Race Cars and Machinery.....Two things that Hank Gentzler never had enough to say about. From sneaking under the fence at Williams Grove Speedway so he could scrape mud on Rick Ferkel’s car, to attending Willow Street Vo-Tech for Machine Shop. At the age of 18, the two would come together when he developed and manufactured his first racing related product, a torsion arm broach. Seven years later in 1982, Hanks Performance Products was born in the basement of his house. Through the years helping the likes of Bobby Allen, Steve Siegel, George Bishoff, Tony Diaz, Joey McCarthy, Joey Kuhn, Mark Richard, and Lance Dewease helped to keep Hank on the cutting edge of racing technology as the business continued to grow to what it is today. Mostly known through the sprint car community, he’s also built parts for go-karts, snowmobiles, late models, modifieds, Nascar Busch Grand National stock cars, steering components for the Dodge Viper, and a fuel pump driver for Roger Penske’s Indy Car program.
In 1996, at the age of 38, Hank was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), but that didn’t stop productivity. With wife Denise by his side, they were able to participate at 100 plus races on a yearly basis. Also, they were able to keep organizing the Manufacturers Appreciation Race at Lincoln Speedway, an owner and driver benefit race that has been going on annually since 1988, and has raised as much as $80,000 in product prizes in a single year.
On May 25, 2004, eight years after being diagnosed, Hank lost the battle with ALS, a disease that on the average takes lives within two years.
Hank’s Performance Products, now with Denise Gentzler behind the wheel, is upholding the same standards as it always has. Quality products that prove to be reliable, fast customer service, and a desire to remain a leader in sprint car racing technology.