Greg Adler was born into the family business. His father was the original pioneer at the helm of 4 Wheel Parts, a business dedicated to supplying customers with equipment for all their off-road and 4×4 needs. His time in the shop at a young age surrounded him with all things automotive, which influenced his future in two ways. Not only did he become the President and CEO of the family company, but he also took to the track himself. Greg currently races in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) and in . As he said, “My day job takes up a lot of my time, but racing is a ‘weekend office’ job for me.”
Greg has been a loyal ODYSSEY® battery customer for many years, even extending his love for the brand to 4 Wheel Parts customers by offering the batteries in store. In 2015, his relationship with EnerSys, the manufacturer of ODYSSEY® batteries, expanded when they were announced as an official racing sponsor. We caught up with Greg about his time at 4 Wheel Parts and on the track.
Can you tell us about how 4 Wheel Parts began, about your time with the company and what it has meant to you?
4 Wheel Parts is a family business. I started going to work with my dad when I was eight years old, and continued during the summers while in school. I graduated college, got my CPA license and worked in accounting for a while, but knew I wanted to be in a full-time, operational role at 4 Wheel Parts. A few years later I started full-time and, since then, I’ve worked my way up to President and CEO. This business is in my blood. It’s fun stuff – building trucks and Jeeps and selling performance products for guys and gals that want to enhance their vehicles. It’s what I’ve been doing over the last 20 years.
4 Wheel Parts was recently in the spotlight on “Undercover Boss” – a show that features top executives going ‘under cover’ to see the inner workings of their company. What was the experience like?
It was a great experience. We took lessons away both personally and professionally, which ultimately allowed us to build on our culture at 4 Wheel Parts. We were also able to do some great things for employees throughout the company. We always want to make sure we’re taking care of our employees and customers. As products and vehicles evolve we’ve enhanced our training programs, which benefits both sides. It was a great experience all around.
How did your interest in cars begin? How did you get into racing?
I was fortunate enough to grow up within the industry and watch off-road racing evolve. I knew it was something I always wanted to do. Shortly after graduating college, I was able to scrape up enough dollars to start a race team in the deserts of Baja. It just took off from there.
How did your involvement with ODYSSEY® batteries begin?
4 Wheel Parts started selling ODYSSEY® batteries several years ago. As I learned more about that product, I knew that was the battery I wanted to power my race vehicle. Having that power source in the vehicles as they’re getting abused and beat up, and knowing that it would withstand, helped mesh the gears on the business side as well. It started with my need to race the very best product out there. From there, we’ve been able to create and develop a great relationship with the team. Great people make a difference and the people at EnerSys, specifically those who work under the ODYSSEY batteries brand, care about being great partners and creating a great product.
What’s it been like to go from Baja California driving limited buggies to racing in Ultra4 and LOORRS?
Desert racing is a marathon race. You have to logistically and strategically plan to win. King of the Hammers (KOH) is a huge event that’s blown up over the last 10 years – it’s the ultimate test of desert racing and rock crawling built into one. There will be 40,000 customers of ours alone to come out and watch us compete.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) is more like a hundred yard dash. There’s no better thrill ride than driving a Pro 4, 4-wheel-drive truck with 900 horsepower on tight tracks with sharp, 180 degree turns, 150 feet jumps and 10 to 20 other trucks trying to battle for the same piece of dirt. It’s the intensity that comes in that kind of racing.
If you could race anybody, who would it be and why?
Because my expertise lies in the dirt I would have to say Mickey Thompson, Ivan Stuart, Walker Evans and Robbie Gordon. It would be pretty incredible to race them down the Baja Peninsula from Ensenada to Cabo.
How do you balance racing, work and your family?
The balance is tough to strike, but fortunately my dad instilled in me years ago: “Surround yourself with the best.” From a business standpoint I’ve got a great team of guys running the different departments within 4 Wheel Parts. That allows me to spend time getting to the track. I also have a terrific team that gets the truck ready for battle every time we go out there. Finally, I have an understanding and supportive family. We make a weekend of the races – it’s a great family atmosphere.
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