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Q&A with Kevin Webel

6/12/2018
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What do you do at Speedway Motors and what brought you here?

I currently work as a Mr. Roadster Dealer Specialist in Speedway Motors’ Customer Care Center. I started out as a Rod Tech/Muscle Car Tech assisting our customers with parts and their builds. After a 16 year sentence in Prison (where I worked as a K9 Handler for Drug Interdiction) I decided to give the railroad a try as a Conductor. Well, 2 months out of training and I was on furlough and looking for a job. Rather than going back to prison I chose to apply at Speedway Motors. My sister Becky has worked at Speedway for over 10 years and finally convinced me to do it. Also my family heritage helped, growing up in an automotive family thanks to my father Bill Webel, who incidentally was on the 4X Speedway Sprint car crew back in the day of Jan Opperman and Doug Wolfgang.

How did you find your love for the industry?

My whole life has revolved around cars. My grandfather was K.B. Kaar, who owned Kaar Service in Lincoln. It was a full service mechanical shop, body shop, machine shop and in house parts store with 24 hour towing. Servicing anything that had an engine, all the way up to 18 wheelers and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. My father Bill Webel was the shop foreman at Kaar Service so our daycare was the parking lot of the business. It was filled with all kinds of cool vehicles to play on. I specifically remember two double decker buses that we played on every day. Through the years my father and I restored many cars and we even had a Daytona Yellow 1969 Chevelle SS that we drag raced in NHRA "D" Stock class. We were a total Chevy Family and even started our own car club in the 90's called N-C-El's, which stood for Novas, Chevelles and ElCaminos. However, we let a few in with other vehicles - you just had to be a car guy. The Webel's are said to have motor oil for blood.

What project are you currently working on?

I am currently building a 1954 Chevy Belair 4 door. I've had the vehicle for 15 plus years and this is the first year I've driven it. I can honestly say due to this job I am able to get back to my roots and build cars again! Of course I had to take the old straight six out and drop in a 454 Rat Motor, followed by a TH400 and 10 bolt posi rear axle. If you need to get to the grocery store in a timely fashion, this car will do it! Be sure to check out my articles on the build, located in the Toolbox section of our website.

If you were to drive your car anywhere, where would it be?

With my car I would need plenty of gas stations along the way. Route 66 would be my ultimate road trip. Stopping at all the cool sites along the way and taking in the history of the car gods.

What shows or events will you be traveling to this year on behalf of Speedway Motors?

This year I will be representing Speedway Motors at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, KY, the Tri-Five Nationals in Bowling Green, KY and SEMA in Las Vegas, NV, the ultimate car experience. I’ll be at Speedway's Customer Appreciation Day here on our campus, and of course our Cars & Coffee events, held on the last Saturday of every month May thru October.

Read more stories about Kevin's 1954 Chevy Belair!

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