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How PFC Brakes set NASCAR standards

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From the inception of its CarbonMetallic brake pads in 1984 and leading legendary team owner Rick Hendrick to his first win as a NASCAR Cup Series win with Geoff Bodine, PFC Brakes has become the industry standard in its field.

The company is built on a philosophy of NO COMPROMISES and that commitment continues today at PFC Brakes.

Among the NASCAR teams that choose to use PFC Brakes is Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) – which won the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series title with Tony Stewart and 2014 crown with Kevin Harvick – as well as GMS Racing, which took the NASCAR Truck crown in 2016 with Johnny Sauter.

Greg Zipadelli, VP of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing, uses PFC brake pads on all the team’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series prepared in his Kannapolis, NC shop. Zipadelli says the variety of PFC products has been crucial to helping SHR achieve at the highest level.

“Different drivers have different driving styles and you have to adapt and prepare the car for that,” he says, “and one of the things you have to do is set the braking system up that best suits that driver.

“PFC makes a bunch of different compounds to match the driver and each race track.

We have to adjust to each of our drivers’ styles of driving and we are able to adapt as well with the pads we use on our brakes.”

NASCAR also has a rule that each team must submit the braking system to be used over the weekend with each team listing the brake systems and calipers to be used. This limits what teams are allowed to do with the braking system, further increasing the importance of flexibility of PFC products. Tailoring the brakes to the driver gives teams an opportunity to customize without compromise.

“From a qualifying perspective you want as light a system as possible in the car,” added Zipadelli. “We are allowed to change the pads but not much else on the car so performance is a must.

“The pad also must release ok and PFC does a good job of that. Some brake pads leave a lot of buildup that can cause problems, but the PFC pads are good and clean.”

Johnny Roten, VP of competition at GMS Racing, echoes a lot of comments from Zipadelli about the use of CarbonMetallic pads.

Roten, who moved over from Furniture Row Racing at the end of last season after it ceased operations, says his Xfinity and Trucks teams benefit in a similar manner.

“One of the key components that I like with the PFC Brake pad is that the cold-bite technology is really good and helps us each race,” says Roten. “When you race at a track where you are not using much braking, to be able to have the pads perform and not cause any problems when they are needed is vital. Their products do a great job for us.”

Roten has used PFC products for as long as he can remember and offers a simple explanation for this loyalty.

“PFC continues to develop their product and that’s important to me and the vehicles I’m responsible for each week at GMS,” he states. “Other people have tried to duplicate their product and they can’t, in my opinion.

“I used them on our cars at Furniture Row and I’ll continue to use them here at GMS as well. I’ve used them for over 30 years.”

Another reason Roten believes in PFC Brakes is the technology they integrate into their products and the extent of their choices.

“They use materials on their products that no one else does and that helps us,” Roten says. “The way the pads bed in the rotor allows everything to last longer and you can also change the size of the pads used to help the car handle better at some tracks by staggering the pads.

“All the teams do that and PFC gives us a great product to work with each week.”

PFC Brakes has been involved in many types of racing since the inception of the company and NASCAR is just one area of business for the Clover, SC.-based company according to NASCAR and Short Track sales manager Chris Dilbeck.

“PFC Brakes has been involved with many technical partnerships in the NASCAR markets,” said Dilbeck. “None are more valuable than the relationship we he have had with Thorsport Racing. PFC has been able to develop new technology, not only in brake pads, but in a new cutting edge disc and hat attachment that we call “V3”.

“Thorsport Racing uses this patented technology to reduce rotating weight and to save time in the shop during assembly. V3 replaces the use of “bobbini’-style attachments and utilizes a V3 Ring to retain the disc to the hat.”

Success within the NASCAR world on the racetrack has bred success in winning contracts, and PFC Brakes has been able to build a market share of nearly 80 percent within the NASCAR world.

Dilbeck adds that while they are happy to have the business, PFC is constantly looking at ways to improve it products and service to all users.

“With PFC Brakes being located just minutes from Charlotte and the NASCAR teams located near that area, we have an incredible ability to adapt to the ever changing needs of the teams without hesitation,” he says. “This has been instrumental in new product development as well as new pad compound development when the teams may need a specific ‘feel’ for a particular driver.”

The success PFC Brakes enjoys on race tracks provides valuable information that can be transferred over to its technology used in passenger vehicles.

“PFC Brakes factors in the release of the braking system as well as the release of the pads themselves,” says Dilbeck. “In the NASCAR market, not only does this help reduce temperatures, but it also reduces drag, thus increasing fuel mileage. All of these examples are applied to the technology used in our Highway pads as well.”

With an attitude of never being satisfied and always seeking to improve, PFC has become and continues to be the experts in modern-day braking technology.

“PFC Brakes provides a service to clients in the motorsports industry to help them win races, period,” Dilbeck adds. “This is what positions PFC as the braking experts.

“As competitive as racing has become from the professional levels all the way to the grassroots levels, having the proper consultation along with the best product for the braking event can elevate a team from top 5 to winning.

“We see it each time we gain a new client.”

 

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