In 1988, Bobby Hearn’s Fabrication business set the stage for the current look and style of the Dirt Modified. Twenty years later, Bobby’s chassis designs are doing the exact same thing. His are the ones with the distinctive TEO emblem behind the driver’s seat. His cars are ever changing as his mind digests input from customers and employees. “When you have a good baseline car, you don’t need to make a lot of big changes”, Bobby says. “You’re better off making subtle changes that don’t make every other car obsolete.”
TEO strives to be different that competitors, but that hasn’t always been easy. “I think people who have been involved in dirt racing respect me,” Bobby offers quietly. “They can look at the other chassis and see the similarities to our cars.” “Yeah, we need the big guys to showcase our cars on the tour, but we really need the Saturday night guys. Having these guys win weekly at their local tracks sells more cars than the top guys winning the series races. The best advertisement we can have is competitive Saturday night guys. Don’t misunderstand, the big guys have helped us get where we are today; the fact that whatever Brett Hearn, Jimmy Phelps, Jeff Strunk and others have, anyone can have the exact same thing – the cars all come from the same jigs,” Bobby explained.
TEO receives an endless stream of Monday morning phone calls from drivers who dominated on Saturday nights. They also receive calls from those who got beat. “we try our hardest to help them out the best that we can,” Bobby says. “And if they bring the cars down here, we will scale them to make sure they aren’t missing anything. But usually, we can straighten them out over the phone. We have a strong following with strong drivers at each track, this has helped us to get a really good baseline set-up for each track. If the driver will work off that set-up, he will be competitive.”
TEO also now offers an annual chassis seminar entitled: Get Smart, Get Quick; where they try to help all drivers with topics ranging from chassis set-up, driving techniques, tire and car preparation, maintenance and sponsorship help. Anyone can benefit from this seminar from the novice to the advanced racer. “Everyone is always searching for an answer, they want me to wave my magic wand and straighten out a car,” Bobby says. “Sometimes, that happens but, there is no perfect set-up. What works one night for one driver may not work the very next night for the same driver – let alone a completely different driver. Especially with the way the track surfaces are continually changing.” So what is one word that can sum up TEO Fabrications and the TEO Pro Car? Bobby instantly offers up, “Consistent.” Bobby Hearn and the TEO staff strive to do four things:
Create | Innovate | Guide | Explore
Create dirt racing’s most winning chassis design with dependable fabrication.
Innovate new technology to re-invent and make their chassis better, as they did with the original Pro Car.
Guide their current stable of drivers in a direction beneficial to everyone.
Explore new ideas with research and development work.
Finally, at the end of the day, pass that learned information down to the customer so everyone ends up in victory lane come Saturday night.