For decades in the drag racing world, the Candies name has been synonymous with winning. The late Paul Candies owned the legendary team Candies & Hughes, and now his sons, P.B. and Brett, are carrying on the family tradition with their own wildly successful sportsman racing team. Known as Candies Family Motorsports, it competes in Stock and Super Stock classes across the country.
“After following Dad around for all those years, racing becomes an addiction so to speak,” P.B. Candies says. “Eventually the itch gets you bad enough and I guess you really follow those footsteps and dive right in.”
P.B.’s day job is as operations manager and secretary of his family’s marine transportation business based in his hometown of Des Allemands, Louisiana. The company, Otto Candies, LLC, services oil fields primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet, Candies has also been a force in sportsman drag racing since 2010, with 2014 having shaped up to be possibly his best year ever.
One race stands out in particular, as Candies lit up the record books in his supercharged 2010 Mustang Cobra Jet at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. There he made the fastest pass in NHRA Super Stock history, turning in a time of 7.859 seconds in the quarter-mile at over 170 MPH. Not to be outdone, his brother Brett also won the SS/DA class during the weekend.
“We had been really working hard on the Mustang and trying to make it quicker and quicker and quicker,” P.B. Candies says. “In the springtime we had made some fairly good runs and dipped to 7.88, 7.89 and some (times) in the low 90s.”
Throughout the summer months he and his team tweaked and tuned on the setup knowing they had a fast car, but weren’t exactly sure what number they had to hit in Indy for the record.
“During our last qualifying run we said, ‘let’s just put it on kill and see where we’re at,’” Candies explains about the record-breaking pass. “When the announcer said it was the quickest Super Stock run in history we were all obviously elated.”
Candies’ Mustang is equipped with COMP Cams camshafts and a cutting-edge FAST XFI fuel injection system. COMP builds camshafts for racers at every level of the sport, while the XFI is designed to provide the utmost in power and adjustability for serious racers like Candies. He says that a major advantage of working with the COMP Performance Group (CPG) and its brands like COMP and FAST is the wealth of knowledge that goes into the engineering and manufacturing of each component.
Indeed, the entire organization can trace its roots directly back to sportsman drag racing in the 1960s and ’70s, meaning the staff has witnessed and learned from the evolution of the sport. The company is made up of racers who simply know how to win. Candies has utilized everything from testing at the COMP facility to FAST at-track support to create his own winning edge, which he insists is his goal at each of the 10 to 15 races he is able to do each season.
One member of the CPG staff that helps Candies in his attempt to reach the winner’s circle is FAST Sales Manager David Page, whom the Candies team works with closely to dial in their cars at nearly every race. “He stops by virtually every race that we’re both at,” Candies says of Page. “He’ll help us fine tune a few things or find something that we maybe were overlooking.”
Page believes that the affiliation is mutually beneficial. “We have great relationships with many racers, and when a team achieves the kind of success that the Candies racing team has, we celebrate with them,” Page says.
“Sportsman racers have a tremendous amount of passion and a lot of dedication to the sport of drag racing. The team here at the COMP Performance Group shares the same passion and dedication so we understand the hard work and teamwork it takes to achieve this level of performance.”
Page also explains that the COMP Performance Group’s showing at the U.S. Nationals sent a strong message to sportsman racers that the company produces top-of-the-line products with a staff to match.
“We left the U.S. Nationals with a long list of winners,” he says. “There is a lot of truth to the old saying, ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday.’ Several of the orders we have taken since the event have included comments about our presence and support of customers at the track as a deciding factor in their purchase.”
Story originally published in Drag Racer Magazine