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Local Couple Competing In The Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Charlotte, NC – Mechanical Advantage Racing is a small race shop in Hendersonville, NC run by Kendall Samuel and Mary Barker. The business was founded in 2012 by Kendall while he was studying mechanical engineering at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. It was a part time job to help pay the bills while dabbling in racing. After graduating in 2015, Kendall was hired by Honda of America, north of Dayton, Ohio as a product engineer in the engine development department.
At this time, Mechanical Advantage (MAR for short) still served as a part time job after normal work hours, building and maintaining personal race cars as well as customer vehicles. Eventually, Ohio’s flat land took its toll and Kendall left to pursue mountains once again. After some job hunting, Kendall landed in Asheville, where he took a role as a senior engineer at BorgWarner Turbo Systems. Like his time at Honda, Kendall continued to grow MAR on the side until 2020 when he met Mary Barker while repairing her Subaru Forester. At the time, Mary was a manager at Discount Tire and showed a lot of promise in automotive repair. She left her job in March 2021 and dove headfirst into a full-time role at MAR, pushing the business full speed ahead.
It became clear that there was more demand than anticipated, and Kendall also left his day job to handle the other half of the jobs that came in. Since then, both Kendall and Mary have continued to build customer and personal track vehicles and travel to events with them to compete. With over a decade of competition experience, it seemed appropriate to finally pursue the long-awaited goal: to try to summit Pikes Peak in the PPIHC.
What this meant for MAR, is a whole new race car would need to be built to be sure that there aren’t any safety concerns regarding the roll cage and any other components integrated into the chassis. Both Mary and Kendall have been working night and day since they received their acceptance letter to make sure the car is completed in time. There is still plenty more to do – in the end it will all be worth it! Outside of motorsports, Kendall and Mary enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and adventures. Kendall also builds guitars, a hobby he started in middle school. Mary maintains a side photography business and competes in equestrian sports.