4/6 and 5 shock package they are lying. Everyone up there is running a different bar, shock or spring package. Spindles are big too. I want my customers to order my spindles for their chassis. When they buy my chassis and move points, get different spindles and so forth that’s a sign that I need to go to work. I want a chassis that the customer is happy with when it leaves my shop – that’s my goal.
Q: So we have to ask. Any cars sold yet on the NASCAR Modified side of things
A: Yes there are three sold. The customers are fully aware of where I stand on all things are patiently waiting. The excitement is great for sure. I’m looking forward to the day when I can leave the helmet bag at home and go to the track to service customers.
Q: So when can we expect to see the first chassis? Will you race it in Daytona?
A: Probably not. I have two brand new Troyer cars and will run those until the LFR chassis #1 is complete. I’m hoping to have it by Thompson, but if not, we will see it at Loudon. We have three late models sold so that is our focus now. They will race in Smyrna so we will get those built first. From there, we will be manufacturing 100 spindles, 200 A frames and all the components for 20 complete cars. I don’t want to get ahead of myself by any means. I want to get a car in Monday for a clip and ship it out the next day. That is what the racer wants and needs these days.
Q: What is the location of LFR Chassis? Will LFR operate out of Massachusetts or North Carolina?
A: We’re hoping both! Right now we will be in North Carolina for at least another year. Steve Jr. and Brian will be there while we are constructing a Massachusetts facility. We will have a 25,000 building by the end of 2014. At that point we will move jigs and fixtures up here and look at keeping a N.C. facility to service Pass South and Southern Mod guys. I want Steve to work until he doesn’t want to work anymore! From that point we will assess the demographics and do what makes the most sense. In a perfect world, both facilities will be capable of remaining open. I have great employees in both locations so that’s a huge plus for sure.
Q: Thank you for your time, Rob. I’m assuming there will be a website and catalog in the future?
A: Absolutely. My team is constructing a website and a full catalog should be arriving mid-2014.
Q: Last Question – What are the end goals for LFR Chassis?
A: It’s really simple. I want the racer to know he has what he wants and is not racing what everyone else is. If he tells me he wants to move pivot points and coil bind, no problem we can do that. If he wants to run custom spindles at Bristol, sure, we can do that too. It’s like what I set out for goals on the Draco Spring line. My customer isn’t looking to save 10.00 on a spring. My customer wants to win races. I don’t want half of the field of cars; I want half of the top 10 cars. I’ve always been a quality guy, not quantity.