One of the more significant but often overlooked qualities that makes a good company is how easily its customers can access its employees--from the bottom to the top of the company.  At VP Racing Fuels, Brad Horton is one of many employees who engage customers daily to consult on fuel, tuning and many other issues.

Brad has turned a passion into a well-rounded career throughout his 21 years with VP. His love for racing began as a child in Roby, TX when he started riding dirt bikes, later moving on to 125 shifter karts and drag cars. After Brad moved to San Antonio to begin work as a machinist, he continued pursuing his racing hobby, competing in hare scramble, enduro and karting events and even became a licensed instrument-rated commercial pilot. 

It was in San Antonio where Brad met VP founder, Steve Burns, a frequent visitor to the race engine shop where Brad was machining parts and building engines. Eventually Steve hired Brad in 1991 for a sales position, from which he advanced to become VP’s Central Regional Sales Manager, directing all sales activities in a region covering a third of the U.S. In his “spare” time, Brad oversees the operation of many aspects of VP’s plant in San Antonio.

Beyond all that, Brad also serves as a member of VP’s Technical Support staff, where he’s become a go-to guy primarily for customers with questions about powersport applications.  However, with his broad experience in the shop and on the racetrack, Brad literally knows engines inside and out, enabling him to answer technical questions about virtually any engine combination or racing application.

This perspective is typical of the VP culture where most employees have racing experience in one form or another.  “Customers tell us they like being able to pick up the phone and get input from an actual racer with the same passion for performance they have,” Brad said.  

“The gratifying thing about working for VP is the development of friendships and helping people,” Brad continued. “We’re like a little family that has grown every year. “

Despite the growth of VP’s business and reputation in the industry, it still maintains its small business atmosphere and sense of customer loyalty it’s had from the beginning. “I have customers of fifteen years coming back to me for tech advice because we consider ourselves friends and they know I’ll give them a straight answer,” Brad added.  “There are other customers who’ve relied on VP for decades—because they truly trust our products and services.  It feels great to be part of something like that.” 

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