A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Victory Lane Quick Oil Change opens first NKy location, sponsors NASCAR driver with local ties

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Victory Lane Quick Oil Change celebrated the opening of its first shop in the Greater Cincinnati market, with a ribbon-cutting at the location on U.S. 42 in Florence Thursday.

Florence Mayor Diane Whalen presents a water tower bobblehead to Victory Lane franchisee Brian Schreiber at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting (provided photo).

Executive Vice President James Harrington said the company I looking to expand into the region and that growth will begin in Northern Kentucky.

We’re planning more locations and within the next 12 to 18 months, we’re looking to have two more down here,” Harrington said. “The franchisee lived in this area owned and it’s owned and operated locally by Brian Schreiber,” His daughter-in-law runs this one and he’s looking to fire up the second and third one in Northern Kentucky.”

There are 33 Victory Lane locations, but just 33 are franchises and most of the locations are in Michigan, where the company is headquartered.

“We’ve been franchising since 1986, but before it was mostly friends and word of mouth, there wasn’t really a national push,” Harrington said.

That began to change in 2014, when Justin and Lauren Cialella, the majority franchise of Victory Lane, purchased the company.

“Now we are doing a national push in developing markets,” Harrington said. “We would like to be somewhere between 80 and 100 in the next five years.”

In this region, Victory Lane is looking for franchisees for the Southern Ohio and Cincinnati market, and other areas in Kentucky.

For franchises, the operation is pretty much turnkey.

“We are looking for entrepreneur that want to own and operate,” Harrington said. “It’s a simple business, very scalable. It’s really not auto repair, it’s all preventive maintenance.”

Victory Lane pay for a license to obtain the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) data and follows that schedule.

“When you come in with your 2016 Toyota Camry, the recommendations we pull up are all Toyota recommendations, so it’s all on an OEM schedule,” Harrington said. “If Toyota says do this service, or do that service, that’s the schedule we follow.”

Click here for Victory Lane Quick Oil Change franchise information.

NASCAR driver Garrett Smithley gives his signature ‘thumbs up” during an appearance at a Victory Lane Quick Oil Change location. Victory Lane is sponsoring Smithley in hi first NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series race at Michigan International Speedway today (provided photo).

The company business model, Harrington says, is built on customer service, and building customer retention.

“It’s almost like going to the dentist, nobody likes to go, but if you don’t, your teeth will fall out,” Harrington said. “We will tell you everything your vehicle needs, based on the OEM and then you make an educated decision on whether you want to purchase those items. It’s the same recommendations every time.”

The business model of Victory Lane also includes being a strong community partner. To that end, Victory Lane takes and disposes of all used oil, anti-freeze and oil filters, free of charge, to help ensure it isn’t just dumped somewhere

“So if there is anybody in the community that’s cleaning out a garage or even if they do their own oil change on tractors or go-carts, or motorcycles, they can bring that to Victory Lane and we will make sure they get disposed of properly, Harrington said. “As a community partner we want to make sure it’s being disposed of properly.”  

Sponsoring a NASCAR driver with a strong Northern Kentucky connection

Victory Lane will sponsor Garrett Smithley’s car in the FireKeepers Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Race at Michigan International Speedway today. Smithley, who has been a strong supporter of advanced manufacturing apprenticeship programs at KYFAME and Mubea North America, is getting his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride after three years on the XFINITY circuit.

Smithley will be driving the No. 99 Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Chevrolet for StarCom Racing.

Harrington said the sponsorship developed when Smithley was in Northern Kentucky for an event supporting the apprenticeship programs. He and NKY FAME president Drew Farris, who is also the Mubea North America apprenticeship manager, saw the “Coming Soon, Victory Lane” sign on US 42.

“That’s how they got in contact with us and then the relationship and partnership just grew from there,” Harrington said. “Mubea North America, headquartered in Boone Coounty, is also a sponsor on the vehicle. So now there is the local sponsorship with Victory Lane, Mubea and Garrett, whose mother is from Lexington, so there is kind of a trifecta of Kentucky connection here.”

Smithley said the path to his first NASCAR Monster Energy Series start has been surreal and hi goal is to finish all the laps and have fun doing it.

“When you’re a kid starting racing, the dream is to make it to the top, Smithley said. “Victory Lane Oil, Showcase Auto Sales, and StarCom Racing are making that happen. Michigan is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule.”

Harrington said Victory Lane is excited to help Smithley reach one of his goals.

“What we liked about Garrett is the high moral character,” Harrington said. “We don’t want to get involved with anyone who is jut in it for the money. Our headquarters is probably 40 minutes from the track and at Victory Lane, we’ve got a name that was meant for racing.”

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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