SPECIAL REPORT: Made in Wisconsin: Pit Box - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Made in Wisconsin: Pit Box

WESTON (WAOW) – Points leader Kevin Harvick, Saturday night's winner Denny Hamlin and Wisconsin's own Matt Kenseth are just a few names of racing's biggest stars.

What you may not know is they have a connection to our area.

Newsline 9 went behind the scenes in the latest edition of Made in Wisconsin.

As drivers start their engines and head to the finish line, a Central Wisconsin company is helping them get there.

"We work directly with the race teams on their vision of what they think is going to work best with them along pit road in their efficiencies," said CTECH Motor Sports Product Line Manager Nate Birkenmeier.

At CTECH Manufacturing in Weston sportsman carts go from the shop floor to pit row on race day.

“All of our carts are manufactured by racers for racers," said Birkenmeier.

Carts and the bigger pit boxes used to be like a tool box of sorts, but now they do a lot more.

"The ultracart provides observation for team sponsors, team owners, engineers that are working on the pit team. It also provides tool storage just like this tool box does. And it provides efficiency for the pit crews and the individuals working on the team to get that car back on the track," said Birkenmeier.

By getting a look at the cars, crews can anticipate problems and be an extra set of eyes for the driver.

"All of the carts that we design are based off of efficiency and organization for the end user or racer," said Birkenmeier.

The whole company exists because of a race car driver. Jim Greenheck saw a need for a new product and started CTECH in 1994.

"At that time he had a lot of friends requesting and complaining about their cabinetry and their race trailers," said CTECH Director of Engineering Michael Greenheck.

Racers didn't like when their cabinets would open in transit. So Greenheck invented the motion latch handle.

"It easily comes open and securely latches by the duel latch system and secures on each end," said Birkenmeier.

That motion latch handle is used in the pit box, but CTECH also makes other products – tool boxes and custom cabinets for other businesses.

Everything made in this building comes from just 13 standard pieces and it's all customizable.

"Our cabinetry can be configured from 10 inches up to 120 inches and any dimension in between," said Greenheck.

The first part of the process is automatic – the engineers punch in the logistics and the machines take it from there.

“We can take an order from the sales entry program, have it sent to the shop floor fully programmed without having anybody physically touch the parts and program themselves," said Greenheck.

The company began in a small building that was rented. Now, there are 36 employees and the business was moved to a much larger building in 2004. The demand isn't just here in the United States.

"We ship a lot of product to Canada, we've shipped to Australia. We have a large race team in Brazil order products. So, it's gone all over the world," said Greenheck.

It's the cabinets and pit boxes that are internationally known and made in Wisconsin.

Powered by Frankly