PPI Motorsports Wayback Machine – With just three employees and a small garage in Westminster, Calif., in 1979, Cal Wells III founded Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) – a company specializing in servicing off-road racing teams. PPI quickly transitioned into fielding its own off-road competition efforts — and evolved over the next twenty years into a multidisciplinary racing company (PPI Motorsports) that has included competitive NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Busch, CART, Toyota Atlantic and Off-Road racing programs.
PPI’s roots took hold in the early 1980s, when the company began fielding race vehicles for both factory and privateer interests. PPI’s programs – led by drivers such as Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, Bob and Robby Gordon, Steve and Rod Millen, Frank “Scoop” Vessels and Malcolm Smith – included factory development work for BF Goodrich, Michelin, Uniroyal, Goodyear Tire & Rubber and Yokohama and involved such manufacturers as Ford, Chevrolet, and GM Truck and Bus. poker 99
In 1982, the company began what was to become a long, productive partnership with Toyota Motorsports – first fielding a pair of Toyota-powered stadium and off-road championship-winning short-course trucks, then expanding into full desert competition. The successful 19-year program garnered a remarkable 89 wins and 25 championship titles in off-road record books. By 1990, PPI relocated to larger facilities in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., to accommodate its expanding operations.
When Toyota announced the formation of its CART racing program in 1994, PPI quickly established a single-car CART team and ultimately posted five years of Toyota-powered competition under the Arciero-Wells banner with multiple cars and drivers – including Jeff Krosnoff, Max Papis, Robby Gordon, Scott Pruett, Cristiano da Matta and Hiro Matsushita, who also drove the team’s only Indianapolis 500 entry (1995) to a notable tenth-place finish. Although the Arciero-Wells partnership ended at the close of the 1999 season, Wells fielded a two-car CART team under the PPI Motorsports banner with da Matta and Oriol Serviˆ through 2000.
As a complement to the CART program, PPI formed a two-car Toyota Atlantic team in 1997. Within three years, this turnkey operation earned PPI its first open-wheel championship title (1999) and served as the foundation for CART’s African-American and Women’s Driver Development Programs.
Expansion continued in 1999, when PPI landed the opportunity to field a car in the NASCAR Busch Series with partner McDonald’s. PPI set up a base of operations for the team in Hickory, N.C., and soon broadened its NASCAR portfolio to include a simultaneous Winston Cup effort with Tide sponsorship. Both teams began competition in 2000, when all of PPI’s racing programs were unified under a new banner name: PPI Motorsports (PPIM).
At the close of the 2000 season, PPI Motorsports went through yet another evolution. The opportunity for significant expansion in the NASCAR arena and a desire to simplify company operations led a relocation of employees and resources to PPIM’s facilities in North Carolina. Closing the company’s CART, Atlantic and Off-Road programs in late 2000 allowed PPI Motorsports to shift one-hundred-percent of its focus toward tackling the extremely competitive NASCAR environment – and building a new foundation for PPI Motorsports through the growth opportunities and corporate longevity offered in NASCAR.
In less than two years, PPI Motorsports has already established itself as a contender in NASCAR. The team’s Tide Racing program earned its first pole position and its first win within 57 Winston Cup starts and ended the season in the top 25 in both driver and owner points – putting the team among elite company in the Cup garage area. Over the course of 21 years in racing, PPI Motorsports has earned wins in nearly every division in which it has competed.
As its past has shown, PPI Motorsports maintains the in-house expertise needed to service a wide variety of motorsports interests. Although the company’s competitive efforts remain its priority, PPI Motorsports has successfully contributed to improving the safety, development and enjoyment of motorsports through its commitment to innovation, partnership and training in all areas.