Pro 1 Racing & Safety Products is in the spotlight this week as we highlight the story of how it all started.
In recent years, Pro 1 Racing & Safety Products has quickly become one of the most trusted and respected safety brands in motorsports. The company, owned by Jeff and Charlotte Hefler, was created in 2016 out of a desire to find quality safety components for their own racecars.
After enduring a high-speed accident where his seat belts failed, Jeff committed to providing racers with high quality safety products at an affordable price with outstanding customer service.
In July of 2014, Jeff entered the Top Sportsman class at the Mile High Nationals just outside of Denver, Colorado. When his first round opponent broke before their run, Jeff took a single to advance to the second round. Unfortunately, Jeff would never see round two as his engine let go around the 1,000’ mark on his bye run.
This sent the car into the right retaining wall near the finish line at nearly 190 mph. The impact of the collision pushed the car back across the track where it struck the opposite retaining wall before coming to a stop. Beaten and bruised, Jeff was able to walk away from the crash although the same could not be said for his race car.
While investigating the crash, Jeff noticed the lap belts had separated. After speaking with the Safety Safari, he confirmed the belts failed during the crash. After surviving the seat belt failure, Jeff went on a mission to learn more about the seat belt manufacturing process.
What he found was alarming. The majority of racing belts are manufactured in foreign countries such as Taiwan and China. Once received in the U.S., those belts are sent straight to the consumer with little to no quality control inspections.
A better product
Hefler’s quest led him to learn more about the industry than most racers ever wanted to know. This included exploring how the majority of racing seat belts are manufactured, their quality control standards, the SFI certification process and more.
Based on what he learned, Jeff decided to manufacture belts right here in the USA. This insured both his racecars and those of his customers would have high quality safety products protecting them.
Jeff and his wife Charlotte opened Pro 1 Racing & Safety Products in 2016. They’re quality and service resonated with racers who flocked to the Texas based company for SFI certified seat belts, jackets, pants, gloves, shoes, and more.
As Pro 1 continues their rapid growth, sales have doubled every year, the owners continue to provide outstanding personalized service and quality safety products to racers across the country.
For Racers by Racers
Prior to starting Pro 1, Jeff Hefler was better known for his accomplishments on the track. He began his drag racing career at the age of 7 on a Honda 50cc dirt bike. By the time he was 12, Jeff had graduated to “big cars” where he quickly made a name for himself in the highly competitive Texas bracket racing scene.
Over the years he has won at the highest levels of the sport including a Lucas Oil NHRA World Championship, three NHRA Summit Series National Championships, multiple NHRA Division 4 Championships and JEGS Allstars victories, all while accumulating over 80 NHRA Wally’s and countless bracket racing victories.
While Jeff brings years of racing knowledge to the company, Charlotte matches his experience but from a corporate standpoint. In her 15 years as a master planner at clothing giant Dickies, Charlotte gained invaluable experience with design, materials, and quality control. This experience has allowed Pro 1 to produce high quality products in designs that racers love.
“We know as racers what it takes to compete, the time, the effort, and the costs involved in racing,” Jeff stated.
Commitment to Quality and Service
When asked what sets Pro 1 apart from other manufacturers, Jeff replied, “it’s our commitment to quality, personalized service, 40 years of racing experience, the success we have had in racing, and just the simple fact that we have actual real world racing experience that very few, if any, seat belt manufactures have and we still compete every chance we get. Experience and reputation cannot be bought.”
With Charlotte’s years of corporate business experience and Jeff’s expansive racing background, combined they make an outstanding team that is dedicated to producing quality products at an affordable price for racers.
To keep pace with their rapid growth, they are in the process of purchasing property to build a new 15,000 square foot facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
About Pro 1 Safety and Racing Products
Pro 1 manufactures quality USA built components, specializing in seat belts for a variety of motorsports applications. Their seat belts are assembled and sewn in house at their Fort Worth, Texas facility.
All Pro 1 seat belts are SFI certified to insure they meet the standards required by organizations such as the NHRA.
Pro 1 Safety & Racing Products is a NHRA contingency sponsor at National Events and the E.T. Finals.
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