Shots Fired: Team Owner Dave Sapienza Calls Out Fury Race Cars For Facebook Post After Musket 250

Musket 250 winner Bobby Santos III (left) in victory lane Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with LFR owner Rob Fuller (right) (Photo: Courtesy of Judy Thilberg)

It’s a social media war that has simmered and boiled for much of the 2019 racing season. 

Fury Race Cars vs. LFR.  

They were once one big happy family, and then they weren’t anymore. 

The long story short, Rob Fuller founded LFR Chassis in 2014. Fury Race Cars owner Darius Grala says Fuller sold the designs, tooling, intellectual property and assets of LFR Chassis to Fury Race Cars in 2016. Fuller later formed LFR Enterprises, creating a business sold cars he finished from bare chassis Fury produced Modified chassis’. Fuller sold these cars as LFR cars and the teams that competed with them all called them LFR cars and always credited LFR as their chassis builder. 

Grala said LFR was a Fury Race Cars dealer in 2017 and 2018. Fuller says he was never a dealer for Fury Race Cars, that he purchased their chassis to create finished LFR cars. 

“I contracted them,” Fuller told RaceDayCT. “They were a subcontractor for LFR. LFR paid Fury Race Cars to manufacture something that I designed.”

After the 2018 season LFR stopped using the Fury Race Car chassis’ as the base for the cars they were selling as LFR cars. 

In May it was announced that Fuller had purchased longtime Modified chassis building powerhouse Troyer. And then the social media ugliness began. 

It was at that point that Fury Race Cars began a campaign on social media to take credit for all the cars that LFR had sold that were built after the formation of Fury Race Cars. 

It was a marketing strategy that created confusion to many around Modified racing who were not privy to the inner workings of all that had taken place between all the players involved.

Some teams that had previously called themselves LFR teams suddenly were branding themselves as Fury teams. The M3 Racing team of reigning Whelen Modified Tour champion went from calling themselves an LFR team to a Fury team. The Mike Smeriglio Racing team of five-time series champion Doug Coby continued to brand themselves as an LFR team, despite the fact that Fury Race Cars management would post on social media that they were a Fury team because they were racing chassis’ that Fury produced and sold to LFR.

Sunday the social media back and forth took an unexpected turn though after Fury Race Cars posted on their Facebook page taking credit for the victory by Bobby Santos III in Saturday’s Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Along with a photo of Santos in victory lane, Fury Race Cars posted: “A #FURY wins the #Musket250! Congratulations to Bobby Santos III!” 

Sunday morning team owner Dave Sapienza responded himself on the posting by Fury Race Cars. Sapienza posted: ““NEWS FLASH” I’m a little disappointed to see a FAKE POST of our identity!!!! We are LFR !!! We will continue to be LFR. But thank you for the recognition on our win yesterday of the Musket 250.” 

Sapienza said he sent a text to Grala Sunday morning to emphasize that his team does not identify themselves as a Fury Race Cars team and that his loyalty lies with Fuller and LFR. 

“Enough is enough,” Sapienza told RaceDayCT. “It’s all being misinterpreted. People are just assuming what they want to assume. I’m going to say what needs to be said. When I’m right I’m right, and I’m … right about this and I don’t [care] if I hurt anybody’s feelings or not. 

“I’ve always put my loyalty to Rob [Fuller]. Rob has always been there for me. I’ve told them that Rob is a total game changer. He has lifted this series to another level.” 

Grala defended the posting by his company despite Sapienza’s anger with it. 

“We built his car,” Grala told RaceDayCT. “We built it and we own the design for his car. Who he bought it through doesn’t make any difference to us. It doesn’t make us any more or less happy for him. It doesn’t make us any more or less proud of the fact that he won in our car. It’s great. 

“I have no problem with Dave Sapienza having LFR on the car. I have no problem with him thanking LFR. He bought the car from LFR and LFR helps him with his setups. He should be thankful for that. But none of that changes the fact that he’s driving a Fury built race car and it doesn’t make us any more less proud of his accomplishment.” 

Said Fuller: “The problem is [Grala is] trying to use my success to promote his company. Period, end of discussion.” 

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  1. So how does Darius the great know where the chassis came from. I have a LFR Chassis that came from Canada. I spoke with Jimmy Blewitt and he has one from Troyer. Darius…a word of advise, go design something better and take credit for that. Stay focused on your product not the product of others. There are no trademarks, copyrights or parents on ANY race car. If there were and it was dominating all you would do is change 1 thing and it’s a different design. We all know this but you! A non compete with Fuller would have been worth its weight in gold. If you don’t have that you might as well pack it up. Sorry.

