Memorial Day Tribute to Frank J McFadden

My grandfather (on my mothers side) Frank J McFadden who passed away on 1/7/2008 was honored at the Veterans Memorial cemetery in Lake Worth Florida on Memorial day 5/25/2009. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during WWII. My mother, sister and 6 month old nephew were interviewed. Here is a link to the news channel’s page. Click on the video to start it, just past ½ way is when my family is interviewed. I spent time with my grandmother Annette Athanas talking about her late husband (my grandfather on my father’s side) Arthur Athanas who was a Major in the U.S. Army. Arthur passed away in 1978.

Jason Athanas 






Hawks Hockey Team great come from behind win

Jason Athanans’s Hockey team the Hawks had a great come from behind win yesterday. They defeated Team Kendall 9 to 6. Jason’s line Mike Black. Chuck Lanza and Jason Athanas scored at least 4 of the goals along with some assists. Team Kendall was up by two goals early in the first period. The Hawks came back and were up by a few in the second. Here are some Pictures from the game  CURRENT PONIT STANDING




Jason forgot to wear his shouler pads









the scoreboard in the back shows 9 -6 for the Hawks with 1:22 seconds remaining











Racing Report from 4/25/2009 Jonny Kay at Charlotte County Motorsports Park (Punta Gorda Speedway)




Our A-Best forklift team raced again on Saturday night at Charlotte County Motorsports Park The results weren’t as good as we hoped. The car was undamaged, so I guess it could have been worse.
We qualified in fifth place out of 28 cars. We drew a 2 in the draw so we started on the outside pole. I’m glad the speedway went back to a draw rather than drawing for an inversion. This way it still gives the fastest qualifier the chance of starting in the front. Why try to set fast time in qualifying if you will not even have a chance of starting on the pole? (They were drawing from the numbers 4, 6, 8 and 10 to invert.)
The start of the race was less than stellar. The leader started on the back straightaway when Jon was still cleaning up his tires. Jon didn’t start and coasted around, reasoning that the flagman would not let that start go. To everyone’s surprise they threw the green flag and we were in 12th place on lap 2. We easily passed a few cars with no contact and when we got to Wayne Morris at around the 6th position we were looking for a lane to pass him. Wayne was coming out of turn 4 when his car seemed to suddenly slow down. We were right on his bumper, so the contact was substantial and his car spun around. For this bump, they sent us to the rear of the 28 car field.
We worked our way back up to 6th with only a few laps to go, but the tires were wearing out and the 5 cars in front of us were like a freight train and glued bumper to bumper with everyone afraid to make a passing move. We tried the outside lane and it didn’t work. There was lots of loose rubber and debris. We lost a spot to Travis Hanson in the 141 car. We were able to pass him back as well as another car to finish 5th.
We had a bit of extracurricular activities in the pits after the race. It seems everyone has forgotten that short track racing involves contact. We did get our NASCAR Modified chassis back and will be putting that car back together in the next few weeks. We will probably run that car next. I will post in advance when and where we plan to race it.   




Jonny Kay wearing his new fire suit

NASCAR rules require a current and approved suit. 

On the way from Fort.Lauderdale to Punta Gorda Alligator Alley was closed due to wiid fires for most of the weekend. It was open for a short window of time and I made it through. The fires were burning right near the side of the road. The Alley was closed right after I got through so we had to come home the back way through Clewiston and down US 27.




Late Models
1. 93 Brandon Johnson
2. 57 Joe Winchell
3. 11 Austin Kirkpatrick
4. 77 Tuffy Hester
5. 48 Johnny Kay
6. 51 Richie Anderson
7. 141 Travis Hanson
8. 36 Ross Chastain
9. 8L Sean LeMaster
10. 56 Wayne Morris
11. 8 Bobby Shelton
12. 23 Barry Bartlett
13. 77 Ed Leek
14. 46 Matt Cohen
15. 177 Eddie King
16. 70 Jeremy Gerstner
17. 14 Mario Maresca
18. 22c Dusty Cornelious
19. 50 Perry Lovelady
20. 82 Danny Maddox
21. 5 Joe Boyd
22. 36 Gary Padulla
23. 100 Dean Ferri
24. 22k David King
25. 19 Dale Dean
26. 10 Steve Dorer- DQ


Late Models
1. 93 Brandon Johnson
2. 57 Joe Winchell
3. 11 Austin Kirkpatrick
4. 77 Tuffy Hester
5. 48 Johnny Kay
6. 51 Richie Anderson
7. 141 Travis Hanson
8. 36 Ross Chastain
9. 8L Sean LeMaster
10. 56 Wayne Morris
11. 8 Bobby She

Mercedes TRP Theft Relevant Parts

Mercedes-Benz USA has recently (effective date November 10, 2008) tightened the reins on their sales of theft relevant parts. At Autobahn Performance Inc. we are trying to work with our local dealers and with other affiliates to work through if not around this problem. As it stands now if we are repairing a vehicle with a part that is classified under the theft relevant parts policy as a TRP part, the vehicle must be brought to the Mercedes dealer and the part must be installed there. Theft relevant parts as I understand it at this time include;

