South / Regional Reports

'Coleman Car' Heats Up Race Track

NORMAN, Okla. - It’s hot and it’s on track to win another points championship in 2009. “That’s my ‘Coleman® Car,’” said race car owner Henry Gaus.

Gaus, owner of Cool Zone Heating & Air Conditioning in Beaumont, Texas, has been selling Coleman products since the line of heating and air-conditioning equipment was first introduced in the Beaumont area 11 years ago. So pleased has he been with the products and the people who represent them, including Johnstone Supply Manager Doug Smith and Coleman Regional Sales Manager Howard Wilson, that Gaus decided to prominently feature the Coleman and Johnstone Supply logos on his race car.

And that’s not all. After seeing a representation of the Coleman [mc]2 MicroChannel Mini-Cube Air Conditioner on Smith’s truck, Gaus decided to include that same graphic on his race car, strategically placed beside the two corporate logos.

Gaus’ interest in racing spans 20 years. “I started with a sprint car in the late ’80s,” he recalled, “long before I opened my air conditioning business in 1996. I continued racing as a privateer until the mid-’90s, when it just got too expensive for someone like me who did not have a large sponsor to help with the expenses.”

Gaus dropped out of the sport, but by 2000, he found himself hanging around the track again. In 2001, he purchased a modified car.

“It was an older car, and we couldn’t get it to do much,” he said. “So in 2003 we bought a car that was just one year old, and that’s when our racing career took off.”

In 2004 and 2005, Gaus’ car won back-to-back points championships at the local track in Beaumont. “That means we were the most consistent race car throughout the year,” Gaus explained. “Every time you race, you get a certain amount of points, so at the end of the year, consistency is what’s important.”

At one point, the red car was also ranked 27th in the nation among UMP Modified cars and second in the state.

Gaus dropped out of racing during 2007, but in 2008 he was back, this time with a second car - a blue car whose graphics are similar to those of the red car - and a team of two drivers and two men who help maintain the cars.

This season, the red car again grabbed the points lead in Beaumont. According to Gaus, they race the car, on average, one or two times a weekend from the end of March through the first or second week in October. Then, they run just a handful of races before taking a break in January and February to rebuild and retool the cars. In March they start the process all over again.

“I put the Coleman logo on the cars because that’s what I sell,” Gaus explained. “I enjoy my relationship with both Doug and Howard. I see them often, and when I do, they both have plenty of time for me. That really makes a difference for someone in my line of work, so I’m proud to put their logos on my cars.”

To Gaus, both men and the companies they represent are winners, and so is his “Coleman Car.”

For more information about Coleman, visit or call 877-926-5362.

Publication date: 09/14/2009

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