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Where It All Started—UPR Products

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Where It All Started—UPR Products
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Photography courtesy of the manufacturer
A lifelong entrepreneur and hardcore racer, UPR Products founder Mark Mainiero laid the foundation for his successful Ford Mustang parts supply business more than three decades ago. Always involved in racing, Ford fanatic Mark and his brother, David, had a drag bike and a bracket car that they competed regularly for many years. In 1984, with David driving, the men earned the NHRA Super Gas Motorcycle national championship.
In 1985, though, Mark relocated to Florida from his home in Connecticut in search of greater opportunities. He had owned several businesses already, including a skating rink and a pizza place, and in 1989, he opened a performance shop in Delray Beach. 
Originally called Super Stang, thanks to employees such as Jeremy Martorella and Bart Tobener — both multi-time champions in their own rights — the shop amassed more racing victories and records than any other in the area. With Willie Figueroa behind the wheel of the shop’s innovative, Vortech-supercharged 1,900-plus-horsepower 1995 Ford Mustang GT, the team was the first to eclipse the 8-second barrier in True Street in 1999 on BFG drag radials, then went on to win a plethora of other events, championship titles, and so much more.
Mark's son and current president of UPR, Joe Mainiero, knew the Mustang market needed a company that truly understood the racer’s suspension needs, and together, he and Mark began manufacturing the strongest, lightest, and best-performing parts at an affordable price. “They were able to offer the same quality as more expensive components at a lower cost because by buying American-made chrome-moly by the mile, literally, and focusing on mass production rather than small-batch items,” explained Sharad Raldiris, UPR’s Marketing Manager since 2011.
“They started going by the name ‘Unlimited Performance Racing’ which became UPR Products when the company formalized in 1998,” Sharad noted. Two years later, UPR hit its stride and moved to its current location in Lake Worth where it occupies two buildings totaling roughly 15,000 square feet of space. With in-house manufacturing as well as materials storage, warehousing, and office space, the UPR campus is a mecca of Mustang parts production.
Thanks to Mark and Joe’s drive, determination, and focus on efficiency, UPR gained traction. Additionally, it was the UPR team’s focus on excellent customer support and unparalleled trackside-support that set the company apart from competitors. “UPR brings its fully stocked 18-wheel tractor-trailer to approximately two dozen events every year, simply so racers have access to the parts that they need when they need them, and customers can check things out in person before they buy,” Sharad added of the company’s commitment to going above and beyond.
Today, the majority of UPR’s suspension components and billet pieces are made in the USA. Although the company still focuses on its mission of providing race-ready suspension parts, UPR adapted to accommodate a changing marketplace and has branched out into other avenues, such as its popular oil catch cans, customized emblems, apparel, and more.
UPR’s K-members, A-arms, control arms, anti-roll bars, and various other products have helped countless drivers win races, set records, and earn championship titles throughout various series such as the NMRA, NMCA, World Ford Challenge, Fun Ford Weekend, and others. Team driver Bill Putnam, too, has found tremendous success flying with UPR as his back-to-back NMRA Limited Street championship titles and outstanding seasons truly show the potential of UPR’s suspension products.

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