CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - Greg Pryor said he is your average working class man, but he generated a not-so-average invention.
Here is how it all started, "Well I was watching a show," Pryor began. It was a tech show on problems race car drivers face. He continued, "One of the biggest problems that racers have in the summer time is their batteries failing and their alternators giving out."
And that is when, "It just hit me," he said.
In between working a full time job and raising a family, the Conway native found the time to invent a personal cooling system for helmet supplied air for race car drivers. It is called "Penguins Breath."
"How'd you come up with that?" Glyn Craig ased. Craig lives next door to Pryor. That was his initial reaction, but after seeing just what the invention is capable of, he was on board. Craig says, "Well I think it's great."
Penguins Breath was invented in 2007 and patented in 2008. Pryor has been tuning and tinkering with the system for years. "Eleven revisions later and we come up with this unit here," Pryor said.
Imagine sitting in a race car that is at 140 degrees. It is extremely hot, but if the driver plugs into one of the cooling units it will make that temperature between 60 and 80 degrees cooler.
Pryor explained, "This thing just runs on dry ice. It's got a patented chamber in it where the ice goes through. A little patented chamber and comes out 31-33 miles per hour into the helmet." He said, "Everyone that's used it just loves it." Including Kenny Clark's 14-year-old son who races. Clark explained, "He's cool all the time. I mean everybody else gets out there hot, sweating and he's not."
Clark is a long time friend and supporter who is proud to see Pryor's invention grabbing the attention of big time racers on a national platform. Clark says, "We're just country people that work hard for a living and God's given him the talent to give him."
This week Gavin Landers will be using the system in New Smyrna and Jimmy Zacharias will be using it in the Battle at the Beach which is at the Daytona speedway. Pryor proudly says, "Daytona is the mother of all races in NASCAR. It's the biggest race for NASCAR in the year." Now a product created in our very own backyard will be on the tracks in Florida.