Speed, Stars, and Sunshine at the CTech Manufacturing 180!

The one and only CTech Manufacturing 180 NASCAR Xfinity race at Road America was a huge success! The weather couldn’t have possibly been better, and the racing produced on Elkhart Lake’s legendary 4-mile road course kept us at the edge of our seat right up until the end. We were honored to have more than 250 guests attending the event; from employees, to dealers, customers, and more! It was incredible to see everyone in their blue CTech t-shirts all over the facility on race day.

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From the first NASCAR practice session on Friday all the way through the end of the big race, everyone in attendance enjoyed nearly perfect 70-degree weather and plenty of sunshine at the track, breaking free from a particularly hot summer in much of the upper Midwest. The race day itself was a blur of activity, beginning with the ‘CTech Challenge’ go kart race at the CTech Manufacturing Motorplex. The world-class motorplex, which is open for public karting during major events, was reserved for the special race on Saturday and featured 11 pre-selected CTech employees as well as a very special guest driver; Matt Kenseth! Matt draws a crowd everywhere he goes, and the CTech Challenge race was no different. After a great battle during the race itself, our very own Motorsport Product Line Manager Nate Birkenmeier walked away as the victor!

After the CTech Challenge race, NASCAR Xfinity cars hit the track for qualifying. As a bonus, CTech guests also had a CTech-sponsored car to root for! Announced in a last-minute social media post; Kaulig Racing’s #10 Chevy Camaro, driven by AJ Allmendinger, wore a special CTech-laden livery to Road America. Candidly, we thought the #10 was the best-looking car in the paddock! And it was quick too; as A.J. put his CTech Camaro on pole position in Saturday morning’s qualifying session! Starting just behind AJ in the race would be Matt DiBenedetto, who’s been on a very good run lately and was also a favored driver to win. Last years 180-mile race winner Justin Allgaier would start the race in 8th position.

As the pre-race festivities started, Matt Kenseth was officially introduced as the race Grand Marshal and the crowd was treated to a very special U.S. Air Force flyover featuring the 55th Flying Wing’s beautiful RC-135V/W reconnaissance aircraft. Before long, our very own CTech Challenge race winner Nate B. was waving the green flag and the big race was underway! Luckily for the CTech fanbase; AJ’s qualifying speed continued well into the race, picking up a stage 1 victory and staying in contention to win, until he was unfortunately spun after a late-race restart. Meanwhile, Christopher Bell took full advantage of the late restarts and virtually cruised to his first road course victory. He received a congratulatory call from team owner Joe Gibbs while celebrating in pit late, shortly after our very own Mike Greenheck handed over the race trophy that he designed and fabricated in-house at CTech Manufacturing’s headquarters in Weston, Wisconsin. Congrats to Christopher and the Joe Gibbs Racing camp for picking up a hard-fought victory!

Off the racetrack, fans were eager to sign up to win a replica of the extremely unique CTech 180 Trophy Cart, which received plenty of praise and publicity from people in and outside of the NASCAR community. Complete with a beverage fridge inside, the Trophy Cart itself is a specially configured Caster Cart that represents the product quality and finish that every CTech Cart, Cabinet, and Drawer. In the coming days, one lucky fan will be announced as the winner of this unique piece of NASCAR victory lane history! We think the giveaway winner will be just as excited as Christopher Bell’s crew was in the winner’s circle when they found out that the beverage fridge in their new trophy was already fully stocked with Bud Lite!

We have a TON of people to thank for making this weekend possible. The staff at Road America did everything they could to help us get the most out of this incredible opportunity, from the moment we came on as the event title sponsor to the end of the big race and beyond. Our relationship with Road America has been very prosperous through the years, and we appreciate everything they do to help boost our brand. Another special thank you goes out to our Grand Marshal Matt Kenseth, who took time out of his busy schedule to serve as GM; participate in the CTech Challenge race, and mingle with fans all day. Last but not least, we must thank the incredible fans who came to support the race and visit us in either of our displays in the paddock. The 180-mile NASCAR race at Road America is the pinnacle of stock car racing in Wisconsin, and we’re very glad to have the opportunity to support it!   

Matt Kenseth Announced as CTech 180 Grand Marshal

We’re ecstatic to welcome Cambridge, Wisconsin native and championship-winning stock car racer Matt Kenseth to Road America next weekend for the CTech Manufacturing 180 NASCAR Xfinity race! Matt will be heading up responsibilities as Grand Marshal; which he says “…is a big honor to be the Grand Marshal of such a big race. It is also close to my home. It is very nice to be honored with this and I am glad CTECH Manufacturing selected me for this year's event, this means a tremendous amount to me."

