Oakley: Desire to be fastest

Oakley: Desire to be fastest

Race engines from Oakley Motorsports won NHRA Top Dragster championships 2017 and ’18. In NPTA championships (National Tractor Puller Association) they succeeded twice, in Battle of Bluegrass truck pulling championships four times as well as various circle track dirt championships and big-money Bracket events. They even conquered the Engine Masters’ Horsepower King and Torque Monster contest of 2013—the year the company was founded by Phillip Oakley. “When I was 15, my Dad started an automotive service station business—auto repairs. We held onto it for 25 years but by the 19th year I’d had enough. I dreaded going to work, and in 2012, the tiresome adventure was over. Before long I closed the operation and replaced its weary prospects with the promise of building race engines. I married Jessica when I was 19. We met in High School and have been married 28 years. She has gamely supported me through the highs and lows, the times of drudgery and uncertainty. For years, I had been building my own race engines on the side at our home, but now I risked everything on a dream: hoping to sustain a living by building 10 to 15 race engines per year. Even then, I harbored hopes of continuing my own drag racing endeavors. I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, and today my son Jay works closely with me. You ask how I cultivated the bond. The relationship with my own father, Greg, had always been difficult. A former Marine, it was often his way or the highway; we couldn’t occupy the same room for more than 20 minutes without friction. So, I determined...