Kyle Busch is adding another title in his long-displayed devotion to short track racing. Justin Oertel, who purchased Hamke Race Cars last year, and Kyle Busch, have combined forces to build Late Models and Stock Car chassis’ under the brand of Rowdy Manufacturing, a product Kyle created several years ago.
Busch made the announcement on “The Morning Bullring, Speed51's Monday Morning Short Track Talk Show, discussing the new partnership with hosts Bob Dillner and Casey LaJoie.
“Hamke Race Cars was bought out about three or four months ago,” Busch explained. “Justin came over to me at Rowdy Manufacturing and we’ve talked about the opportunity of joining forces.
“It’s coming together; it’s all but signed. Everything’s going to be worked out where it’s a relationship between Hamke Race Cars and Rowdy Manufacturing, which is the chassis building business at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Rowdy Manufacturing and Hamke Race Car Parts are going to be joining forces and going to be one.”
“In order to keep the Truck Series side of the business consistent not only for KBM, but for the customers that we already have purchasing our truck chassis, the operation of making truck chassis will remain in our building with Rudy (Fugle) being a huge part of watching over that,” Busch clarified. “The needs for Super Late Models, ARCA, K&N, Xfinity, Cup, all of that will be at the new location once we get that up and going.”
“We are excited to work with Kyle and develop this chassis with a lot of smart minds at Rowdy Manufacturing,” Oertel added. “We think it’s the best of both worlds, not just for us, but for the entire Late Model world. In addition to that, we will be putting a lot of effort into our ARCA and K&N chassis program as well. We are hoping to take the market by storm in 2019.”
The partnership comes at a perfect time for Busch, as he had no plans in 2019 to field a full-time Super Late Model program. Now, he can share some of his prior Super Late Model success with the racing community.
“When Cody [Glick, crew chief] left and I didn’t necessarily have any drivers lined up for next year, it was like, ‘Ok, I don’t have a Late Model team anymore,’” Busch said. “I got all the cars and everything’s still sitting there. Myself and Rudy were just going to have some fun and go race a few Late Model races this year. I will not have a Kyle Busch Motorsports (Super Late Model) team for the foreseeable future. It could happen in three months if all of a sudden, somebody came to me with money and I could find a crew chief to do the deal. It’s just not in the cards right now.
“With all this happening, I figured maybe this is the time (to allow people to purchase Busch’s chassis product, which had not been public prior to now),” Busch added. “It shows we can let these things out of the bag (with chassis information). They’re (chassis’) a tried and true product. They’re fast.”
Preston Peltier will race a Rowdy Manufacturing car in the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park (CA) on February 2 as a debut for the new organization.
While there will not be a full-time KBM Super Late Model team, his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series team will continue to compete and remain in the current KBM facility while Busch searches for additional space for the new chassis partnership.
“We’ve got the Truck Series operation at Kyle Busch Motorsports,” Busch clarified. “That’s the biggest thing we focus on and what we worry about. Just to keep the closeness of that to us and having Rudy be a huge part of that. We’re going to leave that service for our trucks in our building. The needs for Super Late Models, ARCA, K&N, Xfinity, Cup, all of that will be at the new location once we get that up and going.”
Busch hopes the success from his years of experience running his own team will translate to success for those who drive these cars.
“The success that we’ve had with the names of Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Noah Gragson, William Byron, Darrell Wallace, Jr, all those guys have made us a successful organization and a successful race team,” said Busch. “It’s just been a huge, ongoing learning curve, but it’s been fun at the same time. I just try to dabble in different things.
“The chassis business for us was always something we had at Kyle Busch Motorsports in the room behind the main showroom,” Busch added. “It never was necessarily a huge moneymaker. I never took it to that next level of a professional chassis-building business. Now that we’ve formed a partnership with him (Justin), it will allow his group to take a quality product that we’ve already established at Rowdy Manufacturing and allow it to continue to grow.”
Rowdy Manufacturing cars have won the last two Snowball Derby races at Five Flags Speedway (FL), with Kyle and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series winner Noah Gragson behind the wheel. Busch also won the Winter Showdown in 2018 in one of his Super Late Models, while Raphael Lessard was victorious at the U.S. Short Track Nationals last year at the Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) and the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway (IN).
Fans who missed the interview can watch an on-demand replay of “The Morning Bullring” by clicking here. Along with the full interview with Kyle Busch, other guests on the show included Chili Bowl winner Christopher Bell, Carolina Clash 2018 Champion Ross Bailes, 2018 Money in the Bank winner Brian Campbell and 2018 Kulwicki Driver Development Champion Brett Yackey.
The Morning Bullring is a Short Track Racing talk show for the public to watch for free on Speed51 and also its Facebook page on Monday’s from 7:30 - 9:30am. For more information on the Morning Bullring, please contact Brandon Paul by emailing [email protected]
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com