Jan 12, 2011
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by John Ulrich
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Sport Tire Services has lost the Dunlop racing tire distributorship for the Western United States, which has now gone to Kevin Erion's Erion Racing.
As a result, Erion Racing will be supplying and mounting Dunlop racing tires starting this coming weekend during the 2011 WSMC season-opener at Willow Springs Raceway.
Reached by phone, Sport Tire Services' Dennis Smith said, "I got an e-mail from (Dunlop's) Mike Buckley yesterday and they have terminated our distributorship agreement. We weren't willing to do what they wanted us to do and Erion was, so he got the deal."
Smith said that he and partner Terry Newby will shut down their Sport Tire Services operation in Paso Robles, California and sell its assets, then look for work.
Former racers Smith and Newby started operating as a Pirelli race tire distributor in 1987 and switched to Dunlop in 1989. They moved their business from Torrance, California to Paso Robles in 1998. The company provided Dunlop tire service at club races, track days and AMA Pro road races west of the Mississippi River.
Erion Racing had provided Dunlop motocross tire service in the past.
Reached by phone, Race Tire Service owner Steve Brubaker said that there has been no change in Dunlop racing tire distribution for the Eastern U.S., which his company handles. "There are no issues at all with my company or our status with Dunlop," said Brubaker. "We are stable and we are doing well. Dunlop is happy with us. We are going to the (AMA Pro) tire test at Daytona (next week) and there really are no issues. All is well and everybody can expect us to be at every race in the Eastern U.S., as usual."
Roadracing World left a cell phone message seeking comment from Mike Buckley of Dunlop Tire, but the call has not yet been returned. A follow-up e-mail to Buckley requesting comment has not yet been answered.
Roadracing World left a phone message seeking comment from Kevin Erion of Erion Racing, but the call has not yet been returned.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
By David Swarts
Kevin Erion returned our phone call and talked about Erion Racing gaining the Dunlop road race tire distributorship for the western U.S., and I asked him some questions.
Roadracing World: Can you tell us more about your new deal as the Dunlop road race tire distributor for the western U.S.?
Kevin Erion: It's my understanding that Dunlop is going to issue a press release.
It's been something that I've been talking to Dunlop about for years, but the timing was good and I seized the opportunity. We're real excited about it. I just want to bring the same level of professionalism that we've always had on our road racing program to the road racing tire program.
RW: Will Steve Brubaker be handling the eastern U.S., like before?
KE: The Mississippi River is the dividing line between the east coast and the west coast, same territory as it was.
RW: Have you done anything like this before, a race tire distributorship?
KE: We did their supercross/motocross tire service for the last seven years. We are not currently doing it. It's moved on to someone else, but we did do it for seven years.
RW: How do people get in touch with you?
KE: 1-800-700-3599 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RW: Your first event is this weekend at Willow Springs, right? Will you guys have everything you need?
KE: I hope we have everything we need. I don't know what I just got, and I have to go through all of that. That's what I was doing when you called, sorting through tires. I know there are some tires Dunlop North America might have a shortage of, so we will have to see if we have that.