Hi, I'm Frank Palazzo, Owner of St. Louis Race Gear / U.S. Race Gear. In 2011, I was “encouraged” to take the used Viper I had just purchased to a trackday event. “All you need is a helmet,” I was told (yeah, right…). As it turned out, buying a helmet was not as easy as it sounded. There was nowhere in St. Louis to buy a helmet. The only place to do so was online, so I did that, but I was somewhat annoyed that there was no place in St. Louis to try on a helmet before buying it.
A few years later, we decided to rearrange some warehouse space creating open space from an otherwise unproductive but climate-controlled area of our warehouse that is home to Chart Distribution, our regional lubricants distribution business. It occurred to us that we could use that space to offer car storage to the public, which then led to the thought that people storing cars would likely be enthusiasts and might be racers in need of somewhere to try on and purchase a helmet – and St. Louis Race Gear was born. We went to our first PRI Show in 2014 and were fortunate enough to establish a relationship with our first supplier, Racequip, who really helped us tremendously in getting started. Shortly thereafter we added Simpson/HANS and Traqgear Trackday SFI apparel.
In 2019, we heard that the owner of U.S. Race Gear was selling off his inventory in preparation for closing down prior to his return to dentistry. We made contact and acquired their inventory, customer list, and website. The acquisition of U.S. Race Gear also brought us supplier relationships with Alpinestars, Bell Racing and several other niche brands.
Today we proudly stock a broad lineup of Alpinestars Auto and Karting Suits, Gloves, Shoes & undergarments; Bell Racing Helmets; Racequip Helmets, Harnesses, Suits, Gloves, Shoes and Undergarments; Simpson Helmets, HANS devices, Simpson Hybrid and Hybrid S Head & Neck Restraints; and Gloves and Shoes, as well as those other niche brands.