Texas prep shop headed by Chris Haldeman expands rapidly
In a relatively brief time, X-Factor Racing has grown immensely to become a powerful force in Texas Mazda racing. “X Factor is an ever growing entity,” explains owner Chris Haldeman. “We started out building some engines for some friends. Then there was a large hole in the market and I seized the opportunity to provide more.
“I think at the beginning, two years ago, I had maybe three full-support guys and probably 40 or 50 engines around the country, now I average over 20 cars per event in my paddock,” he says. “I think I stamped my 330th cylinder head last week. I just work really hard. I’m a seven-day-a-week, 100-percent-effort kind of guy, and I drive my crew and employees to be the same way. Nobody goes to sleep until everything is ready for the next day.”
With 22 cars in its paddock space at the COTA SCCA Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour and 25 at a recent NASA race at MotorSport Ranch Cresson, X-Factor is about to move into a new building just outside of Dallas to expand its operations, as Haldeman says he has outgrown his current location.
“Currently, I have three full-time rental cars. Two of the three are spoken for the season. Through the week, Monday through Friday, I have five full-time employees that are servicing cars between events and getting stuff done. We do everything in-house – paint body repairs, frame work – so pretty much once a car rolls in it doesn’t have to go anywhere else. I have a trailer parking lot – customers bring their car and their trailer and drop them off. I have a transport capacity of nine, the rest roll through, but sometimes I’ll take their cars home and they take cars for me – we just work it out so it works. It’s pretty much a revolving door of Miatas at my shop,” Haldeman explains.
X-Factor offers all the usual services, including race car builds, engine builds for SM, STL and T4, transport, trackside prep and coaching. X-Factor also offers a benchmark in a very fast driver – Haldeman was the polesitter for the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finished on the podium. X-Factor also takes care of most of the Teen Mazda Challenge drivers in Texas.
Apart from some machine work on Modified dirt oval cars, all his work is on Mazdas, all of which is some generation of MX-5. Haldeman is very hands on, too, something he believes sets him apart from some others in the business.
“Consistency and product delivery timing are important,” he says. “Every single decision and every single thing comes through me, and every single ounce of machining is done by me and no one else, so I’m somewhat limited in what I can get done. But in order to maintain quality control, I can’t sublet anything. My bad ones are still good and my good ones are good and I don’t have a very large spread.”