Kenseth has enjoyed a storied 21-year NASCAR career; earning the final Winston Cup Series Championship in 2003, winning the Daytona 500 twice, and becoming IROC Champion. The bulk of his achievements were earned primarily while driving for Roush/Fenway racing. After driving part-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 and again for Roush/Fenway in 2018, Matt has since returned to his roots in short-track racing. As we type this update, he’s getting ready to drive in the Howie Lettow 100 at Madison International Speedway, behind the wheel of an ARCA racecar. Just last month, Kenseth also earned his 8th Slinger National title at Slinger Speedway; another local short-track where his roots in stock car racing preside.

Matt will have a very busy schedule at the CTech 180; beginning with a special go-kart race held at the CTech Manufacturing Motorplex located on the infield of Road America’s 4-mile road racing track. The ‘CTech Challenge’, as it will be called, will see wheel-to-wheel karting action between Matt and a few select CTech employees. Bragging rights are very much on the line in this early-morning event before the days’ festivities. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet Matt face-to-face and get his autograph at CTech’s main booth on race day, which will be located near Victory Lane.

Matt Kenseth Autograph Session: 11AM-12PM | Race Day | CTech Main Booth (Near Victory Lane)

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Announcing The 'CTech Manufacturing 180'

Everyone here at CTech Manufacturing is thrilled to announce the CTech Manufacturing 180 NASCAR Xfinity Series race to be held at Road America on August 22-24, 2019! Set in the scenic hills of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the 180-mile road race is a spectacle, and driver favorite, on the NASCAR calendar. Joining the weekend festivities once again will be the fan-favorite Stadium Super Truck series, as well as the SCCA Trans Am and Formula 3 series.

As the official Cart, Cabinet, and Drawer supplier for Road America and title sponsor of the world-class motorplex located on-site, CTech has enjoyed a prosperous relationship with Road America, also known as ‘America’s National Park of Speed’. Those who have had the chance to explore the 640+ acres of park-like land on the Road America grounds will uphold its world-class reputation, and for good measure, considering the phenomenal amenities, food, and activities available for both racers and fans alike.

Previously coined the ‘Johnsonville 180’, this special race has a knack for attracting top-tier road racers. In 2018, popular British endurance racer Katherine Legge joined Johnny Davis Racing, while IndyCar driver Conor Daly joined Rousch Fenway Racing, among others. Hall-Of-Fame NASCAR driver Bill Elliot also came out of retirement to suit up for the 2018 race, creating plenty of buzz around the NASCAR paddock. One thing’s for sure when it comes to this challenging 180-mile race, you never know who is going to come out to play, or who’s going to end up in the winner’s circle!

Being a Wisconsin-based company, we’re extremely excited to welcome the NASCAR world back to beautiful Road America. We would like to invite you to come enjoy the best that stock car racing has to offer in August as we get set to wave the green flag for the first ever CTech Manufacturing 180! Stay tuned for exciting details regarding the race weekend! 

Pit Carts of NASCAR

Pit Carts of NASCAR

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            NASCAR’s ‘Speedweeks’ is in full swing once again; with the CLASH kicking off side-by-side racing action at Daytona in headline-busting fashion. Among the usual noise, speed, glitz, and glamour that comes along with The Great American Race, happenings behind pit wall aren’t going unnoticed. In the past quarter-century, the humble pit cart has largely gone unnoticed in the eyes of the general viewing audience of major motorsports sanctions such as NASCAR, among others. Indeed, pit carts have evolved over the years to resemble something like a mobile headquarters, as opposed to simply a big toolbox.

            In general, NASCAR teams utilize two main pit boxes at the racetrack; one located in the garage, and one deployed on pit lane. The ‘garage pit box’ much more closely resembles something found in the service bay of your local master mechanic, however, it’s packed with technology designed to display race data on built-in TV screens, provide electrical distribution, and even a worktop with specialized compartments to accommodate aerosols, lubrication products, and much more. CTech’s Garage Box, aptly named, has provided a turn-key garage pit box solution for some of the industry’s top competitors, such as Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Stewart – Haas Racing, and many more. The Garage Box is designed to simply roll off the transporter and go to work with minimal setup.

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Pit carts found along pit lane are decidedly larger and more complex than those found in the garage, and for good measure. With all the efforts of competing in a NASCAR race culminating at the drop of the green flag, carts behind pit wall must support “all hands on deck” and more. Even if pit lane is closed, it’s a very busy place. Engineers are crunching numbers and adjusting race strategies, crewmembers are preparing tires, fuel, and equipment for upcoming pit stops, media is swarming, and sponsors and other special guests are looking over the entire operation. If you’re going to have a pit cart behind the wall at a time like that, it has to serve all of those purposes.