  2. Mr. Grala.
    You do NOT own my car or chassis. I am sorry. I own it. Rob Fuller has been to my shop and turned my family owned team around. I am sorry you do not have a non compete with him and I am also sorry that you are unable to keep up with his evolution of a modified. I have had my car brought to Mr. Flemke twice for updates in 1 year. Do you own those as well????? Please sir do not involve us in your self inflicted battles. Focus on your latemodels before Kyle Busch and Seneca take that from you as well. Understand this industry before you enter it sir.

  3. Hey Stone,
    Don’t lose Fullers number bro. My set ups I ran 5 years ago are junk now. His notebook will become irrelevant soon! Unless Massa is willing to invest in RnD and testing to compete against himself you might have a issue. Fuller is relentless in modifieds. Going against him will require a lot of time and a fat wallet. Best wishes!

  4. Fact 1
    If there is not a specific design listed in the PS agreement then there is no design
    Fact 2
    If there have been any modifications to the referred to design then it is irrelevant
    Fact 3
    IP has to be defined in a PS agreement and a price or value attached to it
    Fact 4
    A non compete is put in place to protect purchaser in these situations. If there is one Fuller has issues.
    Fact 5
    It’s been 6 months. If there was a issue with manufacturing and rights it would have gone to court by now.
    Fact 6
    Never get involved in a industry that you are unfamiliar with.
    Fact 7
    Nascar industry rarely includes IP, trademark and or copyrights simply due to the evolution of the sport. It takes a average 6-8 months to secure a trademark or copyright which makes it irrelevant in this industry which is constantly evolving.
    Fact 8
    Fury should have retained Fuller. Obviously. The fact they did not shows a flaw.
    Fact 9
    The original designer will usually prevail. Ask Apple
    Fact 10
    We will never know the facts.
    Yes I attended law school in VA so this is true. Like it or not.

  5. Andy,

    How about the fact that if you sell something (in this case a chassis) you relinquish the rights to anything without a pre determined dealer agreement which apparently they did not have. Sounds like Fury needs a legal team.

  6. So is my Buick a Chevy??? I’m confused. Who care who welded the chassis together???? Are we being serious Grala?

  7. If I purchased a Apple computer I would want Steve Jobs to help. Fuller is the mastermind of the Fury/ LFR or whatever you want to call it. Am I the only one who sees this? Ask around. He is the best of the best with a mod. What’s the issue here? Why would I buy a Fury? Unless I am Ron Silk.

  8. Grala is a snake trying to promote his failing modified business using Rob Fuller success. Even the success the #51 has had this year, branded as a Fury, is thanks to Rob Fuller. All Fury Modifieds are a Rob Fuller design. Get a life Grala, and stop taking credit for the work of others.

  9. Don’t know if this means anything but when I go to facebook and type LFR Race Cars in the search window I’m getting a lot of Fury stuff.
    I’m with Sapiena and everyone that makes the argument that no sub contractor owns the design. That any change to the design obsoletes the old one, makes it irrelevant and creates a new one. That the guy that came up with the recipe that made the Big Mac the Big Mac wasn’t the guy that supplied the hamburger.
    Finally, that the guys paying the bills on these outstanding teams get to ID any freakin company they want to and it should be respected.
    Tell you what Fury. You can make all those perfectly legalistic arguments until the cows come home but in the end taking credit when an owner is saying the opposite and plastering all over social media is uncool and borderline childish. And maybe a little dumb since Fuller is kind of sitting with a full house at this point.
    Love chassis wars. Hate not agreeing on what the chassis is.

  10. If you think Rob Fuller is sharp….you should have met his dad. Bobby was always ahead of the times with all his cars. Rob obviously paid attention. Modifieds are generational. Fuller name is just that. Funny. No one liked Bobby Fuller either. Oh well. They are not here to make friends. Keep pluggin lil Fuller.

  11. When you look at modified racing as a whole, including NWMT,Weekly racing (SK or Tour Type), Touring series like VMRS ect… One name comes to mind as being the predominant chassis supplier; TROYER. Other builders have had some success at various times, but the shear numbers establish TROYER as the #1 Chassis company in modified racing. And who owns TROYER? Rob Fuller. So… Mr Grala can continue to push his Fury brand, and take credit for Rob’s Idea, but eventually those who have LFR cars now will replace them with new LFR cars, built in part by TROYER. And some day when there’s an auction at Fury, because they faded into obscurity, some will wonder wether or not the drafting table in lot 307 was the one that Rob Fuller used to design the LFR modified. While Rob will be hard at work designing the next generation Chassis’ for both TROYER and LFR.

  12. Congratulations on a well deserved win Sap, hope the back is better , it’s obvious you didn’t hit your head, you can still recognize a snake when you see one

  13. Yeah, the Modifieds use SPEC motors, based off a GM design, and then label the cars as Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, etc. Why isn’t anybody talking about that?

