In the late 1970’s, Jerry Hemmingson started Jerico Performance in Concord, North Carolina. Winchester Capital, which owns Jerico Performance products, has brought on Mike Sangermano, a veteran in the transmission and rear end world, to head up research and development at Jerico and spearhead future growth of the company. The plan, according to Sangermano is to bring Jerico back to the forefront of short track racing as the leading transmission and rear end builder and parts supplier.
Sangermano states that to help with this, Winchester Capital has committed all of the financial resources needed to update machinery and move the company forward. Winchester Capital likes the performance products and racing industry and is looking for other potential acquisitions, according to Sangermano.
To help him with the business, Sangermano has three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson and a dedicated staff. Together they are bringing new life into the Jerico brand by redesigning the company’s headquarters, to planning some big changes to the Jerico business model.
“I think our customers are going to see a pretty big change,” Sangermano told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “There’s a lot of new technology that’s coming out and a lot of new ideas. Part of what I’ve always wanted to do is be at the race track and talk to the racer and see what their needs are and then go back and improve on that. That’s what we’re going to do down here. We’re not going to so much change the product because we have a very good product, but we’re going to tweak it here and there based off of what our customer feedback is.”
Sangermano has been intimately involved with Modified racing in the Northeast. At the Jerico headquarters in Concord in February, Sangermano took a look at the current entry list for the Tour-type Modified division at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Sangermano said, “I think half of those cars are our customers.”
Now Sangermano is hoping to eventually be able to do the same thing in the Super Late Model world by bringing the Jerico Performance name back to what it once was.
“We’re making changes to go towards the Super Late Models,” explained Sangermano. “We’re going to get it more to the point where we can ship today or at the very latest tomorrow. That’s where we really want to concentrate. That’s our customer support.
“We want to have parts on the shelf. One thing that Jerico has always struggled with is parts on the shelf. If you called up and needed something it was three to four weeks. We don’t want someone else to have to deal with it. If you call up and order parts we want to be able to ship it to you today. That’s going to take a little bit of time, but we’ll get there.”
In addition to having product on the shelves ready to be shipped out at a moment’s notice, Sangermano said he has plans to have at-track support, similar to what he has done for customers throughout the Northeast in the past.
Sangermano said he believes he was successful up north because of his at-track customer support and the relationships he was able to make. He’s hoping to be able to do the same thing in Super Late Model racing in addition to Modified racing.
“Up north when I was there I had relationships with probably 95-percent of my customers. I want to have a relationship with my customers so that when they drop something off they know that it’s done right. We’re going to use that same mentality in our Jerico line to grow it in our Super Late Model program.”
Sangermano credited Wilson as being one of the most important pieces to the puzzle for Jerico’s growth and success.
“He’s definitely been a help to us and he wants to see Jerico get back to where Jerico was years ago. He’s a wealth of knowledge. He knows everybody in the industry too.”
Sangermano explained that Wilson typically heads from race shop to race shop in the greater Concord area selling product and helping out with the rear end rentals and transmission rentals that Jerico has always done and will continue to do within the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“We’re starting to work closer with those people and bring that technology down so that we can use that for our short track programs and that’s going to make our guys better,” said Sangermano.
While many things have changed for Sangermano and Jerico Performance since 2017 began, one thing remains the same, and that’s Sangermano’s drive to deliver the best possible transmissions, rear ends and customer service in short track racing.
Racers can expect amazing new products to be unveiled by Jerico Performance Products within the coming months.
For more information on Jerico Performance, visit their website at www.jericoperformance.com, Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jericoperformanceproducts, and give follow them on Twitter @JericoPerform.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com