mentors of my life to date!

This week I have been thinking a lot about mentors and people who have affected my life in a positive way. 

               As many know my dad is without a doubt my biggest mentor in life and someone I have looked up to since I was a kid so I will stay brief on him, but he deserves to be mentioned first!  Growing up my dad used to work from sun up to sun down and there were many days as a kid that I wouldn’t even see him at all because he would be gone before I woke up and wasn’t home until I was already asleep.  All this changed once I started racing.  We spent a lot of time behind a windshield as we cris-crossed the country.  My dad instilled from me at the beginning something that I will take to the grave and that is that hard work does not go unnoticed and that if you work hard enough you can do or have anything.  I am now lucky enough to have my dad in my corner supporting my business adventure and although we are not traveling the country, I still get to see my dad every single day at work!

               Obviously almost everyone thinks of a parent as a mentor, but what about other people who have made a positive impact on my life?

               When living the life as a racer I was lucky enough to work with some amazing people along the way and I would like those people to get the recognition that they may or may not know affected me.  Three people come to mind, some who still talk to me and some who won’t even make eye contact with me!

               First would be the man with one of the oddest nicknames out there, Flea Ruzic since most people don’t know his real name.  Flea was my crew chief for quite some time and we won a ton of races in a short time, something like 50 races in 2 years.  He was the first person who let me get behind a tig torch and try to teach me to weld as well.  Where Flea excelled with me was getting every last bit of effort out of my skills, we connected on a level that not many people do.  We were also had one of the most brutal relationships in which, if I messed up, he was just waiting to bust my balls on it.   The same went for if he may have given me less than subpar advice back.  We also had a relationship in which we could almost communicate without even speaking and were always on the same wave length.  Flea is one of the worlds best fabricators and has a successful business very similar to mine in which he builds chassis called Rippers.  Flea and I speak almost weekly about anything you could imagine and still have a very great relationship.  Besides my father, Flea is one of the more influential people in my life.

Flea and I after our 4th consecutive win at Angell Park Speedway. I think its a record that still stands today!

               Another mentor I was very fortunate in having was Rusty Kunz.  Rusty is one of the best crew chiefs in the nation for midgets having won some of the biggest races in the USA.  Although Rusty and I did not have nearly as close of a bond, he taught me almost everything I know about how a car handles and what to do to make it better.  I really soaked up as much as I could from Rusty and I am sure I never have communicated to him the knowledge that he instilled in me from car maintenance to setups he always gave it 100 percent and provides every driver he works with the best car to win with and its clear when you see his racing resume.  I can credit a lot of my success to the knowledge that Rusty taught me over the years.

Here is Rusty Kunz along with his grandson Brayton Lynch with my dad and I!

               Remember how I said some of the mentor’s won’t even look at me anymore? That leads me to my next person I would like to mention and that is Rick England.  Rick worked with me for several years and unfortunately, we had a falling out that just couldn’t be repaired.  If there is ever a project out there in the world that someone can not complete because they lack the knowledge or skills you should call Rick.  He is by far one of the greatest fabricators in America.  He taught me how to run our first South Bend lathe, how to cut my first chips on a Bridgeport Mill, and how to work with sheet metal.  I know for a fact since our falling out I was never able to really let him know how much he taught me, but I know for a fact the skills I learned from him our priceless.

In this picture is Tim England, Colin Jones, Flea Ruzic, myself, my dad, and Rick England after a win as well!

               There are several other people who have done so much for me along the way as well.  Jeff Palazzolo spent countless hours of his own time teaching me how to tig weld until I figured it out and is always my go to source for information on subjects, I am clueless about.

               Barrett Baebler was one of my college professors who I more recently circled back to thanking for his positive affect on me.  Webster University offers a entrepreneurship certificate and he was in charge of the program at the time and the classes I was able to take with him pushed me in the right direction giving a true education on it versus a hard knock approach to it the other mentors in my life may have given.

               So, what’s the long and short of this post?  I would say I was lucky in the resources that I have been given and am grateful for them, but for anyone reading this post I would say there is a mentor out there for everyone.  Believe it or not people are almost always willing to help others and most the time these people actually get satisfaction out of knowing someone is interested in some of their knowledge.  Hopefully I didn’t get to far down the rabbit hole and lose any readers, but I think it is very safe to say that if you surround yourself with good people you will see good results.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help in life, there is always someone out there willing to help.

               Drop a comment below and share your thoughts or stories on one of your mentors or role models, I am sure people would love to hear positive results from others on this topic as well!

               Until next time….

Introduction on me!

Well hello to the world of blogging!  For those of you reading this who don’t know who I am here is a little background on myself!

In a past life, I drove racecars across the USA, New Zealand, and Canada in Sprint Cars and Midgets for 15 years.

I was lucky enough to enjoy success at many levels, winning championships in several classes and series.  In 2019, I was forced into retirement at 31 years old.

While airing a tire, a wheel weld failed, splitting from the wheel with my hand inside. It did a number on my wrist, breaking my radius and ulna bones in several places.  I was bolted back together with two plates, 14 screws, and 50 staples with hopes of a quick recovery. Unfortunately, I was not so lucky. Over two years since the incident and after two additional surgeries aimed to improve my range of motion and grip strength, I continue to have lasting complications with my wrist.

When reality had set in that I would never get to drive a race car again at the level I was accustomed to, and my entrepreneurial gene came in effect. At the time of my accident, I had already dabbled in building parts for our own race team and decided to try and make it into a business. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up around my biggest mentor and closest friend, my dad, owner of one of the largest commercial landscaping businesses in the St. Louis area. 

I purchased my first CNC mill, a Haas VF2YT, and BP Fab was born. I started developing race car parts for the dirt track community, and have been supplying parts across the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

These quality American-made parts have won races on some of the best teams across the world.  NASCAR drivers Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, and Alex Bowman, and notable USAC and Powri stars like Chad Boat son of Billy Boat, Michael Pickens and Flea Ruzic (Team Ripper) have earned victories with BP Fabrication parts bolted on their cars. And this is just the beginning!

What I lost in driving cars I found in launching a business. The excitement, pressure and adrenaline rush of creating something from nothing has pushed me to want to become the best person I can in my business and personal life.  I hope to share my journey with you through my blog!

I am lucky enough to be married to my amazing wife Cassie for 5 years now. She has treated me to our two amazing children, Josephine (3) and Charles (1), who are the two coolest kids in the world if you ask me. We call St. Louis, MO home where we are avid fans and loyal season ticket holders of the 2019 Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues.

So if you are interested in watching the growth of my business, personal success, and just funny stories I would love to see you follow along for some excitement!

With all the loved ones!