Over the years I have visited many race shops and racing businesses and in recent years I posted my visits. It is always fun to visit where the real action happens between races, but I didn't expect what I saw when I visited what Jack and Sharon Jory had created for their race team. It is very special and more than that, it is a one of a kind special place for the black race cars that perform with CRA week after week. Sharon is a dedicated fan of their race team and enjoys the good results they have. She and Jack looked thrilled to share their shop in this open house event.
I had tried recently to hook up with Rip Williams to get to visit the new John Jory Motorsports race shop, but me living in Las vegas and the schedule conflicts from when I am in town didn't allow this to happen. When the open house was announced, I knew it would be a go. I came a few days early and tried to get in some B-ball games. That didn't work out like I planned, but I did stick around for the open house. I was only able to stay about an hour before my back said go home, but I really enjoyed what I saw and who came to see. They had a big feed and those who came chowed down and spent a few hours enjoying the neat ambiance that included being with racers and fans and family in what could be described as one of the best Sprint car race shops going.
Boy am I glad I made the show, it would have been a shame to miss it. You have never seen a "shop" so unlike a shop, yet so much looking like whatever they need to build and maintain a sprint car, or anything else, is available there. You could see the surprise and delight as new visitors came in, most like me not expecting this grand palace we found. As the day marched on with a big screen TV playing the USC/UCLA battle, everyone was smiling.
The shop actually is two separate shops, side by side with a door entry between them, probably 50 feet wide and some 150 feet long each. Both have small office areas up front with the race shop side office having nothing but trophies and one black and silver show stopping Ford Cobra. That "trophy room" entrance is pretty impressive with all the earned hardware on display. A small office looked like it was Jacks relaxing room when he was in house, and had a glass window view of the race shop. Both ends of the race shop had overhead doors that allowed the team's massive black hauler to pull inside for easy load and unload. Going into the shop from the trophy room you can see the left side consists of multiple "bays" with professional tool storage all along the wall of that area. The right side is covered with sharp looking diamond plate and mounted on it were various pictures of the team memories. Above that were some old chassis and other storage items. A small machine room, about 15 foot square, houses different machines for making and mending parts and stuff.
The "other" shop was really a showroom as numerous cars were on display. An old panel truck sharply painted and lettered, a stock car driven in NASCAR, a knockout custom Mercury, an old Indian motorcycle, a couple of Model A's and a red 57 chevy I would be proud to own. The pics below will give you a better view, but there were some hot items on display in this room that had a small sign above saying “big boys toys”. Another trophy area next to the connecting door had more hardware on display. I didn't see a cot, but I could imagine some all nighters in the race shop during the season when things needed adjustments.
All in all, surprised, amazed, educated and perhaps envious were some of the emotions I felt on my visit to this first class race shop that began as the Rip Williams deal, but now add sons Cody and Austin and their cars to the mix. How long until Logan joins the team as he too is racing the small cars at Ventura. Very impressive and now I have an even better view of the Jony Jory Motorsports team and how they do it. Very, very impressive and now on to the few pics I took.
The sign says it all!!!
The front of the shop has visitor cars parked in front. One word to descibe it all once you've been inside......... Spectacular!
You can see Jack's Hummer and the hauler parked outside the building.
The entryway to the two separate shop offices.
A look into the trohy room from out front was my first view inside. Pretty impressive.
The black glass look of the front is very professional looking. Kind of fits the black car image.
The trophies begin.
This hot Cobra looks road ready.
I didn't count the trophies, but I wonder how they were arranged.
You enter into the shop here.
The Oval Nationals check.
A painting on the wall of his cars.
Some die cast models on shelves.
Steve Howard and Rip's son Austin visit in one of the three work areas as I walk inside.
Good looking little racer.
The Ripper poster framed and mounted on the wall in front of Jack's office.
One of several team cars parked in a work area.
The famous # 3 up on jack stands.
A christmas tree in front of Jacks office. The overhead door lets the hauler in.
The food servers are getting ready in front of the sign that showcases Jack's business that sponsors all this.
The machine room has stuff to do things with.
More machines to make and mend with.
This was taken from inside the machine room back along the work bays.
Looking in the machine room window.
A look back down the work areas.
A view from outside the back entrance towards the front of the building.
Going down memory lane with Ralph Tracy on our minds.
You can see how much room there is as more than 5 cars can be staged along the work areas.
Ripper and Steve Howard are listening carefully to one of the guests.
Jack is talking with Mike and Laurie English as the food is being served now.
The tables are filling up.
Here is Austin and his cute friend enjoying the afternoon.
A view with all the cars lined up.
A family portrait with Cody and Austin bookending Rip and his mom, their grandma.
Jack is explaining some features of the shop.
Austin relaxes as the crowd keeps coming in.
It got a little crowded near the front door.
It was getting good and busy in the shop as it filled up with guests coming to see it all.
You can see on the right side the diamond plate wall with plenty of pictures on it.
Above the wall is storage for important things not going to the trash bin.
I'll go from right to left as the pictures mounted covered a lot of things.
There were posters.....
And much, much more on display here.
Now we go into the showroom next door. This panel truck was perfect.
The paint and lettering were awesome.
Next to the panel truck was a stock car and then a very cherry 57 Chevy.
Jack had a big smile as he told of his futures with the Model A he has.
This one looks a little farther along.
Let's just say this is a nice looking "old" indian and leave it at that.
Nascar has a place in Jack's history with this car.
That is the world famous lettering king Jerry Hudson in the inset. He has done a lot of work on many sprint cars including some of Rip's stuff. He also did the first Wagtimes t-shirt and other Wags stuff for me.
This one was popular with everyone.
That's a solid statement!
Some Shell gas station stuff looked brand new.
A old fashioned coke machine!
This might have some special meaning for Jack!
Jack spent his time talking and explaining all afternoon. You could see the pride in him, his wife and the entire race team as they hosted their guests in this marvelous speed emporium called home for them.
A gas pump I could die for.
More hardware, this in the showroom.
Same table of more hardware.
The end of the table. The door back into the shop is to the right.
Retired sprint car driver Jeff Haywood's expression says it all. Awesome!!
I was sorry I had to leave, but jumped in my chariot and headed home, but not before I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw of a special race shop that was put together with fun and happiness like none other. I wish I could visit all the race shops, but few would measure up to this one. Thanks for the invite, I hope others who didn't get to go, got a look into what makes the Darth Vader black sprinters run like they do.