The Racing Links

Feb. 13, 2006
The passions of winning, racing and machine tools have played important roles in the life of Gene Haas.

Visitors to the Haas Automation home page,, will discover additional important -- and fun -- clues to "The Haas Way" if they explore the link. The passions of winning, racing and machine tools have played important roles in the life of Gene Haas at least since his teenage years.

"When I was going to high school I worked part time in machine shops and in one I used to machine the magnesium wheels of race cars and here I am, 30 years later, still in the machine tool business and still working on race cars." He's referring to his ownership of Haas CNC Racing, a NASCAR based at a 40,000 square-foot facility in Harrisburg, N.C. A direct link:

He is the owner of the No. 66 car in the NEXTEL Cup Series and the 00 car in the Busch Series. He sees a strong business connection. "Being in a competitive, visible sport gives us an image of a dynamic organization that wants to win at all cost. And a lot of our customers use machine tools as suppliers to the racing industry. A good portion of our machines goes to people making such things as custom motorcycles, racecar parts and snowmobiles. We have paying sponsors -- Best Buy and Yellow Freight -- so racing is not a money-losing business. Racing is a male-dominated activity, and most of the participants and fans have something to do with mechanical activities. Actually I think we have a higher 'hit' ratio in machine tools with racing than we would with a general magazine."

See Also...

Rebuilding U.S. Manufacturing:
California Dreaming

Joe Custer, the race team general manager, represents a shared racing passion and yet another business connection. As an owner of two industrial supply businesses, Custer first met Haas at trade organization meetings. In 2001, the two of them, as co-drivers won the championship in an Off-Road Truck Series on the West Coast. Today Custer still owns Machine Tool Supply Inc. and AUTOCRIB Inc. -- in addition to being the resident manager of the race team at Harrisburg. Machine Tool Supply is a distributor of cutting tools. AUTOCRIB produces computer controlled cutting tool-dispensing equipment.

Want to learn more about racing? In addition to starting with, Custer suggests and

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