In the aftermarket automotive industry, there are so many companies that fit into a specific genre of performance. For example, a company that was born out of drag racing tends to keep its roots close to that form of performance. The same can be said of oval track spawned companies. However, when it comes to Performance Online, they really don’t fit into one specific box.
POL’s Anniversary Cruise and Open House photo gallery here:
Handling products from manufacturers like Wilwood Brakes, FiTech EFI, Bilstein Shocks, Aldan American, Tanks Inc., Currie Enterprises, and Borgeson Steering Boxes … among many others, Performance Online has automotive enthusiasts covered in every application. Street Rods, Street/Strip cars, Road Racers, Asphalt Oval Track racers, Offroad racing, and even open-wheel dirt oval enthusiasts can find something to love about the online distributor.
When most of the country shut down due to the COVID pandemic, the folks at POL understood that car guys would buy a lot of automotive parts and work on their projects. They also knew that sooner or later (once the work was done) these same people would want to drive their projects to show off their latest upgrades and handiwork. Company President/CEO Jim Chadick spearheaded an idea to help keep automotive interest alive during social distancing. Cruising along the roads of Southern California provided an answer to the lockdown syndrome.
Once the restrictions began to loosen, POL Inc. added to the cruises and began to have a socially distanced car show with several local manufacturers invited to display their wares and discuss technical aspects of upgrades. The car driving public has been showing up in force and as a result, the POL cruises appear to be a permanent part of the company’s social calendar.
How POL Became A Sprint Car Sponsor
Chadick attended a Sprint Car race and observed one of the faster cars and the graphic scheme on Alexander’s famed Silver Bullet sprinter. After asking why there was nothing on the hood, car owner Steve Alexander explained they had recently lost their main sponsor due to the economic slowdown under the pandemic shutdown. One thing led to another and a short time later the POL logo was on the hood of the silver #1 USAC/CRA sprint car piloted by Damion “The Demon” Gardner.
While the CRA association has roots back to 1946, under the USAC/CRA banner the association has been operating under the USAC sanctioning body since 2004. Gardner won the USAC/CRA Championship in 2005 driving for legendary car owner Ron Chaffin. Wanting to run the National Sprint Car series, Gardner moved to Indiana where he drove Sprint Cars nationally full-time from 2006 through 2012.
Gardner returned to California in 2013 driving for Steve Alexander in the USAC/CRA series. Since returning, Gardner has won every USAC/CRA season championship. That’s seven-in-a-row, eight total. Putting it in perspective, in the 15 years the series has been operating under the USAC banner, Gardner has won the title eight of those years and was racing in the National series for seven years. Did we mention that he also won the 2008 Chili Bowl Championship? There is little doubt that Gardner is a future Sprint Car Hall-of-Famer, so it is a good partnership for Performance Online. “We gotta get people out to watch these guys race,” said Chadick. “You go one time and you’re hooked!”
The Cruise And Car Show
Conveniently, POL’s cruise ends at their facility in Corona, California, where several vendors set up booths to talk with enthusiasts and answer technical questions or provide assistance where needed. We stopped by and checked in with Mike Wahl of FiTech EFI, Michael Harding of Champion Cooling, Jason Oberhelman of Aces Fuel Injection, and Alexis Rowley of Aldan American – all of whom agreed the turnout was incredible. “It’s obvious that people are ready to get outside, be with other car people, and drive their cars,” says Harding.
We wandered around the facility, checking out the wide variety of cars and trucks that made the trip, and enjoyed being around a lot of people again. The atmosphere of all these people with the same passions was something that could only be compared to the original Woodstock concert – except this was one day of fun in the sun.
Billed as the One-Year Anniversary Cruise and POL open house, enthusiasts were welcomed to visit with industry leaders from several different manufacturers. The Restomods “RM14” 1969 Ford F100 Give-Away Truck was available for preview. To find out more on how to win the Restomods RM14 truck plus $20,000, click here.
Damion Gardner and the Alexander race team were hosting a “meet and greet” with the driver at the event, and Mexican food was available by Dos Mexicanos Grill. Those wanting something a little more Italian could get Wicked Pizza Pies and with the 80-degree weather there was an Ice Cream Truck on hand.
Check-in with POL Inc. for future events and to see what performance products they have to offer for your project by clicking here.