Jeff “Fuzzy” Horton comes from a non-racing family. Despite that, he was bitten by the racing bug because he grew up in the shadow of racing greatness, less than one mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
At an early age he was exposed to Drag Racing by neighbor Marlin Snyder and Sprint Cars by Johnny Parsons III and Bill Vukovich Jr. While all of those proved interesting none swept him off his feet.
But in 1986 he discovered a racing car that motivated him like none that he had ever seen before. It was the immortal Porsche 962 IMSA GTP car. As a recent 1984 graduate, he was eager to put his skills to use.
The Porsche in question was owned by Hotchkiss Racing and the team was then based in Indianapolis. The team operated with a full-time staff of five and Fuzzy was proud to be one of them.
He followed the team when it relocated to the West coast. After a while an equally intriguing opportunity presented itself and he moved on to San Diego and the Factory Nissan team with its driver Geoff Brabham. Fuzzy’s responsibilities on the team focused on the driveline portion of the car.
1992 saw him moving eastward back across the country to Indianapolis. He discovered a new challenge in Indy Car racing. He started with John Menard’s team and its drivers Geoff Brabham and Eddie Cheever, Jr.
By the end of 1994, he was working for the PacWest Racing Team. When he arrived they were running Lolas with Cosworth power but eventually, the team switched to Reynards with Mercedes-Benz power in an attempt to be more competitive.
At PacWest Fuzzy was in charge of the transmissions for Mauricio Gugelman’s car. After Pacwest dissolved Fuzzy moved on to the PKVJ Indy Car team where he had the same responsibilities.
After about 10 years on the Indy Car circuit, Fuzzy found himself worn out by the grind of week to week traveling following the circuit. So, in 2004, with a proven track record he decided to freelance his work and try to gain some stability in his career.
His biggest freelance customer during that time was Robert Wickens who competed in the Formula BMW Series. In 2005 Fuzzy crossed paths with Chris Paulsen of Indianapolis, the founder and owner of C&R Radiators.
Chris was going to found a new company called C&R Driveline that catered primarily to the driveline needs of NASCAR teams. In order to be effective that operation had to be located in the heart of NASCAR country: Mooresville, North Carolina.
January of 2006 found Fuzzy on the move again, this time heading south to North Carolina and the new C&R Driveline. Once again he specialized in transmissions and his first project was a new NASCAR trans that was being jointly developed by C&R and Xtrac.
After a decade or so of success C&R, noted custom car builder Kyle Tucker purchased the driveline business and renamed it GearFX Driveline. Fuzzy chose to stay on as their new General Manager.
Fuzzy views GearFX as a service company that caters to all forms of motorsports. His goal is to expand their sales and penetration beyond true motorsports into the High-Performance Aftermarket.
Fuzzy has also played an important part in the recreation of the #50 Tempest. He defined, designed and built the entire driveline of our recreation.
Just like Steve Leavitt, Sr. that we introduced you to recently, Fuzzy is an important, behind the scenes contributor that keeps the overall motorsports wheel rolling.
What might you guess would be Fuzzy’s choice of motorsports relaxation? Despite being involved in the very highest levels of Indy Car, NASCAR and IMSA it’s the solitude and (relative) quiet of Desert Off-Road Racing that pulls his chain.