Every so often, our editorial staff selects one aftermarket industry professional to get to know a little better. Participants are asked to respond to a series of questions that can be answered in about the same amount of time you might spend chatting at the office coffee pot or waiting for an elevator. In today’s installment of “Five Minutes With,” we get to know a little more about Tom Sobray, who was recently promoted to Customer Service Manager/Technical Support Manager for US Motor Works (USMW).
What was your first job in the industry?
“1987 @ Speed Unlimited in Glendale, California. I worked the parts counter and did VW and Porsche engine removal and teardown for six months before building my first racing engine with instruction from Tom Coy Sr. I remember my Snap-on Tools man Danny Webb taking my paycheck every week!”
What do you like best about your current position?
“The people. The Technical Support team on the Performance side is simply the best. Our Customer Service team flat out rocks! USMW is a great company to work for.”
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
“No, I grew up in printing and advertising. I would spend all that money building and racing cars. When the printing industry started to slow down around 2003 I was already working with racing teams building and editing GPS files for off-road race vehicles.”
What do you do when not at work?
“Work with my teammates on our 24 Hours of Lemons / Chump Car / Lucky Dog race car. Watch my son, Matthew, play college baseball. Enjoy the beach with my girlfriend, Cyndy.”
What one word best sums up your personality?
What kind of car do you drive?
“A lowered BMW i3 (AKA the Mario Kart).”
What was your first car?
“A 1966 VW Squareback that broke down right after I bought it.”
“’Stay Hungry’ from the late IndyCar driver Jeff Krosnoff.”