Former Race Car Driver Tech Makes The Chassis For Every NASCAR Team

Structure is the largest and most important component of a new supply chain. Previously, each team had a relatively large crew that designed and built the automobile frame or skeleton, which includes a steel cage that protects drivers in the event of collision.

A technique that costs teams $25,000 for a chassis, with each team buying up to seven for the season. Previously, Johncox said, teams spent up to $58,000 on each chassis. He said he expects to sell 350 chassis this year to about 40 individual teams. The company will also supply about $3,000 in other components for the team’s cars.

The hull components were built in Jackson, but assembled at Technique’s Concord, NC facility, across the street from the NASCAR Research and Development Center.

Different teams attach engines to the chassis and casings that make cars look like Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros or Toyota Camrys.

“It all starts with the chassis,” Probst said. “Everything else proves it.”

Johncox, a former Indy race car driver, has long been a supplier of components to various NASCAR teams. In 2006, Technique began providing chassis parts for the Dale Earnhardt team on the NASCAR circuit. He started supplying the Roger Penske team in 2008, and by the time he won the Next-Gen contract, he said he was supplying parts for about 80 percent of NASCAR teams. He said every team that has won the NASCAR Cup since 2007 has had technical parts.

In 2017, Technique was awarded a contract by Ford to make a piece of modified exhaust pipe on 135,000 cops of Ford Explorer SUVs that were susceptible to carbon monoxide leaks inside.

When he won the contract from NASCAR, Technique was also supplying parts to customers including Cummins, Honda, John Deere, Whirlpool, Harley-Davidson and Yamaha.

“When we started this process and put up the quotes, we knew about Bruni and his company. He had a mission-getting mindset,” Probst said. “You can’t help but be impressed by the technology they incorporate into this. Our grade for them so far is A. Ronnie is a very adventurous guy… He does things better and faster than you’d expect.”

Juncox said the company generated record revenue of about $34 million last year and is expected to reach $40 million this year.

Tech specializes in prototyping and low-volume production, CNC cutting, tube bending and laser cutting. Companies generally use technology in the early stages of design and production. Once the pieces are ready for mass production, they go to a larger manufacturer.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech also made medical face masks.

Juncox graduated from Michigan State University in 1992 with a degree in Business Administration. A year before graduating, he established Johncox Technique using a single tool machine purchased from BalTec Maschinenbau AG in Switzerland that allowed him to build prototypes for clients. His first customer was Manchester Stamping.

“I had to customize the BalTec machine to order. Necessity is the mother of invention,” he said.

However, his career as a mechanical worker goes back much further than that. His family owns Mid-American Products Inc. The Jackson native said he began learning how to operate machines when he was 12, when he began working in the store during the holidays.

Johncox, who started buggy racing in college, started his motor racing career around the time he founded Technique. They both went down similar paths. Drive sprint and midget cars in Auto Club USA races and in IndyCar. The car he drove to pass his IndyCar driving test in 1999 now hangs vertically on a wall in the Technique foyer.

He said the driver of his racing career was the success of Indy rider Gordon Jungkook, a distant cousin and a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. Jungkook’s great-grandfather and Jungkook’s great-grandfather were two brothers who emigrated from England together, although their names are spelled differently.

“He was my hero growing up,” Juncox said.

Johncox said that by 2003, although he had yet to win the IndyCar circuit, he had won about 200 sprint and dwarf races. But the race and the machine shop were taking a lot of time, and he needed to choose one or the other.

“My racing career was taking off. I was winning a lot of races. But I was at a critical stage where I had to decide what I wanted to do,” he said. It was a continuation of a growing and successful business.

Another factor, he said, was that he saw fellow drivers injured or killed. He had had a great career but had a wife and kids. The time for risk is over.

Today, Johncox employs 150 people at Technique’s Blackman Township plant, another 50 people at two other Jackson-area plants, and a total of 50 people at smaller plants in the industry, California, where Johncox’s California Hydroforming Co. Inc. Water to form metal parts, the North Carolina process.

Johncox owns a large acreage across the street from the Blackman Township factory and hopes to begin construction on the 70,000-square-foot tech facility later this year, to be completed within 12-16 months.

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