Tire Rack’s John Rastetter is retiring

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The creator of Tire Rack Inc.’s independent tire testing program is retiring today. John Rastetter is ending his tire industry career as Tire Rack’s director of tire information services, the same position he stepped into at Tire Rack in 1994.

“While I’ve had the same job title for my entire Tire Rack career, it’s allowed me to initiate our sales team education process, independent tire testing program and consumer tire satisfaction survey along with tire information and tech tips that have helped consumers make more informed buying decisions regarding their tire choices,” says Rastetter. 

Of his many achievements at Tire Rack, Rastetter is most proud of the tire testing program. Before Rastetter joined Tire Rack, the company tested tires in a large paved parking lot. Rastetter created the test course at Tire Rack’s South Bend, Ind., headquarters in 1995 to provide consistency for drivers. Tire Rack sales representatives drive on a course they are familiar with, which enables them to evaluate the tire rather than learn the course, according to Rastetter. With the exception of an expansion in 2011, the test course has not changed in 20 years.

Rastetter began his tire industry career in 1971. His early years were spent with the BFGoodrich Co., managing a store in Milwaukee, Wis., and working at the Akron, Ohio, headquarters with the company’s TA Performance Team. He then spent several years working in the motorsports division of Volkswagen of America. He later joined Bridgestone Americas Inc., and worked in Chicago for the company’s retail group, in Akron promoting the Firestone brand, and in Nashville, Tenn., in the product information and marketing group.

One of the tire company executives he worked for predicted that one day tires would be a simple commodity. Rastetter wanted people to understand that tires were more than round and black.

“From starting out as an enthusiast using tires to compete in local racing events, I realized tires had a personality, they made a difference that rubbed off on the car. If anything, whether it be the training for the team, the testing, or the survey feedback, it’s always been a goal to point out to people that tires matter.

"There’s a difference between a good tire, a great tire and a superior tire. So if there’s one accomplishment, it’s that through Tire Rack and the programs we’ve developed here, we’ve really had a chance to share that with both the industry and consumers."

John “Woody” Rogers will take over responsibility for Tire Information Services, assisted by Eric Vance and TJ Campbell.

Rastetter and his wife, Maureen, are planning to move to a community about 20 miles northeast of Atlanta, Ga. He has several friends who own race tracks in the Atlanta area, and one of them plans to add education programs for driving enthusiasts. “I’m sure I’ll find a way to get out of the house once in a while. It’s sort of suspicious that our home is only ten minutes away from the track.”

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