About Our Valued Clients:
By Meghan Diemel - All The Dirt! Racing News
1985, Jimmy and Chris Mars were two farm kids who enjoyed racing
on the weekends. Flash forward more than 35 years later, and the
relentless work ethic and determination they learned in the farm
fields of Wisconsin is the backbone of their business, Mars Race
Cars. During 2021, that spirit of perseverance was visible in
victory lane once again, as clients in MB Customs from Mars Race
Cars cleared nearly 700 wins across sanctioning bodies throughout
"It was really an unbelievable year in so many ways,"
reflected Jimmy. "We had drivers winning national championships,
series titles, big end-of-the-year specials and several crown
jewels across multiple series. I think we ended up with more than
200 Late Model wins, more than 360 Mod wins and just over 100
Midwest Mod/B Mod wins. And the win count doesn't include the
many drivers who had their best season yet, between top five and
With the success comes additional pressure, but it's something
he, Chris and the rest of the Mars Race Cars shop have come to
embrace each fall, he acknowledged.
"We celebrate our clients' accomplishments and we're really
happy to see them all have a year like they have had. Obviously
we feel proud of what we've built here; we definitely try to build
a family type atmosphere and a win for one is a win for all. But,
we've already been heads down, back to the grind, preparing for
2022 for a couple months now," Jimmy explained.
While drivers were tearing it up on dirt tracks across the United
States in their MB Customs, Jimmy, Chris, AJ Diemel and the rest
of the crew at Mars Race Cars worked diligently on stepping up
their research and development yet another notch in 2021. That
meant more hours testing at various tracks in the region and more
time spent developing innovative ideas to make MB Customs even
better. Not only do they want to continually improve the product
they offer clients each year, but this year they had the additional
challenge of taking their chassis to the next level in the face
of the increased cost of materials and supply chain problems that
have plagued nearly every industry. They want to be able to offer
the same high quality products clients have come to expect from
Mars Race Cars, without passing the buck onto the racers.
"We grew up with that drive to always improve on whatever
we were doing, whether it was farming or racing," said Jimmy.
"So this year, like any year, even though we saw our clients
hit a new record number of wins for the MB Customs brand, we aren't
going to rest on that. And now with the increased costs, we see
it as our responsibility to ensure the same quality, support and
excellence drivers have come to expect, regardless of what's going
on in the industry."
"We've been on the other side as a customer," added
Diemel. "We fully understand as competitors ourselves what
people expect out of the partnership between a client and the
chassis builder. We've tried to add value to the chassis builder/client
relationship and take great pride in being available to provide
timely responses to any questions a client may have, whether it's
during the build process or throughout his or her season."
When you buy an MB Customs race car then, whether it's a Late
Model, Modified or Midwest Mod, it's not a one-way business transaction,
"It's not just our livelihood, it's our passion," he
said. "It doesn't matter if you buy a used car from Mars
Race Cars, or a new chassis, we're answering questions and providing
technical support until your last race of the season. When you
call the shop, you will speak to the people who had direct involvement
in the fabrication of your chassis. It's 36 years of chassis building
for us this year and we're just as committed to dirt track racing
now as we were back then."
Roller-Only, For Good Reason
you purchase a new or used race car from Mars Race Cars, you leave
with a car that is right where it needs to be to be in contention
for a win when it's unloaded. Jimmy, Chris and AJ have made sure
their nearly 100 years of combined racing experience are carried
throughout the process of production and afterward. This is complemented
by additional staff who have all had long-term involvement in
motorsports and their own successes on the dirt tracks of the
"We pay attention to every detail of every race car that
leaves this shop," said Jimmy. "Even if you're buying
a used car from us, it's been gone through thoroughly and leaves
here ready to roll out and race. That's the least we can do for
our customers who have entrusted us with the major component of
their racing programs."
In addition to complete turn-key Late Models, Modifieds and B
Modifieds, Mars Race Cars has a complete inventory of race parts;
shock sales and service through CMD Race Shocks; complete rear
end center (rebuild, straighten, etc.) specializing in Winters;
complete rack & pinion rebuild center specializing in Sweet
Mfg.; jig work; custom aluminum fabrication (tire carts, pit accessories,
custom race car modifications, etc.); custom sheet metal fabrication
(race car bodies, pit boxes, etc.); motor installation; custom
tire grooving and siping; custom pipe bending; welding (TIG &
MIG); and much more.
