UMC – Behind the Gates with Chris Stone and Pete Mercer of Werx45

As we continue to take a look at ‘Behind the Gates’, our next installment of this new segment allowed us to sit down with Chris Stone and Pete Mercer of Werx45.

UMC: How long have you been a garage tenant at the Utah Motorsports Campus and what does the Campus provide you to aid in the successful operation of your business?

Werx45: Between our current location and previous locations (within UMC), we have occupied garage space at UMC since the track opened in 2005. This newest business endeavor has been at this location for around four years. We chose UMC as our location because of the unique opportunities it offers to have the track at our disposal regarding the functions of our business.

We can easily test and develop new products like suspension, brakes and aerodynamics. We then pass this information on to our clients as they are thinking about modifying or building their own cars.

Separately from that, we focus heavily on driver development for racers and do a significant amount of driver coaching as well.  Being located at UMC puts us right in the center of a large demographic to our car and driver services as a shop. In addition, we are also able take advantage of our location to do testing and development for our racing program.

Currently we travel around with several drivers competing in various national race series. Being located directly trackside is a unique benefit that most teams across the country do not have.

UMC: Your company has a large presence trackside. How did you get your start, how long have you been involved in motorsports and what are your future plans?

Werx45: We have over 100 years of motorsports experience across our five shop personnel. Most of us in the shop have spent a large amount our years in motorsport, in professional racing. Our two shop owners met through mutual friends and had discussed opening a car performance shop as a sister shop to their off-road shop (Salty Gears Off-Road). Coupling that idea with the group of individuals we knew from professional racing who we know are some of the very best in the country at what they do, was how the shop came to be. Priding ourselves in providing the highest quality and standard associated with professional racing to the local track.

Three and a half years later we have five of the best guys in the country who are now running the shop with a focus on a few key areas. Including national racing programs that travel all around the country, amateur to professional, an Electric Vehicle Conversion department, and a department specializing in restorations from purely mechanical restorations to concours quality restorations. While also providing clients with any services they may need in-between, from racecar prep and maintenance to street car performance and racing driver development.

In the future Werx45 will continue to focus on racing, restorations and specialty projects while we also work on developing other outlets that really capitalize on the strengths of our very uniquely skilled shop personnel. More to come on that front as we continue to scale and grow!

UMC: Why did you choose UMC as your home base?

Werx45: We might have jumped the gun by answering that in one of the other questions! It was a combination of the personnel we wanted onboard the program, the advantages of being located directly trackside, being able to utilize the world-class facilities that UMC has to offer, and the simple joy of loving the outdoors and wanting to call Utah home.

UMC: For people that do not know about NASA Utah, can you tell us what you do and where your focus is?

Werx45: NASA (National Auto Sport Association) is located across the entire country. As a governing racing and driving experience body (think NBA/NFL but for car racing and it’s open to anybody that wants to drive a car on track). NASA allows drivers of all skill levels and cars to enjoy high-performance driving. Whether it’s their first time driving on a race track with their personal car or if they’re a seasoned racer who wants to test their skills against other racers in the region.

Currently, Werx45 services several local racers and their cars to have them ready for the track. That means racecar setup, driver coaching, racecar prep and engineering. You name it and we can likely take care of it between our vast background of professional motorsport experience.

UMC: Can you tell us a little about your customer base and your programs?

Werx45: We can’t speak highly enough of our client base. Our clients are looking for the absolute best. We are lucky enough to be in a position where we can hand-pick the work that we take on. Partly because we’ve spent so many years in the industry working in a variety of capacities, our expertise stretches far, but we know the type of work we want to do. We then pair that with the highest level of service and quality, which is normally reserved for the professional ranks of racing.

Our clientele knows the level of work and service they will receive when they walk through our doors and expect the best from us because of it. We don’t cut corners and we’re certainly not the least expensive shop. However, the value behind our work is second to none.

Anything we take on, we do so because we know that we are in a position to provide the best possible end product. If we are not the absolute best at a certain job, we make sure that we find out who is the best and pair their proficiencies with ours. This let’s us develop great relationships within the industry, where we can lean on others and they can lean on us. Those relationships help us guarantee that the end result is the highest quality work, service and products that our 100+ years of motorsport experience combined know how to offer.

If it is associated with high performance cars, high end driving and racing, there is a high likelihood we take care of it in our shop.

UMC: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Werx45: Please feel free to give us a call or email us with any questions regarding your needs/projects/dreams. We cover everything from installing an aftermarket exhaust on your car, prepping you for your first track day, to grooming future professional drivers, EV conversions, restorations and everything in-between.

UMC: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with UMC and all of this information.

Werx45: Thank you for having us and providing such a wonderful facility for us to be able to call home as we continue living the dream and enjoying the world of cars and motorsport!