The Past, the Present, and the Future

The old adage, “you never know what the future holds”, seems to have a spe­cial mean­ing in the world of motor­sports. In rac­ing, noth­ing is ever a sure thing and any­thing can hap­pen at any point in time. The rac­ing world evolves and re-invents itself so quickly, many of us are not really sure how we got here in the first place. The advent of Dirtwrap epit­o­mizes that. I prac­ti­cally grew up at the race­track, so as long as I can remem­ber, I ate, slept and breathed rac­ing. My dad raced for a liv­ing (as the older I get, I real­ize more and more how dif­fi­cult that is to do) and he raced what seemed like every night of the week. The rac­ing fam­ily was my fam­ily, and I loved being a part of it, even though every­one picked on me and teased me non-stop. Every Hal­loween I wanted to be a race car dri­ver, and it was all that I wanted to do when I grew up. It is either a dream that will never die, or a curse that I can­not escape. I guess it all depends on how I run.

As rac­ing is very expen­sive (see, you learned some­thing from me already) and my dad made me work for every bit of it, I went to col­lege in order to fund it. I grad­u­ated in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from North Car­olina State and started work­ing at a large cell phone com­pany in Research Tri­an­gle Park, NC there­after. So you must be ask­ing, how did I get here? Well, before my senior year, my dad and his part­ner at the time con­vinced me that I should get into this let­ter­ing busi­ness thing. Jamie Kuntz with JAM Motor­graph­ics (awe­some stuff) was rent­ing my dad’s partner’s shop, so he would tell me about it. So, with­out know­ing a thing, I got a loan and pur­chased a plot­ter, soft­ware and some mate­r­ial, and went to work. I thought I was a rea­son­ably intel­li­gent per­son, I was a decent artist and I loved rac­ing, how could I go wrong? So, Jimmy’s Cus­tom Decals was born. I always thought the name was generic, but mar­ket­ing wasn’t really my strong point back then. While I only moon­lighted with the let­ter­ing busi­ness, it always seemed to be my top career pri­or­ity in the back of my mind.

Jimmys carIn 2003,my preg­nant wife, my daugh­ter and I moved back to Hick­ory, NC, where I took a job doing con­cept design work for Harley David­son. It was a very unique sit­u­a­tion as my boss, Wyatt Fuller, had a one-of-a-kind con­tract with them. It was just him and me, and I was in charge of every­thing from ini­tial con­cept, com­puter mod­el­ing, rapid pro­to­typ­ing, CNC machin­ing and gen­eral fab­ri­ca­tion. While we cer­tainly had our ups and downs, over­all I had a great time and I learned a lot. Unfor­tu­nately, Wyatt (who was one of the smartest per­sons that I have ever met, and who I miss dearly) was killed in a plane crash in July 2006. When he died, the con­tract died, so I was left with a young fam­ily in a depleted tech­ni­cal job mar­ket. Even though my ideas and crafted parts made it in the mag­a­zines, Harley’s Parts and Acces­sories cat­a­log and even Harley’s archive which will even­tu­ally be the museum, I never got the sat­is­fac­tion from that as I did let­ter­ing a race car.

In early 2007, while look­ing for a job, I pur­chased one of those “wrap machines” that were begin­ning to hit the scene (the funny thing is that I had nearly bought one two years before). While I wasn’t sure if I could even design a wrap, I thought it would be a good toy to play with nonethe­less. Hence, the sub­se­quent death of Jimmy’s Cus­tom Decals and the birth of Dirtwrap. I imme­di­ately fig­ured out that the wrap was going to rev­o­lu­tion­ized the rac­ing graph­ics indus­try, and it seemed to fit my style of design. As I started doing more and more work, I found myself not hav­ing the time to look for a job any­more. That was a lit­tle more than 2 years ago. Now, we have moved into a 5,000 sq. ft. build­ing, added screen print­ing capa­bil­i­ties, and hired a full-time employee (plus my part-time office man­ager wife).

Jimmy SchiltzWhile the growth has been amaz­ing, we will never let it come at the cost of what got us here in the first place. Being a racer, I know how I want to be treated. I want the same qual­ity of parts and ser­vice as the big boys get, I don’t want to get my eye­balls gouged out when I pay for it, and some­where, some­how, I want the peo­ple I spend my money with to care just a lit­tle bit about me and my rac­ing. So that is why we approach everyone’s car, no mat­ter if you are a big name or a rookie, the same (includ­ing my own) and want it to be the best look­ing car you have ever had or seen. Our ser­vice is second-to-none, and are the only ones to offer a guar­an­teed next day deliv­ery on re-orders. Our prices are con­sis­tent, and we don’t add any hid­den charges, and more impor­tantly, I con­sider all of our cus­tomers my per­sonal friends. With­out that, we would be noth­ing. We know that to many of us, our race cars are our boats, our sports cars, or our Harleys. We want you to not be able to resist look­ing at it every time you walk by it. We want you to smile every time you see a pic­ture of it. And we want you to be proud of your car every time you unload it.

So, in clos­ing, thank you for read­ing this and check­ing out our new web­site and the prod­ucts and ser­vices we offer. We hope we can become a part of your team, help­ing you look good in vic­tory lane. For every racer, I hope that is what the future holds.