    This is so funny.

    I told ya!!!

  14. All Grala is managing to do is to make himself look like a bigger idiot, than everyone already knows he is. Rob Fuller has established himself as king of the modified world, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  15. Dadope,you have told us a lot , most doesn’t make sense and most don’t care

  16. Desperate Fury. Very desperate. If things were going good at Fury the owner would have his mind somewhere else. Not in this crap. Desperate. I give them 1 year.

  17. Dah DOPE
    Spec motor based off GM design ? ?
    Exactly which GM motor has the distributor located on the front of the block ?

  18. Spec-tre,

    Have someone read this to you, and explain it to you.

    GM LS2. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    What did you think it was? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    How long did you not know the SPEC was a GM? 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣

  19. Josh paradis says

    I like this idea of computers and hamburgers sounds like a plan. And yes my welder is bigger than yours. And even with abad back sap is the strongest person i know and yes grala he will put you in your place. Hey grala news flash LFR guys are not slaves for you and youre not their master it doesnt work that way grala.

  20. To me, it’s like an engine builder, shock maker, or any of the other manufacturers of parts needed taking credit for being the sole reason for a cars win. Isn’t it the reason why there are all those contingency stickers on the cars? I know most of those companies will announce the success of a race team using their products, but not proposing that they’re the reason for a victory. Sometimes people who have made a lot of $ don’t always think clearly. They start to believe everything they do will be successful. I hope he doesn’t wreck things for his son. He’s acting like the father of the Canadian F1 driver who spent 30 million for 1 season so his son could drive a bottom feeder. Now the father purchased his own F1 team and his son is one of the drivers.

  21. Bostonian, think he’s already ruined things for his kid, when he told Mr Gallagher his kid wasn’t getting good equipment. If you’ve noticed don’t see Kaz racing much anymore.

  22. Surely it must be annoying getting the win of your career and seeing Fury attaching themselves to your victory like a barnacle. Every time it comes up though it seems more posturing then substance. Once the greater audience weighs in, especially the customers, the center of gravity always seems to shift in LFR’s favor. Appears the work you do over the years in the trenches with the troops outweighs social media grasping.
    Might even help Fuller just to clam up, get-er-done and let the ones he’s worked with do his advertising for him like Sapienza.
    If you want to be a force do it like LFR did when they were the David taking on Goliath. Get that Stuart car fixed, Be at the front of the field with the 51, show you can provide dealer support and bingo……real Fury customers. Not the ones that don’t want to be associated with you.

  23. Hillary 2020 says

    One week the 01 is an LFR car, the next it’s a Fury.

  24. My eyes may not be the greatest, but the picture at the top of this article is Bobby Santos, with… NOT Mr. Grala, NOT Tony Eury, but who is that? Oh yeah, ROB FULLER!! The “picture worth a thousand words” tells me all I need to know about what kind of car won this race!

  25. Fast Eddie seems your being overly gracious calling him Mr. Doesn’t seem to be many others that would about now

  26. Not related but I’d be curious if anyone knows how big a factor TV and media revenue is. Observations are always made about the crowd but is that the money maker?. Aren’t a lot of these events about media content and how to tap into it. NBC Sports must pay a pile of money. NASCAR’s Fanschoice must have some motive for streaming it without a fee. Developing an audience maybe to charge in the future. Youtube pays fees for clicks so I wonder if that’s a revenue stream when events are posted there.

  27. I was contracted to powdercoat that car that Bobby parked in victory lane. Does that mean I have the rights to say its my car?

  28. Captain Obvious says

    Kyle, I don’t think it would give you the right to call it your car, but i do think you would have the right to congratulate the winner and state that you powder coated the car. I really don’t see how doing that would be out of line. You can call the car an LFR, Troyer, Raceworks, Spafco, Etc all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was built by Fury.

  29. It would be like taking a can of coke, putting a pepsi sticker on it and calling it a pepsi. The only problem is there would still be coke in the can.

  30. sour grapes of team building says

    this proves once and for all the race is won on the jig !! .. driver ,crew chief, tire management, bolt ons means nothing.. if fury didn’t exist there would be no modified tour I guess… this is ridiculous.. LOL .. P.S. Rob Fuller is NOT GOD never was never will be. the teams and drivers along with the bolt on`s have made these cars perform.. some LRF mods are grotesque failures on the track performance wise .the teams doing well and who won championships did so with other builders long before LFR or FURY came along ..

  31. Sour grapes your right but those winning team’s decided to go with LFR for a reason even after being successful with a different chassis , many just wanted a challenge ???

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