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 this installment of “Five Minutes With,” we get to know Kyle Neal, business development director for Red Line Synthetic Oil.
What was your first job in the industry?
I worked for Discount Tire Company where I learned how to help customers get custom wheels built for their slammed mini trucks. This was not just off-the-shelf wheels, but custom back spacing wheels too. This led to my first custom built truck when 22s where just hitting the truck scene. Being a Texas native, I had to own a truck.
What do you like best about your current position?
Being Red Line’s Business Development Director, the variability of my job is what makes it so exciting. One day I could be working with a manufacturer, and then the next day I am standing on the starting line with one of our race teams. I am able to contribute my experience and skills in sales and marketing to a wide variety of our customers and teams.
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
Yes, I always intended to open my own performance shop, but I ended up doing a school project on an aftermarket chemical company and realized there were more avenues than I ever imagined. The oil and chemical segment was just starting to gain traction as way to truly increase a vehicles performance and protection. I had a chance to get in on the ground level and I took it.
What do you do when not at work?
I am heavily involved with my family. I coach them as much as I can in sports and take them to as many events as possible. I built them custom slammed Little Tikes Cozy Coupes with stereos and lights and lowered PowerWheels that they can cruise in at these events.
What one word best sums up your personality?
I am a Type A individual. It doesn’t matter the challenge, I am willing to take it on and I will find a way to make it happen.
What kind of car do you drive?
I currently drive a 2017 Toyota Tundra Overlander with a 9-inch custom lift and an RTT on the back most of the time.
What was your first car?
I had a 1990 454 SS Truck that was black with red interior. It was a gas-drinking beast, but gas was just $0.89 per gallon at the time, so I was not too concerned. I was harder on tires, which is what led to my first job at Discount Tire.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I have a daughter, so I gave up my man card and learned to style hair. Her mom goes to work early when I am not traveling, and when she was younger she always wanted some crazy hairstyle. I didn’t just learn how to make a pony tail, but a braid too; and it doesn’t stop there. I learned the 3-strand braid, fishtail, French braid, upside down braid, Dutch braid, and many more. I get picked on by some of the other dads, but the kiss and hug I get from my daughter when I make her request happen makes it all worth it.