Racecar Enthusiast Stays Ahead of the Pack with Roland

FinishLine Signs   |   Bakersfield, CA

Who would know more about how to make a racecar look its best than someone who actually drove one professionally? Competing in NASCAR is what got David Mayhew into the vehicle restyling business and spending every weekend at the tracks is what keeps him on top. His passion for racing and experience in the industry inspired him to open FinshLine Signs, a 1,200 square foot shop located in Bakersfield, CA that specializes in vehicle and trailer wraps, banners, decals, and other signage.

Mayhew was first introduced to digital printing 6 years ago when a friend took him to look at printers and plotters at Ordway Sign Supply in Van Nuys, CA. He saw a VersaCAMM SP-540 in action and it was love at first sight. “I walked out spending so much money that I had to start a company,” he said. Since then, FinishLine Signs has used Roland inkjet printer/cutters exclusively, recently adding a VersaCAMM VS-640 to the line-up. “Once the VS-640 came out it was just about time to get another printer to keep up with demand and the first Roland worked so well that it was a no-brainer to get another one.”

Originally drawn to the VersaCAMM’s print/cut capability, Mayhew continues to favor Roland technology for its all-in-one convenience and reliability. A superman of sorts, he runs the small shop single-handedly. With limited time and floor space, his Roland inkjets have helped him keep up with a steady flow of orders, typically a couple racecars a week at a minimum. “Having these two printers really helps me meet my deadlines and allows me to avoid coming in so early and staying so late at night.”

“The Metallic Silver Ink is what drew me to the VS-640,” he said. “When you’re doing racecars, a lot of people want it to be bright and flashy, so being able to print metallic right into the graphics has been a big advantage.”

All of the projects are done with Roland’s VersaWorks Software and ECO-SOL MAX Inks to achieve striking, high caliber graphics worthy of NASCAR raceways. “I have had great luck and excellent colors with Roland ink and I’ve never even thought about using another brand. The ink costs with these machines are minimal and I wouldn’t want to take a chance with anything else.” Mayhew uses his VersaCAMM VS-640 with the new Metallic Silver Ink, named DPI product of the year in 2009, to bolster his designs and add some flair to his color gamut. “The Metallic Silver Ink is what drew me to the VS-640,” he said. “When you’re doing racecars, a lot of people want it to be bright and flashy, so being able to print metallic right into the graphics has been a big advantage.” According to Mayhew, the Metallic Silver capability is growing in popularity among his customers as more people are beginning to take notice of the stunning effects. “A customer I have done many racecars for wanted to have his sand rail match his racecar to a point. He needed the silver flames to match the silver powder coat and this would only be possible with the Metallic Silver Ink.”

FinishLine prides itself on being a locally owned shop and Mayhew promises customers a high level of quality control and services clients as far away as North Carolina. Because he runs a one-man-show, every project remains in his hands from design to installation and that careful attention is what keeps his clients coming back. “Everything comes straight from me, and that allows me to incorporate a lot more of the customer’s input,” said Mayhew. A majority of his clients are repeat customers, and he is able to gain and maintain those relationships by adding a personal touch to his wraps and staying involved with the racing community. It’s only been a few months since he started experimenting with the metallic capability and he can tell that his clients and other racecar fans are already noticing the difference. He said, “I have done a few things with it and the more those get around the more we have customers asking for it. I am sure once we advertise this it’s really going to take off.”

Mayhew and his pair of Roland inkjets continue to provide customers with high quality work, on time and although his heart lies with racecars, his favorite projects are the big ones. “I love doing the large trailers and semi wraps. When you see something that big that you’ve done, it’s a good feeling.”