While the idea of racing ‘clean’ as well as ‘fair’ has long been a part of the controversy that has surrounded the sport of auto racing, the name of the game for most who want to win is doing what it takes – even if it means competing on the ‘dark side’. Often referred to by most motorsports analysts as working in the ‘gray’ areas, both weekend warriors and long time race fans know that those who are in the know of what it takes to become more inventive or ‘innovative’ with their racing are those who will continue to be in victory lane.
RacingJunk.com recently stepped Behind The Wheel with a company who may be operating on the so-called hush/hush side of racing, but are also using their knowledge and experience to help those passionate and talented drivers out there stay on top of the podium.
ATTL (Ain’t This The Life) Products, Inc. was established in the 1890’s to manufacture soap for industrial applications. Once known as The Sherman and Allen Soap Co. much of the production of the company went to the silk and lace textile business located in New England. In the 1930’s a distribution warehouse was set up in Thomasville, NC to service the southern textile business. While the textile side of the business was booming under the name Grestco Manufacturing, Inc. for many years, when the US textile business began to take a hit the same can be said for Grestco Manufacturing as well as its lead chemist, Randy Ransom.
“We were receiving two to three bankruptcy notices a week for several months,” said Ransom.
As the brightest days seemed to be behind them, Ransom was soon introduced to the world of motorsports. “I had a customer, who was aware of my immense knowledge in chemistry, test my knowledge by requesting that I come up with a chemical to not only extend the life of his racing tires, but to aid in his on track performance,” said Ransom. “It’s funny because I had no experience or knowledge about racing and wasn’t even sure where to start – at first.”
After several bouts of trial and error, Ransom would soon find that he would not only come up with the ‘next best tire enhancer’, but become the Heisenberg of the motorsports world.
“I guess I felt like Heisenberg because I had to do a lot of sneaking around at first,” said Ransom. “Although it felt good to watch my invention helping others succeed, there was a bit of uneasiness in sneaking around to meet various new clientele.”
While there was a bit of the Breaking Bad (minus the methamphetamine) business going on, it wasn’t long before a company that almost saw it’s own bankruptcy notice in hand, found success in our favorite industry thanks to the creation of products like Black Sand, Blue Tire Wash, BTGP-Red and GK1-Blue.
Today, both Ransom and his lead salesman, Chris Harris, are seeing more success from this company than ever. “I actually used to work for Ransom’s competitor, who primarily sold similar tire bonding chemicals, but not the kind that not only help the car find more traction on the track, but have competitors tires lasting longer than I can ever remember and in a very safe way,” said Harris.
Although Ransom’s chemistry knowledge brought this company back into the forefront of success, every Heisenberg needs someone who can push the product, and this is where Harris’ extensive knowledge of the motorsports world would also be ATTL’s saving grace.
“I have a degree in automotive technology from Forsyth Technical Community College and have had extensive history working with both small and large motorsports teams from asphalt and dirt late model all the way to NASCAR,” said Harris. “It’s funny because I actually saw most teams using every innovative edge that they could to succeed, which may be how I ended up working with another similar manufacturer of tire boost chemicals after my time working directly with teams within the sport,” said Harris.
While ATTL may not have started on the up-and-up, most of this company’s business today aids kart drivers who don’t need to stay within the gray area. “Our primary business lies within the dirt track kart world,” said Ransom. “In fact, we have developed our own dirt track team this season who competes at tracks throughout the region.”
Competing with successful regional kart drivers like Jacques Newsom, Jack Smith, and Hunter Smith, this team is quickly leaving their mark. “We may not win every race, but the performances of each driver that we work with continues to improve and all of our drivers can’t help but thank us for finding them more bite on the track while helping their tires last longer and perform better than they could have ever imagined,” said Harris.
Not only has ATTL found success in the hidden world of motorsports tire treatments, this successful company has also found a way to aid struggling dirt tracks with a well known problem, dust.
“We now have three popular products that essentially suppress dust,” said Ransom. “Whether for a gravel or dirt parking lot or for a dirt track, ATTL’s Track Tac DeDuster 1 and 2 and Track Tac SP3 are essentially water based glue and conditioning substances that not only bind the dust to the surface, but help hold moisture and stay wet once the surface dries out. In fact, these products will give any dirt track a lot of grip and allow it to hold together throughout a full race event.”
While there have been similar products in the past, Ransom admits that his track treatment is the only one on the market today that is biodegradable. “I actually had a dirt track owner who used these products on his track and after a fairly rainy few weeks he called me up and said I have something on my track that I have never seen before – mushrooms,” said Ransom. “Perfect proof that these are biodegradable, life sustaining products.”
As this somewhat ‘on the dark side’ company continues to see success in the motorsports world, all we ask our weekend warriors now is…who is really cheating anyway?
We at RacingJunk.com wish ATTL Products, Inc. continued success and hope to hear further success stories (as we are able to) far into the future. For more information about ATTL and Track Tac visit tracktac.com.