Per Performance Tech Motorsports:
Centinel Spine Chairman & CEO John Viscogliosi is as energized about the upcoming race season as he was for his first visit to the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2018. The team and partnership have grown over the last two seasons, with Centinel Spine becoming a primary sponsor on the yellow and white No. 38 LMP2 prototype. With added engagement and more profound connections, Viscogliosi takes the time to look back at how Centinel Spine has grown as a partner.
“All of this is still relevant to our business and as exciting as when we started,” Viscogliosi said. “I like spending time in the pit lane, watching all the mechanical aspects of the car and how it functions and operates, and spending time in the pits and seeing all the information that comes back from the car when they download data. In the first year, I didn’t understand entirely; I’ve been able to learn a lot. This year is like I’m going into third grade.”
“The strategy is what stands out the most in terms of what I’ve learned. I did not understand at all the rigorous strategy that goes into the race or the amount of planning that goes into having a good car. You have to manage fuel, tires, speed, nearly every aspect of the car’s operations. It’s a very good business analogy to growing and developing with the ability to change in real-time – one plan, one direction. In business, no matter how complex or rudimentary it is, there are always similarities and corollaries that you can connect to running a business.”
Centinel Spine utilizes the sports realm to educate the public on the importance of spine health and the choices people have when it comes to medical devices that keep patients mobile if surgery is the final answer. Viscogliosi hasn’t lost sight of the initial goal to educate the paddock and race fans, but he’s also grown his outlook as he gains more understanding of motorsport.
Viscogliosi initially understood the importance of showcasing the Centinel Spine product in action through Performance Tech Motorsports Driver Dr. Robert Masson. Masson not only uses Centinel Spine devices on his patients but also has seen the benefits of Centinel Spine devices as a spinal surgery patient himself. The team, through its drivers and crew members, not only provides an exemplar of the stress that the sport puts on the human body but specifically through Masson how the human body can continue to operate at a high level after spinal surgery.
Viscogliosi has since brought the similarities of Centinel Spine and Performance Tech Motorsports to the business realm. He’s able to further engage the surgeon’s mechanical and strategical thought process while also allowing the surgeons witness the high level of racing in which Performance Tech Motorsports competes.
“It’s been a good relationship on all fronts,” Viscogliosi said. “It’s beneficial for the team, for the company and me. I’ve been able to leverage what we’re doing on the racetrack to enhance knowledge of Centinel Spine and business. It’s similar to having Tiger Woods, Rory Sabbatini and Brian Gay as Centinel Spine spokespeople; it’s the same as having Dr. Masson race with a prodisc® implant in his cervical spine. It shows people you can go back to a healthy life and activities after spinal disease.”
“The ability to bring individuals into the pits and see the action and what’s going on is also great. It’s good bonding time and gets people thinking. These are similar to things that I’ve seen in business relationships. The surgeons we work with are more mechanically inclined because they’re installing devices into people. They use screwdrivers and chisels, not much unlike how the race crews use tools. They strive to be better; they look over data to translate their work into better patient care. There is a lot about the racing industry that transfers over to the medical field.”
Performance Tech Motorsports’ family atmosphere has become a trademark of the team. Not only has Viscogliosi been the recipient of the warm welcome, he appreciates that his company and associates have all had the same reception when at the track. He attributes this relationship to be the main reason he stays ingrained in racing.
“I like the people and their philosophy,” Viscogliosi said. “I like how Brent leads the team, leads the people, leads the organization. Brent and I, somewhat, have a similar ability in leadership. He has his strategy and his directional leads but gives his team the freedom to execute within boundaries. He acts as a mentor and director versus just taking a dictatorial stance. He takes input and seems to assimilate it and take into account many things before making a final decision.”
“I think the relationship between Brent and his team, our companies, is what keeps us coming back. It’s grown and expanded over the last few seasons, not only with Dr. Masson and Brent but with Kyle (Masson) and the other members of the team. I love the fact that it’s a family business, too. Gwenn (O’Neill) and Danielle (O’Neill) are involved alongside Brent. All drivers have their families involved. That’s the great thing about the team; it reminds me of our parent company (Viscogliosi Brothers LLC) because it is a family business with me and two brothers.”
Being at track isn’t all work and no play for Viscogliosi. He truly enjoys being a part of a team and competing at the top level of sports car racing in North America, growing up as an athlete himself he’s taken a particular interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the motorsports world. He’s even considered where he would best fit if he weren’t already involved as a partner.”I would love to be the spotter, helping direct what’s going on, on-track to help the drivers gain a larger picture of what’s happening,” Viscogliosi said. “I’m not detailed enough to say I’d want to be the driver, but the spotter has a perspective of the whole race. He is calling the race, providing the info so that there is optimal performance.”
Centinel Spine and Performance Tech Motorsports kick off the season at Daytona International Speedway for the pinnacle of North American sports car racing – the Rolex 24 At Daytona taking place Jan. 25-26, with the opening and closing laps, aired live on NBC for the first time. Fans are treated to the twice-around-the-clock spectacle once a year, and the festival-like event never seems to disappoint with intense battles and heart wrenching stories unfolding.
“Daytona is a legend. It’s probably one of the top three tracks in the world. You have Daytona, Indy and Le Mans,” Viscogliosi said. “I love it start to finish. I haven’t stayed up the entire 24 hours yet, but I would like to attempt to. I prefer the endurance events to the sprint. It’s longer-term and I think the overall skill has to be higher, and the driver skill has to be more focused than in a sprint race. The temperature variant and weather are ever-changing, so the strategy changes. Last year watching them run in the rain was unbelievable; the competition is so much more intense.
“Going back to calling the race from the spotters stand, the strategy that is needed to make adjustments and tweaks over the course of a 24 hour race is amazing. You always have to be on your game, you get no breaks. No complacency can set in; you have to be successful over a long period of time. I’m excited to be a part of the Rolex 24 again, and I wish the team the best of luck.”