The original ULTRA Cart, developed by CTech in the early 2000’s, was the first pit cart of its kind to incorporate an expandable observation deck. With the addition of dedicated workspace for engineers, crew chiefs, and owners, pit carts completed a fundamental leap in evolution. Additional sponsorship representation was also made available to track-facing panels of the cart. Just like that, pit carts were no longer monstrous toolboxes, but well-equipped workstations packed with technology. As the years went on, more technology was packed into the cart chassis, and the use of pit carts as a marketing platform became ever more important.

As the business of motorsport has evolved, pit carts have become larger and more complex than anyone could have imagined, and for good measure. With the age of information transforming racing itself, pit carts are now responsible for not only storing tools and equipment, but also to:

·        Support a growing team of engineers AND their data

·        Provide hospitality to special guests, owners, and sponsors

·        Boost promotional space

·        Distribute liquid, electrical, networking, and pneumatic systems

Indeed, the ‘team’ aspect of racing is more important than ever and having the right equipment to manage those physical and digital assets on pit lane is the difference between finishing in the front of the pack and finishing at the back. CTech’s original ULTRA Cart, the first pit cart with an expandable observation deck, sparked a revolution in pit lane storage. Now, the ULTRA Cart Dual-Deck is here to revolutionize and re-imagine pit lane once again. The single largest, most complex pit cart ever constructed is making its stock car racing debut at the hands of Premium Motorsports; who’s intending to embark on a strong Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series campaign with driver Ross Chastain.

The new ULTRA Cart Dual-Deck (UCDD) makes several fundamental improvements to the original ULTRA Cart design; the first and most obvious is the addition of a second expandable deck. This allows for more engineer workspaces, and more hospitality space for visiting sponsors and guests. More promotional space is also made available across the front of the cart, thanks to easily interchangeable display panels that are attached to the front railing. The second and less obvious design tweak is the orientation of the cart. All pit carts to date have been positioned parallel to the pit wall. The UCDD chassis has been spun 90-degrees to sit perpendicular to pit lane. This has been done for two main reasons:

·        To provide clearer, faster, and safer access between the rear of the pit box and pit wall, and vice-versa, for crewmembers

·        To facilitate space for the additional deck

Mounted on the lower level of the UCDD chassis is a wider array of monitors and TV screens, expanded worktop areas, and more storage than ever before. On previous ULTRA carts, a portion of the cart’s body was inevitably reserved for workstation space. With the new design, the observation deck doesn’t utilize any prospective storage space in the chassis. This new pit cart isn’t just a revision of the original ULTRA cart, it’s a re-imagination of pit lane. It cements the notion that pit carts aren’t just big toolboxes anymore, but well-equipped mobile headquarters. IMSA has already seen this exciting new cart in action, now it’s NASCAR’s turn! Be on the lookout during this weekend’s Daytona events, you wont be able to miss the new cart on pit lane!

THANK YOU ALL!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve from everybody at CTech Manufacturing! 🦃 2018 has been a whirlwind of a year for us, as I’m sure it’s been for nearly everyone else. We’ve taken many big steps as a company, and none of it would have been possible without our incredible customers, dealers, employees and partners! From a major building expansion, to the debut of a brand new product, we’re ecstatic to see what 2019 has in store.

It’s been very inspiring to see our at one time ‘planned’ building expansion slowly come to fruition. The increased capacity, and added equipment it’s brought along with it has already helped us stay multiple steps ahead of our competitors during a major surge of business. As we close out the year, our lead times continue to shrink while our competitors fall further behind. CTech Manufacturing is an industry-leading manufacturer, and we’re better prepared than ever to provide superior service and unbeatable products to new and future customers.

In just two short weeks, we will be unveiling a brand-new product at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, Indiana. Everyone who’s watched a NASCAR race has inevitably seen our Ultra Cart in action along pit lane, including the Monster Energy NASCAR championship-winning Team Penske and Joey Logano’s pit! This year, we’re flexing our innovative engineering and design might by debuting our new Dual-Deck Ultra Cart. This cart will revolutionize the ‘pit lane experience’ for professionals, owners, sponsors, and special guests alike. Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page December 6-8 to catch the first glimpse of it in real life!

You see, we’ve got a lot to be excited about! Luckily, before the big show we’ve got a couple days to reflect on things and let you know that we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!