From the President's Desk
I received a phone call recently from a local man who has a few ties to AMSOIL. His name is Dave Esse. Dave is a high school hockey coach from a small community in the region and has had tremendous influence on many young men throughout the years. As a coach he is quite successful. Several of his players have gone on to have productive careers in the National Hockey League. Dave is also a local stock car driver. His success in that arena is not quite as noteworthy, but even with the small budget he has to work with he does manage to find the winner’s circle from time to time.
Dave’s mission was to meet me and express his appreciation for the support the company provides locally in a couple of areas. That local support is minimal compared to our large investment in national advertising, but it is significant nonetheless. When we met for lunch, Dave thanked me for securing the naming rights to the new AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota and AMSOIL Speedway in Superior, Wisconsin. Both venues have considerable impact on the region’s social and economic well-being, and as a hockey coach and stock car driver Dave made it clear how important he thought our involvement was.
The conversation eventually turned to AMSOIL products. Dave first became aware of them many years ago. His friend’s father had been an extremely successful stock car driver and team owner in the Midwest, and Dave and his friend spent many hours at the track. They would wander the pits, observing the mechanics and picking up tips where they could. Dave recalled the issues all the teams had with gears running hot. The mechanics would have to wear gloves or use old towels or rags just to touch the overheated gearboxes. That was not the case in his friend’s father’s pit. There was no need for protection. The gearbox was not hot to the touch. AMSOIL gear lube was the difference, his friend’s father explained, and Dave gained an education on synthetic oil.
Dave went on to describe a more recent experience. He attended a NASCAR race, and through his hockey connections was invited as a guest to the pit area. There, he had the opportunity to meet with the crew of a successful NASCAR team. Dave asked about the lubricants NASCAR teams used, and the crew admitted that “brown-bagging” tactics were not uncommon. Despite commitments to use particular products, teams would conceal their oils of choice in nondescript packaging and add the fluids to the race vehicles behind closed doors. Regardless of what it said on the container, the crew explained, it was not uncommon to find AMSOIL in the container.
Neither of these stories is new to me. Three-time Indy 500 winner and racing legend Bobby Unser had the exact same experiences over 35 years ago. Bobby first discovered AMSOIL products when he contacted me with a problem. The rear end in his Pike’s Peak car was giving out after every run. It was an old unit and parts were impossible to find. Bobby’s crew was forced to fabricate parts continuously. Ultimately, I sent him some AMSOIL gear lube, and the rear end quit breaking. He could now run the entire season with absolutely no need for repairs. From that point on Bobby always spoke about how his crew could touch a gearbox fresh off the track because the gears ran so much cooler with AMSOIL.
And Bobby, too, was guilty of brown-bagging. He tells the story of a race-day preparation when he was approached by a corporate big-shot. The guy was irate because he had seen Bobby’s crew putting AMSOIL in the vehicle. Under contract, Bobby was committed to another product. When the big-shot was done blowing off steam, Bobby looked him straight in the eye. “Look,” he said, “I get paid to win races, so stay out of my business. This is how I win races.” The central theme to all of this is product quality. From the start, those who know lubrication have turned to AMSOIL. We have earned our reputation through performance, not slick advertising or evasive marketing campaigns. AMSOIL lubricants truly can make a difference. Bobby Unser and countless others discovered that many years ago.