Chassis Wars: Highlights From Expanded Conversations With Rob Fuller And Ryan Stone

Rob Fuller (left) and Ryan Stone (right)

The stories that have dominated the Northeast Modified racing scene in 2019 have been as much about the off track behind the scenes action as the battles on the track. 

Some might say the feisty battle going on off the track between chassis builders has outpaced the fights on the track. 

In May it was announced that LFR owner Rob Fuller was buying the legendary Troyer Race Cars. 

That move set in motion a volley of barbs publicly through channels of social media between Fuller’s company and the North Carolina based Fury Race Cars, that Fuller had previously partnered with. 

Recently it was announced that Ryan Stone, crew chief for Justin Bonsignore on the Whelen Modified Tour team and former LFR employee would start his own company – Stone’s Parts & Performance – which will be affiliated with Fury Race Cars. 

Friday we sat down with both Fuller and Stone for an episode of the Unmuffled podcast and talked about all that is going with their businesses and the battles that have arisen recently among the chassis makers. 

Some highlights below: 

Rob Fuller on the competition between his company and Fury …

“Everybody knows their background. They don’t have the background that I do. They can give it a heck of a go. Will Ryan [Stone] help them? Sure.” 

Rob Fuller on people saying business is growing too quickly …

“How many times have you stepped in the same pile of crap twice? We had a very successful Super Late Model program, a very successful driver development group and a very successful Modified program that … grew too fast. And it grew out of my interest range. Now that I’ve done that once before, it’s a different scenario. … At the end of the day people ask why I do this. I do this because I enjoy helping.” 

Ryan Stone on serving as a Whelen Modified Tour crew chief while also advising and selling to Fury Modified customers … 

“There’s certainly a delicate balance there because then you go out and race against these same people. But honestly, there’s really not much you can do about that. We obviously have a dog in the fight and want to beat all those same people that we may be potentially helping, whether it be through parts or whether it be through technical advice. At the end of the day, big picture, we want ourselves to be success – Fury to be successful – and on any given day anybody that we may be helping have their day as well. It’s my job to sort of figure that, balance that out, which is not always going to be easy. But that’s the situation that we’re in.” 

Ryan Stone on the competition between Fury and Fuller’s LFR …

“I worked with Rob and I helped him build that company. I have respect for Rob. I also have my own name in this game and I want to try to build that as much as he wants to build his brand and his name. I sort of have a platform with some of the success that we’ve had here [at M3 Racing] and I’m just trying to turn that into a good opportunity for myself. Once again, now that I make a living racing I want to try to make the best opportunity for myself as well.” 

To listen to both talk at length click here to listen to Episode 57 of Unmuffled

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Comments

  1. Seems like a mistake with divided loyalties and distractions but what do I know.
    If anything Rob Fuller proved there is no singular way to gain the advantage in the chassis business.
    I’m just glad the drama will continue.

  2. Trapper Dave says

    I wonder how Ken Massa (the owner of the #51 Phoenix Communications) feels about Ryan Stone’s divided loyalties; that is, selling parts to and giving technical advice to competing teams.

  3. Trapper Dave, this isn’t the first time nor will it be the last that a crew chief has also been a parts distributor. From what I read above it seems like both Rob, and Ryan have no hard feeling toward one another. Ryan is trying a new venture in hopes of bigger things, and wish him the best of luck going forward. In the bigger scope of things it seems like business as usual for both of them. When Rob bought Troyer the world didn’t end, and with Ryan’s new venture don’t think it will either.

  4. Looking to the future. Maybe one day we’ll see a Ryan Stone Chassis. The guy is very smart, and seems to be putting himself into a situation to be able to help racers make their cars better. As far as the 51 is concerned, we all heard Bonsignore thank Rob Fuller and LFR for their success last year. This year he switched his loyalty to FURY, possibly knowing that his crew chief was going to become a FURY dealer. There is no loyalty in racing. Racers will always gravitate towards what’s winning races, it’s the nature of the best.

  5. Viva race fan says

    What about Sprafco ? Do they still have any 1 on tour running there chasis ?

  6. Moeller?

  7. Trapper Dave, how is it any different than Fuller selling and servicing to many other competing teams? Same for Raceworks, SPAFCO, CD, etc. They all service the same teams, all competing against each other. What about Brad LaFontaine of Northeast? And when Brad was Crew Chief for the Al-Lee 36?

  8. “selling parts to and giving technical advice to competing teams.”

    Wouldn’t the flip side of that include opportunities to collect new data?

