Contrary to what some may believe, driving a race car is not as simple as hopping into the car and turning left.
“Believe it or not it’s not a bunch of rednecks running around in circles, it is very much more complex than that and there is so much more that goes into it than you know what meets the eye,” said Jackson Boone, a Willie Allen Racing driver.
So, Willie Allen of Willie Allen Racing or W.A.R. opened up a shop in Centerville, TN that takes care of just about every aspect of racing. From suspensions to car design, it takes a lot to get a car ready to race. The former driver himself appreciates it more now that he’s on the other side of things.
“When I was racing full-time in the truck series, I didn’t realize how much went into it behind the scenes just logistically,” said Willie Allen. “We’ve got some really great people that work here at our shop and in the office that definitely help keep all that going. I could not do it by myself without a great staff here.”
A staff comprised of both friends and family. While he’s working on the inside of the car, his wife Kristin is working on the outside.
“We do all the wraps in-house so we can keep everyone looking good and you definitely want to keep your sponsors happy because if you don’t have the proper funding, the shows over, you’re done,” said Allen.
“We’re testing the shocks before we go to the track so we can make adjustments when we get to the track if the car’s not handling like we want it to,” said Allen. “We’ll make adjustments to the shock here so when we get down there, we can change out shocks and save time.”
At the W.A.R. garage, they the time on the front-end to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.
“If I had to put into words everything that it was to get us ready for race day we’d be here for hours, but in a nutshell, there is a lot of work that goes on in the shop,” said Boone.
A shop that wouldn’t exist without the work of Willie Allen. At a time when racing looks to gain more interest, he saw a need to spread the sport locally and prepare the next generation of drivers.
“In this area, there wasn’t really a great place to go to learn racing and so I felt like to continue my love for racing, and be able to help kids grow, and help them develop into great drivers is absolutely a blast,” said Allen. “I’ve really almost enjoyed it as much as driving. It’s crazy, I didn’t think could ever like anything that much but definitely, I found a passion for that.”