With three-time NHRA Pro Mod World Champion Rickie Smith pacing in the background like an expectant father, Chris Davis and his crew at Kryptonite Kustomz got to work early this week. Kryptonite Kustomz, a full-service, custom vinyl wrap company based in Broken Arrow, OK, was applying a unique Summit Racing Equipment look to Smith’s 2015 Camaro race car in anticipation of Tulsa businessman Keith Haney making his NHRA Pro Mod driving debut in it this weekend (May 18-20), during the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, KS.
“Everybody knows, I think, that Rickie Smith is pretty particular about his equipment and doesn’t let just anyone work on it, so when he first got here he got out of his rig and came in to check us out first,” said Davis, founder and owner of Kryptonite Kustomz. “I’m pretty proud of what we’ve put together here, so I was happy to show him around and after just a couple of minutes Rickie said, ‘Yeah, this’ll do,’ and we were ready to get started.”
Davis emphasized his climate-controlled, 7,500-square-foot facility is built as a one-stop shop, dedicated to making the application of a custom wrap an easy and efficient process for its clients. In addition to the massive, wide-open shop that houses the latest in vinyl wrap technology, at least two tractor trailer-sized race rigs can easily be parked inside, with 50-amp electrical service drops, monitored video security, and comfortable lounge areas for waiting crew members.
“We offer services that are unheard of in the wrap industry,” he stated. “In order to make life easier on the racers we can perform any level of bodywork, from minor carbon-fiber repairs to full body fitment in order to reduce downtime and eliminate visits to multiple shops. Now, Rickie’s car didn’t need anything like that, which was very fortunate since we were under the gun to get this done as quickly as possible.”
Custom vinyl wraps can be applied to almost any vehicle that can be painted, including cars, trucks, motorhomes, boats, trailers, and of course, race cars. The advantages of a vinyl wrap over paint include much less weight, less cost for intricate designs and the ability to economically repair damage with exact replicas of the original design.
“This wrap is extremely aggressive and it just screams Keith Haney. But it would be painstaking and not cost effective to attempt this design with paint. It also could never be completed in the compressed amount of time we had to get the job done,” Davis said.
“We always create Keith’s image on all of his race cars and when he came to me with this project and asked for something that would make Summit shine as the primary sponsor while also matching his personality; this is what we came up with. And since we pretty much know what Keith likes and how to showcase Summit on the car, we pretty much nailed it on the first try,” he proudly added. “Summit and Keith both signed off on the first renderings we sent to them.”
Haney owns and drives a pair of nearly identical appearing 2016 Camaros in the all-eighth-mile Mid-West Pro Mod Series, with both featuring elaborate wraps by Kryptonite Kustomz.
“Of course I knew Kryptonite Kustomz would do a great job, so there was no question I wanted them on board with me and Rickie Smith and Summit Racing,” Haney said. “This is a first-class team from start to finish and Kryptonite Kustomz fits right in as part of that effort. And I’ve gotta’ say, Chris and his guys did an absolutely great job at making sure everyone knows my name in the NHRA Pro Mod series!”
A veteran of eighth-mile Pro Mod and drag radial racing, Haney spent last Thursday at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park, a facility he co-owns with fellow drag racer Todd Martin, testing with his new ride and team while simultaneously earning his NHRA advanced-elapsed-time, quarter-mile license. Early the next morning Smith was parked outside the Kryptonite Kustomz shop, already looking ahead to the drive up to Topeka.
“Normally, a job like this would take several days. For quality control I like to have just one installer work on a car because it’s consistent that way and he can make sure every panel is stretched and cut the same way from panel to panel and side to side,” Davis explained. “That wouldn’t have worked here, though, because we had just two days to get this done while Rickie waited.”
Davis confirmed he wanted to represent Haney’s over-the-top, take-no-prisoners, on-track persona with the new wrap, then added it was equally important to make certain the job well-represented Summit Racing, Rickie Smith and of course, Kryptonite Kustomz.
“You can use large vinyl panels to cover most of the car in one straight shot and then just trim the seams, but we prefer to use individual pieces to wrap each body panel, you know, fender, door, roof, rear quarter, and so on,” he described. “It takes more vinyl to do it the way we do it, but it allows us to wrap the edges around each panel, which is important on a car that’s going over 240 miles an hour because you sure don’t want it peeling back as it goes down the track.”
For Davis, seeing his work on display as part of the NHRA Pro Mod Series represents a significant moment for his company and his career.
“I’m proud for Kryptonite Kustomz to be associated with Summit Racing, Strange Engineering, Rickie Smith and Keith Haney because I know they’re all great ambassadors to the sport,” Davis said. “Just to be on board with these guys and this build is awesome.”