[1] Keys electronic and traditional blade type (also green and orange programing keys)

[2] Electronic Ignition Switch EZL

[3] Infrared Control Unit , Drive Authorization Module DAS,

[4] Locks and Lock Cylinders mechanical and electronic

[5] Electronic Selector / Shift Lever Modules (electronic shifter assembly) on models 215, 220 and 230 only

[6] Transmission gear control unit (Electronic Valve Body on 722.9 G-tronic transmissions only

[7] Engine Control Module

[8] Flashware or repair Cd’s (software programing updates) 

[9] Certain Airbag / SRS Supplemental Restraint System cables etc.

[10] Body Shell, certain body panels and components

These descriptions of parts listed by Mercedes are very vague and could include parts associated with a substantial number of the repairs we preform at Autobahn Performance Inc. We have the equipment and the capability of installing these parts as long as they remain available to us.


It is insulting that Mercedes and our local Mercedes dealers that we purchase parts from do not trust us or think that we are stealing vehicles or parts. If the dealers correctly fill out the paperwork and forms on the theft relevant parts we purchase there would be an obvious paper trail leading back to us, if a vehicle we had repaired was reported stolen. There is no way, for any amount of money, Autobahn Performance Inc. would knowingly become involved in the theft of a vehicle and jeopardize our reputation and name for the minimal profit of selling stolen vehicles or parts. Our annual sales averages are in the millions of dollars without the aid of stolen vehicles or parts.

Some of the parts listed seem to have no relevance to the possibility of using the part to steal a vehicle. How could you steal a vehicle with an ignition lock cylinder (with no key to it), or with an unprogramed engine control unit (ME control unit). The only way that I can see is it you use that part to throw through and smash the glass window of a locked vehicle to gain access to the interior of that vehicle. I hope Mercedes is not trying to corner their share of the repair market by requiring customers to have their vehicle repaired at the dealer. This would be a monopoly and should be illegal. The dealerships seem to be using the TRP policy to therir advantage by selectively enforcing their interpritation of the policy and requireing that vehicle be brought to them to be repaired when the ssale of parts is refused due to the policys vague guidelines.

From what I understand the reason Mercedes is pressing this issue is to keep insurance costs on their vehicles down. If the vehicle is harder to steal or is stolen at much lower percentage rates, the customers insurance cost to insure that vehicle will be lower. In turn Mercedes should sell more cars due to a lower cost of ownership.


At Autobahn Performance Inc. we are in the process of becoming a Licensed locksmith. With this We will be able to purchase keys and lock cylinders. It is an expensive and drawn out process and might take some time before we complete this process. 


If anyone has any further information or updates on this policy please contact me. I would like to hear your stories and ideas on this subject:

Relevant links:

Mercedes-Benz TRP policy:

Mercedes November 7, 2008  parts ordering announcement:
Theft-Relevant Part (TRP) Form with Documentation Checklist of Theft-Relevant Parts:
Visit our website’s TRP page:

RACING REPORT JONNY KAY a-best forklift Team 48 at Charlotte County Speedway on 3/29/2009

We raced in the combined Super Late model race at Charlotte County Speedway in Punta Gorda Florida on 3/29/3009. The car was real fast, but a sight wobble coming out of turn four on our qualifying lap put Jonny 4th in qualifying. The track officials decided to invert the top ten cars, so we started in the 7th position. The car was working real well during the race and we moved all the way to second place behind Joe Winchell. Jonny Kay was right on Winchell’s bumper trying to pick his spot to get around him, when the caution flag came out with 9 laps to go. When the flag man gave the "one lap to go" green signal, I told Jonny (over the 2 way radios) to clean up the tires and get ready for the restart. Jonny snapped the throttle and jabbed the brake pedal several times (as we usually do) to clean off the tires and get a little heat back into them. Just then, Jonny came over the radio and said a control arm broke on the rear end and we were done for the night. Sure enough, when we got the car into the pits, the upper control arm of our three-link suspension had a broken rear Heim joint (a ball and socket joint used on aircraft and race applications for its strength and low resistance when pivoting). We were lucky it broke on the warm up lap and not during the race, or Jonny could have lost control of the car and wrecked. We are going to put the Heim joints on our normal maintenance / replacement schedule for the car. This $40 part probably cost us well over $3000. Hopefully we got our bad luck for the year out of the way.





  Jonny kay A-best Forklift car in tech inspection before the race on 3/29/2009





  Jonny Kay wearing one of our new Autobahn Performance Inc. shirts





Here you can see the broken Heim joint. Notice that the ball is still on the shaft for the upper control arm mount on the rear end. The Heim joint opened up and stretched due to the torque that was applied to it when it failed.




Dave Sears, Tami and Dan adjusting the tire stagger prior to qualifying