Used NASCAR Parts Grow Into Big Business
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Top NASCAR teams can't let tiring parts ruin their chances to win a race. So what do they do?
When any part reaches what is determined as 25 percent of its projected life, the teams throw it out. For years, NASCAR teams were tossing these parts into landfills, writing them off as the cost of doing business.
That all has now changed thanks to the folks at Roush Yates Racing, who have found a way to get the parts that are being thrown off the car, tag them and re-sell them. In fact, 90 percent of a NASCAR racecar is now recycled in some way.
Believing that the parts could be used by almost any other race car at any level, and knowing that they'd cost less than brand new parts, Roush Yates saw this as a major business. Last month, the race team opened up a 50,000 square foot retail space in Mooresville, North Carolina to sell the parts that the company collects from the top race teams including Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Motorsports and JR Motorsports. When the parts are sold, they split the profit equally.
"Not only are we keeping the parts out of the landfill, but people can buy parts from us for thirty cents on the dollar," said Jon Sands, vice president of marketing for Roush Yates.
Roush Yates says it has between 40 and 60 tons of used, race-ready recycled inventory, which amounts to more than a million parts. It also says it has more than 1,000 teams per month coming to Roush Yates to get recycled parts, including many of the grassroots racers.
"It's like we've become the Home Depot of racing parts," Sands said, mentioning that drivers like Joe Nemechek and David Stremme can often be seen walking through the aisles for their own car parts.
And don't forget about those collectors. Because the parts are tagged, specifically saying what car they came from and when, many fans also buy parts for fun. "We have parts from Junior's cars and Danica's cars," Sands said.
The company started this program last year, but thanks to word of mouth and a new retail store, Roush Yates Performance Products business will be up about 300 percent this year. The Performance Products business has also added more help, growing from 10 employees to about 30 in the past year.
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