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Ryan Oehler Talks Mastering the Drag Strip and the Business World on ‘The Racing Business’ Podcast

Ryan Oehler, a name synonymous with resilience and versatility in the world of professional drag racing, was recently featured on “The Racing Business,” hosted by Jason Dukes. His story is not just about his career on the race track but also his acumen in the world of business, owning Tempe Race Rentals and Airtech Heating and Cooling. Oehler’s journey is a remarkable example of how passion and professionalism can coexist and flourish.

After graduating in 2008, Oehler’s career took a dual path. He started building his first Pro Bike in 2007, marking the beginning of his racing career. But Oehler didn’t limit himself to the drag strip; he expanded into business. “I’ve been involved in business now since I got out of college,” Oehler shared, highlighting his dual commitment to racing and entrepreneurship.

Oehler’s transition from racing to running a heating and cooling business was strategic and necessary. He describes this shift as critical to his success in racing. “It’s what allowed me to actually get where I am today. Without it, there’s no chance that I would have had the opportunities,” Oehler explained. This move showcases his ability to adapt and leverage skills across different industries.

Since joining the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class in 2017, Oehler’s racing journey has been a mix of challenges and triumphs. He speaks candidly about the initial difficulties in securing sponsors and improving performance. “It was tough to make that happen,” he admitted. Yet, his perseverance paid off, evident in his growing list of sponsors and improved track performance.

Alongside racing, Oehler’s heating and cooling business demands a significant amount of his time and energy. Catering to apartment management services, this venture requires him to be on call constantly, balancing his business responsibilities with his racing career. He describes the business as “365 [days a year], 24/7,” illustrating the relentless nature of his entrepreneurial endeavors.

In the intricate tapestry of Ryan Oehler’s career, his association with El Bandido Yankee Tequila stands out as a pivotal chapter. This partnership is more than just a sponsorship; it represents a significant turning point in his professional journey. 

Oehler recounts the evolution of his racing team’s branding and sponsorship, marking a key transition in his racing career. “The transformation was made and El Bandido Yankee Tequila, and now El Bandido Yankee Racing is our primary sponsor and focus,” Oehler explained. This shift wasn’t merely cosmetic; it symbolized a deeper integration with the brand, elevating his team’s profile in the racing world.

Oehler even mentions becoming an employee of the company or a brand ambassador of sorts, indicating a level of commitment and integration that is now expected in sponsorship deals. This partnership with El Bandido Yankee Tequila has not only provided substantial support for his racing endeavors but has also added a distinctive flair to his team, making them stand out in the competitive sport of drag racing.

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As Oehler continues his journey, his narrative is not just inspiring for aspiring drag racers and entrepreneurs but for anyone striving to balance multiple ambitions.

This story was originally published on November 17, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.