  9. sour grapes of war is hell says

    really this is all you people have to talk about??? a “chassis war”.. its business… one guy essentially holds the purse strings (owns two companies).. who cares who is doing what ..with whom.. get a life..
    its just gotten so expensive and out of control.. no one really cares. starting a business (racing business) is a risky venture.. how about people doing something to bring the car counts back up and put fannys in the seats.. it will do no good having a fury,lfr or new troyer in your garage if no one wants to watch you race .. you could buy a house for what some people are spending on complete race cars with spares .. OUTRAGEOUS

  10. There goes Dareal showing his intelligence level again. I believe the issue here is Massa is paying Stone to compete with him. The others mentioned were not full time employees on any team. They had companies they owned and were paid on the side to set up cars. Stone has a full time position with benefits from Massa AND is trying to help other teams that are competing against Massa. Completely different case. Don’t have the energy to argue though so you win.

  11. Brad Lafontaine was Steve Parks crew chief on the #8 Sheba racing car when he started Northeast, and Parks success at the time was good for Brad’s business. Ryan may be banking on the success of the 51, to help his venture grow.

  12. Obviously, not the same jeffery we know and love. Hmmmmm

  13. Bob wrote, “Obviously, not the same jeffery we know and love. Hmmmmm”

    I second that emotion! 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂🤣🤣😂😂🤣🤣😂🤣

  14. Man if you’re shooting for a unique writing style that delivers content completely consistent with the screen ID you nailed it Sour.
    Those are some pretty sour lemons that I’m thinking you were’t able to make into lemonade on this occasion.
    The NWMT has some pretty heavy hitters with resources and sponsors that I’d bet already own their homes. Whereas in prior years the field level was pretty stagnant this year we’re having rhubarbs about allowing cars in with provisionals that didn’t qualify. Butts not in seats you say. Evidence suggests that its not the case this year on average. Stafford had great attendance by all accounts that is made more surprising seeing as how it was on cable TV as well.
    Fuller dominant, Stone can’t compete. Troyer dominant, Fuller can’t compete and how’d that work out.
    Get a life. I do believe it is possible to have a life and also get enjoyment from watching the next chapter in the Great Northeast Asphalt Modified Chassis War.
    You wasted a few lemons on that one.

  15. “Rob Fuller on people saying business is growing too quickly …”

    I’ve never heard that until now.

  16. Chassis war. That funny. So do we buy the chassis Fuller designed from NC, the chassis Fuller designed from NY or the chassis Fuller owns in NY? Not much of a war!!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  17. Moving forward for new chassis there won’t be any confusion between LFR and Fury chassis as LFR Gen II is being produced by TFR. From what I understand, they won’t be producing any Gen I chassis.

  18. Just Me, will there ever be any details about the specific and technical details of the Gen I, Gen II, through Gen N chassis?

  19. dareal, Some things (details) are not publicly published. But if you spoke with them, they would tell you what they do and why.

  20. Just Me, once the chassis is out of the shop and in the public, it’s in the public domain. No reason to not be publicly published or discussed publicly. You really believe there is some super secret technology? 🤣😂🤣🤣

  21. Mike Stefanik won two of his championships driving a SPAFCO for Art and Kenny Barry.

  22. dareal, you seem to have a fixation on the LFR Chassis. Why don’t you just call Fuller or catch up with him at the track and ask your questions. Go right to the designer instead of hiding behind the computer screenand asking.

  23. Just Me, there are many ways to get that superior info out there, if it existed in the first place.

    When somebody has a superior product, they should be eager to tell everyone why and with great detail. If they can. If there really is good reason. Makes too much sense, right?

    I’m still waiting.

  24. I remember reading an article about Scott Bloomquest painting chassis and components flat black so it would be hard for competitors to see what was going on , I believe he also sells chassis which are made by someone else (probably can’t weld) and seems to do ok, not eager to show off I guess

  25. Many chassis builders, crew chiefs ect… hide their tricks in plain sight.

  26. Lenny Boehler used ball joint coolers as a diversion.

  27. Sheba Fan says

    Just correcting Rob p.
    Brad Lafontaine’s last season as crew chief with the 8 car was 1992. When Steve Park drove for Sheba Racing, Kevin “Bono” Manion and Tommy Baldwin Jr. were his crew chiefs in 1995 and Peter Jasper was setting up the car in 1996.

  28. LENNY had you fooled you thought they were a diversion, I’m not arguing with lennys success

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