Wins, Titles, & Championships Across Sanctioning Bodies
2021 season for MB Customs clients started with big Modified series
championships in Florida (UMP, Kevin "Buzzy" Adams)
and Arizona (non-sanctioned, Rodney Sanders). Throughout the season,
drivers won nearly 700 times across more than 20 states, three
Canadian provinces, and multiple sanctioning bodies. By season's
end, MB Customs was the chassis of choice for the USRA National
Champion (Dustin Sorensen), the WISSOTA Late Model National Champion
(Cole Searing), the USMTS Rookie of the Year (Brooks Strength),
the WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series Champ (Darrell Nelson),
and the WISSOTA Midwest Mod National Rookie of the Year (Jake
Additional season-long series titles were claimed by MB Customs
clients Nick Anvelink (Dirt Kings Late Model Series), Dean Abbey
(DFW Local Late Model Series), Triston Dycus (USRA American Racer
Modified Series), Bo Day (Touring Outlaw Modified Series) and
Drake Troutman (Renegade Mod and Late Model Tour).
And, if you were at any big money race throughout USRA or WISSOTA,
chances were good you saw an MB Customs in victory lane. Multiple
$10,000 USMTS victors, end-of-the-year specials and hallmark regional
crown jewels were won by MB clients in 2021.
In WISSOTA country, Ashley Anderson collected wins at the Tanner
Byholm Memorial, the Northern Nationals, and the Punky Manor Challenge
of Champions, while fellow Mod wheelman Jody Bellefeuille was
victorious during the Northern Nationals, the Minnesota Mod Nationals
and the Border Battle. Sam Mars drove to his largest career payout
during the Trackside Collectibles 40, while Jesse Glenz was victorious
in the Late Models at the Tanner Byholm Memorial. The three-day
Masters event at Cedar Lake was highlighted by Jimmy Mars winning
the $10,000 Late Model prize and Diemel winning his first-ever
USMTS Modified feature, while Jake Redetzke and Jake Timm were
also feature winners during the weekend. Just two months later,
MB Customs clients swept the USA Nationals local Late Model field,
with Glenz and Anvelink taking one feature a piece.
MB Customs were in victory lane at both the Legendary 100 and
WISSOTA 100, thanks to Diemel, Jimmy Mars and Daniel Bargender.
Mars was also a winner during the Punky Manor Challenge of Champions
and the Mahder Memorial in the Late Models, while Diemel added
another John Seitz Memorial title to his list, the first three-time
winner of the event, and won his second Red Clay Classic title,
as well as the Tom Steuding Memorial (LM) and the Rumble at Red
MB Customs pilots from northern WISSOTA land also made a mark
during the 2021 season, as Travis Budisalovich won the Silver
1000 in the Late Models, as well as the AFCO Race of Champions
at I-94 Speedway.
Darrell Nelson was the Modified victor during the Silver 1000,
and won one of the Late Model features at the Labor Day Shootout
in Hibbing, while Jay Kintner was also victorious in Late Model
action at the Shootout.
In Wisconsin, Chris Oertel and Mike Widmann were winners during
SK Speedway's Autumn Clash, while in South Dakota Chad Becker
won the Autumn Classic at Casino Speedway and the huge $10,000-to-win
show at Dakota State Fair Speedway.
"A lot of work has gone into ensuring our brand is not only
successful, but that drivers feel supported at every step along
the way,"explained Jimmy. "You let us know what you're
planning for your race schedule, and we'll be here to ensure your
car is not only built to the correct specifications, but is also
the best of the best, wherever you race."
The Future for MB Customs Pilots with Mars Race Cars
season, the entire shop at Mars Race Cars is involved in trying
to up their game for the following's season's line of MB Customs.
"There is no off-season now; we continue fine-tuning and
testing throughout the winter, wherever our clients are racing,"
explained Jimmy. "We're working with them to make sure we're
making the adjustments necessary to get them into victory lane
- ahead of their competition."
"That benefits every racer," added Diemel, "even
if your season doesn't start until May and you race one night
a week. The time we put in the shop and across the nation in the
winter months is a huge asset to everyone."
With more than 1,900 Late Model wins, 2,000 Modified victories
and another 370 wins in the Midwest Mod/B Mod ranks since the
brand's inception, MB Customs chassis are quality pieces at market
level for cost, and the racer behind the wheel is making a solid
investment in their race program for the price. Jimmy, Chris,
AJ and the rest of the Mars Race Cars gang invite you to become
a part of the Mars Race Cars and MB Customs success in 2022.
If you're ready to take the next step to take your racing program
to the next level, call the Mars Race Cars shop at 715-235-4950,
and take a look around MarsRaceCars.com to see what they've been