Race Pumps is the latest chapter in noted innovator Howard Stewart's passion for the performance racing industry. A passion that dates back to the first NASCAR race he attended in 1962 with his family. A passion that has included nearly every aspect of the industry. Here is a brief summary of the journey that led to the Race Pump Piston Fuel Pump, the most significant accomplishment of a long career.
His father, Cliff Stewart, instilled his love of racing in Howard. His dad owned a furniture manufacturing business in North Carolina and ran a number of successful racing operations including the factory AMC effort in NASCAR's pony car division and Rusty Wallace's Pontiacs in the Grand National series (today's NEXTEL Cup).
Howard started working for his dad at age eleven, changing the oil on his dad's fleet of trucks. By age 13 and through high school, he managed the fleet on his own, taking care of everything from engine rebuilds to body and paint. He went on to operate an auto salvage operation for 4 years. An interesting note, Terry Labonte purchased the operation after he won the Winston Cup championship in 1984. He said he had worked in a salvage yard as a kid and his goal had been to own one!
Stewart has had his own race team running NASCAR Late Model Asphalt with noted drivers Morgan Shepherd, Geoff Bodine and Jay Hedgecock.
He started in the high-performance industry in the 70's when he ran 3 retail speed shops known as Hot Rod Barns. That led to setting up HRB Distributors which serviced hundreds of wholesale accounts with product lines including Holley, Edelbrock, Carillo Rods, DelWest Valves, Crane and Comp Cams. HRB Distributors grew into Performance Corner, a performance retailer program with hundreds of locationsÉ Stewart founded the program as Performance Connection before selling to a group that took the concept nationwide.
Stewart began designing and manufacturing his own products about 25 years ago when he saw a need to correct the inherent design flaws in the small block Chevy cooling system. A successful line of high-performance water pumps was developed and later purchased by another company in 2000. He was awarded his first patent for the LC/SB (Liquid Cooled/Self-Bleeding) brake system and began consulting with the top NASCAR teams. Stewart has been granted 5 more patents on brake and cooling systems.
Over the years, he has consulted on engineering solutions with:
• General Motors
• Ford Motor Company
• Daimler Chrysler
• Sunoco Race Fuels
• Hendrick Motorsports
• Robert Yates Racing
• Roush Racing
• Petty Enterprises
• Richard Maskins/Dart
The fields of consulting have been as diverse as the clients:
• Fuel Systems
• Brake Systems
• Chassis Development
• Cooling Systems
• Data Acquisition