Riding Rough, Looking Good

North Dakota’s Roughrider Signs & Awnings outfits dirt-track racers in its area.
July Vehicles -- Roughriders racecar 1.jpg

When most people think of auto racing, they think of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series and its high-profile drivers and high-stakes racing. However, such drivers Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon didn’t earn their elite status overnight. Many cut their teeth on primarily small-town, rough-and-tumble dirt tracks where the “rubbin’ is racin” philosophy makes big-league racing look genteel by comparison.

Roughrider Signs & Awnings (Jamestown, ND) wraps numerous racecars that run dirt tracks throughout that region. Myke Baugh, the shop’s owner, said Roughrider doesn’t approach them any differently than conventional wraps.

“We’re in the advertising business, not the racecar business,” he said. “We treat every car as if it will be driven on the street, with the same attention to detail. And, we always make sure we get paid in full before the car leaves.”

Baugh’s team begins each job with a Windex prep application unless it’s sufficiently soiled to require degreaser. He noted that Windex “works well, and helps keep shop costs down.”

The shop primarily handles its racecar-wrap trade in the spring at the season’s outset – however, Baugh said some of the more aggressive drivers require some mid-season replacements. He continued, “We generally only laminate the front nosecone and hood because, on dirt, things can torn up pretty easily. Frog Juice protects the ink and retains that showroom shine quite well.”

To produce its wrap, the shop uses 3M Controltac or Roland DGA Corporation media, and outputs the jobs on its Roland 54-in. VersaCamm printer/cutter. Baugh said racecars are relatively simple to wrap. He noted the primarily challenge was arranging sponsor logo for ideal visibility: “The sponsors are our clients too, so they’re very important.”