Welcome Racing Professionals!
F.A.S.T. thrives on customer relationships. F.A.S.T. values our distributors, as they are our best repeat customers. We want every customer to have the chance to be the coolest F.A.S.T. driver out there!Jill Swanson F.A.S.T. CEO
Hello and thanks for visiting our website!
F.A.S.T. (Fresh Air Systems Technologies) is a family owned business, a Mom and Pop shop (actually more of a Mom and Son plus Grandma and more), right here in the Midwest. We make our products in house at our manufacturing facility in Des Plaines, IL. We have 3 generations of family working here, along with other employees that we have adopted as our own (and a shop cat). We eat lunch together, have coffee breaks together and there will always be room for our loyal customers to visit… We would love to include you into our F.A.S.T. family. If you find yourself in the Chicago area, let us know… We will roll out the red carpet for you.
F.A.S.T. started in a garage in Arlington Heights, IL at the home of founder Chris Raffo in 1982. Chris was a Baja truck driver and was sick of eating dirt. He created a helmet that brought filtered air directly to his mouth, without allowing the dust to come in from under the helmet.
Helmet manufacturers followed his lead and the Sidewinder helmet was created. This set up the foundation for our relationships with other manufacturers of safety equipment and we have cultivated these relationships for over 33 years.
We have added many styles of blowers and filters to our product line over the years, so we have something for every venue of racing. F.A.S.T. was also the first company to come out with COOL filtered air, by adding a cooler with a heat extrusion packed full of ice to drop the temperature of the air going to your helmet (Keeping your head cool). We have blowers, filters and cooling for every type of racing you could imagine… Drag racing, off road trucks, stock car, sports car, formula car, go-karts, legends, monster trucks, drag boats, powerboats and more! Give us a call to see what might suit your needs.
Speaking of suits, we introduced our first F.A.S.T. cool suit in the 90’s with the help of an orthopedic surgeon who created a cooling vest to use in the operating room in 1987. Dr. Braden wore a 45 pound lead apron during surgery (due to Xray machines in operating rooms) and found himself unbearably hot under the lights. Styled after the cool suits used by NASA in the space program in the 60’s and 70’s, He created a reservoir system that cooled a vest by pumping ice water into a circulatory system of tubes sewn into 4 quadrants (front, back, left and right chest). One thing led to another and our F.A.S.T. Cool System shirts were kicking it at the racetracks throughout the country. Imitation is the best form of flattery, and we are honored that more than one opponent has assumed our design. F.A.S.T. still maintains a solid relationship with Dr. Braden and we have the original Dr. Cooling vest that started the racing cool suit revolution!
In 2001, after the tragic death of Dale Earnhart, we changed our design of shirt to allow for the HANS device to sit properly on our driver’s shoulders without hindering the cooling tubes.
We dropped the pattern of tubes onto the upper arm and incidentally, found that we cooled far more surface area than any other cool shirt on the market. We still use this pattern on our shirts to incorporate over 50 feet of cool tubing on every shirt.
Over the years, we have had the privilege of working with the finest racing teams in the world. We have cooled drivers, crewmembers and team owners in sanctioning from Nascar to Formula 1, from NHRA to Gravedigger (and all the other Monster Jam trucks). We have cooled actors on movie sets, band members https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGPOxs3HfKw , characters & mascots, workers in clean rooms in nuclear plants (including Duke Energy) http://www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/nuclear/oconee.asp. We’ve cooled for FX companies, foundry workers, athletes, HVAC plants, MS patients, surgeons and children who cannot sweat. F.A.S.T. is the coolest company you’ll ever know.
I began working for the company in sales and marketing in 1992 and in 2005, I purchased all shares of the business and the rest is history (and future stories to be told).
F.A.S.T. thrives on customer relationships. F.A.S.T. values our distributors, as they are our best repeat customers. We want every customer to have the chance to be the coolest F.A.S.T. driver out there!
- Jill Swanson, Fresh Air Systems Technologies CEO