Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

October 28, 2014

Centric Parts Employee Spotlight: Gregg Murphy

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. We’ve all heard that expression before, but when it comes to discarded brake parts, who could possibly see them as treasure? Gregg Murphy can, that’s who. Gregg is one of our Centric employees who works at the Hebron, Kentucky Qualis Automotive facility in Quality Assurance. While most people would see these items as scrap metal, he sees the occasional rejected item and thinks, “That would make a terrific planter!” So rather than scrapping these rejected parts, Gregg started making treasures out of the trash soon after he joined the company in 2004.

As you can see in the photos, he’s been busy – making planters, bookends, clocks, and door stops out of brake drums and rotors among other things. His art has gained quite a following and has even attracted attention from a well-known car guy – Mr. Jay Leno. Gregg sent him a set of rotor bookends a while back and was repaid with an invitation to visit Jay’s garage.

For those who don’t know, Jay’s “garage” is a very well-known but very difficult to get into cluster of warehouses near the Burbank airport. In these massive anonymous buildings Jay keeps and maintains a fleet of over 200 vehicles. They are some of the rarest and most sought-after cars in the world and for any car-lover it is a truly special privilege to be able to see them in person. And now thanks to Gregg, future visitors to the garage will not only see a bunch of legendary automobiles, but they will also get to see the rare and beautiful Qualis bookends that Gregg made for Jay right there among the Porsches, Ferraris, Bugattis and McLarens. And we hear that those bookends will soon be joined by a set of Gregg’s planters too.

But Gregg’s artistic talents are not limited to just discarded brake parts. He also works in paper and plastic from time to time. In fact, Gregg’s latest creation is a set of semi-truck PEZ dispensers with our corporate logos on them. Because you can’t just go out and buy a set of trucks with our logos on them, Gregg purchased several with Ace Hardware logos on them and got to work. He was able to remove the old logos and replace them with our logos before carefully returning the trucks to their boxes and sealing them back up. The result is a set of Centric Parts and Qualis PEZ dispensers that look like they were purchased that way. They’re also a good match for Gregg’s previous truck project, a scale model tractor and triple trailer.

“I’m working on my next project for display here in the QA Lab,” added Gregg, “but it’s a couple months away from completion. When I complete it I’ll send you photos.”

Well done. Gregg! It’s always fun to shine a spotlight on hidden talents within our Centric Parts family. Keep up the great work and let us know when your next creation is ready. In the meantime, we’ll be looking at our trash a lot differently from now on.

October 23, 2014

Look for Pink Calipers to Support Brakes for Breasts in October

Centric Parts Sales Rep, Shane Brown, came to us with a rather unusual request a few weeks ago. He wanted a dozen brake calipers… painted pink. While we were tickled pink to help him out, we just had to know the whole story behind the request. It turns out it’s a great story about an even better cause.

Shane ordered the pink calipers to help support Brakes for Breasts, a movement that has been supporting The Cleveland Clinic Breast CancerVaccine Research Fund since 2011. Dr. Vincent Touhy and his team of researchers at The Cleveland Clinic have successfully tested a breast cancer prevention vaccine in their lab and are working to move the testing to human trials soon. They hope that the vaccine will “Put the brakes on breast cancer.” And it’s easy for all of us to help.

All October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, participating auto repair shops are offering free brake pads during every brake service, with customers only paying for the labor and associated parts. It’s a pretty good deal for customers but also for the Clinic, because 10% of those brake service fees go straight to Dr. Touhy and his team.

To help promote the program, Shane is holding clinics at several Centric customers in his region and loaning out the pink calipers to display at 7 different locations. But the promotion isn't limited to just a few shops in that area. There are hundreds of shops and stores participating in the program across the country. And just like almost everything else…there’s an app for that. Just search for Brakes for Breasts in the AppleApp Store or on GooglePlay and you’ll find the free app. It will give you some background information on the program and how to donate, plus a directory of participating shops and stores in 28 states.

With Winter approaching, it’s probably a good time to have your brakes checked, and Brakes for Breasts makes it an even better proposition in October, so get out there and help support this great cause.

September 17, 2014

Compton Facility Surpasses One Year Without a Recordable Injury

Centric's Compton, California facility recently surpassed 365 days without a recordable injury, a milestone we celebrated with a group photo and a visit by the Tommy Burger truck. Our Compton facility is primarily used for manufacturing our StopTech high performance and racing components, as well as research and development, so the extensive use of material handling equipment and manufacturing machinery makes this safety accomplishment extra noteworthy.

Each Centric facility is committed to protecting the safety of its team members, and best-practices are shared between them. The Compton team’s 365-day milestone was the result of every team member’s continuous awareness, effort and care on every shift. By identifying and correcting potential problems before they occur, Compton hopes to extend its record for another 365 days and beyond.

We are proud of all of our employees at all of our facilities, who have kept Centric among the safest and most productive automotive aftermarket manufacturers since our founding in 2000, but especially proud of our Compton workforce for reaching the 365 day mark. Congratulations on one year and here's to the next milestone!

September 2, 2014

Cost Less Billboard Proclaims Centric Love

Here's something we always love to see - and to acknowledge! Cost Less Auto Parts in Vancouver, Washington sent us this photo of their newest billboards. It's one of two they've set up in the area.

