Local business provides for racing’s best
Car parts used in NASCAR must be durable enough to withstand speeds over 200 miles per hour, and one Denver business makes them strong enough for the best drivers.
Of all NASCAR-sanctioned teams, about 85 percent are supplied with steel, aluminum and plastic parts by Denver’s own Race City Steel, 3400 Denver Drive.
Denver resident and former NASCAR driver Damon Lusk started the company in March 2007 with his family. His wife, Robin, siblings Derek and Danielle, and father, Doug, all work at Race City Steel.
Lusk, 34, drove for Mooresville-based Tommy Baldwin Racing, BACE Motorsports and Premier Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide and Truck series, as well as the ARCA Racing Series, between 1999 and 2007.
“We were preparing for the ARCA race at Daytona in 2007 and decided we should start a steel company because there was nowhere to get metal,” Lusk said. “We made some cards and handed them out to everyone we knew in the racing industry. We came back (from Daytona) and had like 15 orders already before we even had anything in stock.”
The company operates out of a 14,000-square foot building on Denver Drive but is constructing a new, 22,000-square foot facility at 4052 N.C. 16 N., which they hope to move into by the fall.
Lusk started the company in Denver for its central location to area cities and towns.
“With Denver, we thought we could connect to places like Hickory, Lincolnton, Mooresville and Charlotte,” Lusk said. “There are just race teams littered all over this area.”
They’ll provide same-day deliveries to any business within a 50-mile radius of Denver that places an order before 9 a.m.
“The race teams get home from the track Sunday and on Monday at 10 a.m., they realize that they have to have stuff on the car and built by Wednesday at lunchtime,” Lusk said. “Our niche is that when they call us, we take it immediately.”
Lusk’s company is also a popular choice among NASCAR teams because its parts have already been cleared for use in NASCAR-sanctioned events.
“If you call a regular steel shop, that material might not be cleared by NASCAR,” Lusk said. “With us, it’s ready to go.”
Race City Steel provides everything a racecar might need, Lusk said, including sheet metal, interior panels and spoilers. Area customers include Mooresville’s Penske Racing, Germain Racing, Brad Keselowski Racing and Huntersville’s Joe Gibbs Racing.
One of Race City Steel’s most frequent customers – Eddie Sharp Racing – resides just down the street at 3570 Denver Drive. The team fields two cars in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“For us, they’re here local and we’re on the same road, so it’s very convenient for us to be able to utilize,” said Kyle O’Bryan, parts manager for Eddie Sharp Racing. “Anything from steel and plastic to the splitters we run on the trucks. They have it all.”
But Race City Steel doesn’t just provide parts to stock car teams. They also service IndyCars, late models, sprint cars and anyone just looking for a piece of steel.
“There was nowhere to go in Denver for the regular guy looking to fix his lawn mower,” Lusk said. “We wanted to provide that.”
Damon Lusk said the new facility on N.C. 16 should be ready by September or October 2012 and will include a drive-thru delivery and pickup service.
For more information, go to www.rcssteelandaluminum.com or call 704-489-2101.