For those who can’t get enough NASCAR action at the track or on television, there is a small collectors’ store in Chico where fans can get their racing fixes. The store is cleverly named Oil Pan Racing, after its owners Patrick Oiler and Lisa Pannell (pictured), and is located at 1020 Main St. at the back of the Sicilian Café's parking lot. The store has a huge variety of NASCAR, Busch and NHRA memorabilia. You can check out the majority of the store’s inventory at oilpan.com. The Web site also serves as a 24-hour online store, where fans can buy cars from their homes. Recently I caught up with Pat and chatted about cars.
What exactly do you sell here?
We sell a large variety of NASCAR and racing collectables. This includes hats, shirts, collector cards, stickers, flags, die-cast cars and lot of other stuff.
How long has Oil Pan Racing been in business?
Since September of 1998.
Who typically comes into the store?
Usually males anywhere from 15 to 75 and women looking to buy their husbands gifts.
Who are some of your top-selling drivers?
The popular guys right now are Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett.
Are the die-cast cars you sell expensive?
Our hot wheels-size cars can range anywhere from one to 15 dollars. As the models get bigger, prices can range from 25 to 500 dollars.
What was the response after Dale Earnhardt was killed?
It was huge. We had lines. I drove by the store and saw people standing out here [in the parking lot], and I just kept going because I didn’t know what to do—raise, lower or keep prices the same.
Do people ever want wrecked versions of the die-cast cars?
Yeah, they make race versions and wrecked versions. They usually sell out pretty fast, though.