They are probably one of - if not the - busiest retail auto parts stores in the Northwest. Customers must take a number when they walk in if they want to be waited on by one of the 15 or so countermen.

When a store spends their own money to advertise our parts, it not only makes us proud, but it also shows how much they care about letting people know they carry our products. Thanks for supporting us and thanks for your business.

March 31, 2014

Team StopTech Comes Out Fighting in 25th Anniversary World Challenge Season Opener

The 25th Anniversary season of Pirelli World Challenge racing got off to a roaring start this past weekend with the running of the 2014 Cadillac Grand Prix of St. Petersburg brought to you by StopTech. World Challenge has always been one of StopTech Racing's favorite series, so it was nice to see our company, our products and our customers so prominently featured during the Grand Prix weekend.

Not only was the race presented by StopTech, but StopTech is the Official Brake System and the Official Brake Friction of the series this year. Plus, the group of drivers using StopTech that we affectionately refer to as "Team StopTech" had a really strong showing with Andy Lee taking second and Jack Baldwin claiming third in Sunday's GTS race. Both cars run full StopTech Trophy Big Brake Kits that are essentially the same as the kits you can buy for your high performance street cars and race cars.

Nor surprisingly, Jack Baldwin qualified his #73 RESET-MD/Motul/StopTech Porsche Cayman S on the pole after leading both Friday practice sessions. "It was exciting," Baldwin said. "For us, it was a situation where track conditions in traffic fell in place, I got a clean lap on drying conditions and that's what paid off. There were still some slick spots. But this track suits the RESET-MD Cayman really well."

While Round 1 was scheduled to be run on Saturday, inclement weather caused it to be cancelled. Therefore, Sunday's standing start grid was based off the qualifying results.

Andy Lee of Colorado Springs, Col. had qualified third in the No. 20 Best IT/Crown 7 Chevrolet Camaro and while Baldwin lost some ground on the start, Lee was able to move into the lead ahead of second-place qualifier, Lawson Aschenbach. Lee and Aschenbach battled throughout the race with slower traffic eventually helping Aschenbach take the lead with just a few laps to go. A disappointed Lee held onto second with Baldwin third.

Lee, twice a polesitter at St. Petersburg and a frequent lap leader at the track, came up short of the win once again. But it was a fighting effort from the third-year driver who was named GTS class rookie-of-the-year in 2012.

“I don’t know how many laps led I’ve had here without winning,” Lee said. Referring to the backmarker who gave Aschenbach his chance to pass, Lee added, “Every year this place seems to bite me in one way. I thought he’d open the door, but he turned down on me. He didn’t do it on purpose. That’s part of getting around here.”

In third place was polesitter Jack Baldwin, who was slightly behind the Camaros for most of the race but was pleased with his third St. Petersburg podium in the last two years.

“We lost a bit off our starting position, but the race was good from my point of view,” Baldwin said.

You can watch the race broadcast on NBC Sports Network April 6 or on-demand at You can also follow all of the series action at

The next round of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Championships is the Roar By the Shore presented by Kia in Long Beach, Calif. on April 13, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.

March 4, 2014

Centric Honored During Second Annual Pronto Smart Choice and MAC555 Program

Thursday February 20, Mackenzie warehouse held their 2nd annual MAC555 dinner and booth show. Approximately 20 vendors were on hand showing and talking about their products, along with 37 of Mackenzie’s top customers and select MAC555 prospects. Centric Parts was well represented by VP of Sales, Mike Musso, and sales rep, Ron Bessette.

Not only did this duo man the booth, but they also pitched in with kitchen duty for the night’s gala awards dinner, helping prepare tri-tip and salmon for the 200+ guests. Leading the activities in the kitchen was Mackenzie’s sales manager, George Salfiti, who also happens to be a Certified Chef.

At the end of the night Michelle Mackenzie and George Salfiti handed out their annual supplier awards, where Musso was honored to collect the Annual Supplier Recognition Award for Outstanding Performance on behalf of Centric Parts.

Michelle and George had great things to say about Centric. When Musso accepted the award, he thanked Michelle and George as well as the installers for their business. As soon as Mike thanked the installers for their business a few of them stood up and voiced thanks to Centric Parts for supplying premium parts on a regular basis for so many years.

February 18, 2014

Brake Friction Material Legislation Infographic

You may have heard about some new brake pad legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2014. The states of California and Washington have enacted legislation that aims to reduce the percentage of copper (and other potentially harmful elements) used in brake friction materials.

We've developed this infographic to outline the legislation, to explain how compliance will be noted across the industry, and to lay out a timeline of future requirements. We hope you find this infographic informative and that you will share it on your own websites, in social media or through personal communication with fellow employees or staff.

You may not be aware, but long before the January 1 implementation date, Centric Parts brake friction materials were already 100 percent compliant with the 2014 requirements. While we haven't touted some new brand that aims to make our pads look any greener than they always were, we do know that it's important to communicate where we stand on this legislation.

Besides the infographic, we have also created a page on the Centric Parts website that includes this same info, as well as additional information about our own progress in meeting the coming requirements. You can see that information by clicking here.

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