So this was something I thought would never happen… today at Team Topek Racing/R.A.CE road race event, Steve Millen blew past me in his infamous 300zx race car-while I was full throttle on the straight at Auto Club Speedway… startled the crap out of me, my eyes had a hard time looking at where I was going on track when I had that in front of me.
This year ZDAYZ for us started in San Diego, stopped in Tucson AZ for Mothers Day to visit my mom, went off-roading in her new jeep, then off to Dallas.
West Texas is not for pussies. Going eastbound there was a series of potholes and raised ground… avoiding one patch of shitty road led us directly into another patch of even shittier road. We got a bit of air in the Z and then lost all tire pressure in the left rear tire. The Drag Wheel was perfect, not even a bend, just a tear in the sidewall.
In Fort Worth we stayed with a long time friend of mine John Gamble and his girlfriend, caught up on his recent move and crashed at his house. From there, the next morning we visited my Z32 that Mitch from EP Racing has rebuilt and was at Wireworks Performance for the tune, took some pictures to let people know the car still exists and it is still mine ;) and headed out to Dallas where we met up with Billy, Vince and the guys ant Courtesy Nissan, grabbed lunch, and headed out to Birmingham, AL to stay with Todd and Nicole Weld.
Once in Birmingham Nicole and I stood in the grass for .5 minutes while we watched Chris Waters wash my Z when I got so many mosquito bites that my ankles formed kankles—tmi? nahhhh.
Leaving Birmingham with Chris, Todd, Nicole, and Amanda, our next stop… ZDAYZ.
ZDAYZ this year was a little bit mellower than years past, maybe i’m getting older, maybe everyone else is getting a little older, maybe a combination. The Z1 Deck party was still awesome as usual… got a little rowdy at midnight when a couple cars turned on in the parking lot and started rev’ing and shooting flames-thats how I knew I wasn’t in CA anymore…Freedom…’Murica… yah.
Chris Forsberg showed up with his rig of awesome. He brought his 240Z, NOS 370Z FD car, and the really mean M45 and took out the 370Z out for a little drifting in Fontana Village streets.
At the start of this trip to Willow Springs I had a series of unfortunate events, which started turning around. Cruising up from San Diego to Lancaster I’m cruising up the 2-lane highway and hit a tire-which surprisingly keeps my front lip in one piece, but takes the paint off of it :( We make it to the hotel the day before the event, and everything was fine, wake up the next morning and I’ve got a flat tire… which means drift spares are going on…less tires to cruise on during the event! We start driving to Willow Springs from the hotel in Lancaster and there was a cop that was going the opposite way as me, noticed i was speeding a little bit (flat tire made me late for the event so I had to hurry!) and turned around to start following me on the freeway…. I managed to downshift and slow the car down enough so by the time he actually did get behind me and follow me for a few miles he realized I wasn’t going to do anything wrong and got back on the median and busted a U-turn…phewww!
Overall this event once we got there was a blast. Much more structured than the usual drift events I’d been in attendance to. I only had the tires at this point that I had rolled in on for the whole day of drift and to get me the 4+hour drive back to San Diego. Horse Thief is a much faster track than just your basic parking lot event or skid pad, so conserving tires was hard… Some straits I wouldn’t manji and I would just cruise, and other times I would go all out. At the end of the day, my last run I ended up hearing “THUD THUD THUD THUD” on the second to last corner…oops… i babied myself off track, took a razor blade I had in the car for times like these and cut off the excess tire tread, packed up the car, and went home. I basically closed my eyes, crossed my fingers and hoped that everything would be OK and I would make it home safe.
One Sunday, three girls-Melissa, Denise and Stephanie decided to shred some tires. We get to the track to have a little fun, and it’s about 45 degrees and raining… The day called for pretty much perfect drifting weather for practice, cool for the motor and wet for the tires.
We decided to do some super sexy hair flips and make some skids. Here’s the low-down in pictures and video…
Drift Buffet is back! When Terry Henderson moved to China quite a few years ago, he left all of us grassroots drivers without his great events too.
Well, 2015 is the return of Drift Buffet! Thanks to Bryan Rogers for the resurrection of these great events. The first one was a smashing (no pun intended) success.
Here are a few photos from the event:
(Picture creds to Tyler Barnick, Chris Waters, Myself, and Rachel Hernandez)
Chris Forsberg via IG “WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!! After an insane year with 7 out of 7 Top 4 finishes, 5 podiums, and 1 win, it all came down to the final battle of the final round to seal the championship for our team. It is an incredible feeling that cannot be described and I could never have done it without my team @mamotorsports, my spotter Scott, and of course my wife @michforsberg. To all of our sponsors, thank you so much for your support! @hankookusaracing @nosenergydrink @championplugs @aemintakes @voodoo13usa @thehoonigans @takataracingusa @clarionusa @shiningmonkeyinc @advancedclutch @mishimoto @nissan @nissanusa @ssrwheels @driveshaftshop @seiboncarbon @kwsuspension @alpinestarts @recaro_motorsport @basfrefinish @crollscustoms @vpracingfuels @liquidpowdercoaters @aprperformance @holleyperformance And of course… @shootfirstmedia
The more and more I attend events like ZCON, ZDAYZ, and Znationals, I realize that its not about the cars. Don’t get me wrong, they are generally 70% great, but if you go to these events multiple times you have seen them before. I attend these events for the friendships I’ve made over the years. I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. I love the cars, I love the fact that the people that own Z’s generally have similar personalities. They all have the same traits but some are more pronounced than others. Here are my examples of where I think each trait originated from;
The Virginia guys are a bunch of shit talkers, if you don’t know them in real life then you would think that they were a bunch of assholes online. But meeting them in person, beneath the shit talking exterior, they are all pretty genuine guys…. except you Dave Hewitt, you couldn’t make it to ZCON this year-you suck.
The Alabama guys. I really enjoy the front ya’ll have of being shoeless hillbillies. I REALLY like that. But until last year is when I started really stalking you all on Facebook and instagram and I see why you would be barefoot… your grass out there looks amazing and your homes… if they were out here would be million dollar homes! Fuck, I’d be shoeless too, that marble flooring probably feels great on your toes.
The Atlanta guys, and I say Atlanta, not Georgia. You guys are super loud at everything and you are do-or-die kind of people, thats awesome. Now if we could get you guys with your numbers out here to SoCal. There’s only been one Atlanta guy that has been a party pooper and didn’t want to be in the selfie video-rose a stink about it… he sucks and probably will take that the wrong way because he was so serious about not wanting to be on video.
The Arizona guys, you guys have the biggest hearts. Shane, Adam, Mr Rook, Kendace, I love you. That is all.
The Louisiana guys, you have the best accents. Although when I think of Louisiana I think of Duck Dynasty, I’m glad none of you have made any of your horns into duck calls, and none of your Z’s wrapped in camo. Nice job reppin’ the Z’s out there.
The Texas guys, there are a lot of you in that state, I wish I could corral you into one area and hang out. You are the kind of guys that I just want to hang out with and probably not get sick of. You guys think a little more outside the box with your builds and care about whats going on with everyone and their builds… i’m not sure if thats because you really are interested, or if it’s to make sure you guys are a step ahead of the game ;P
<3 you all.
Here are a few of my pictures from ZCON. A few of the cars, a lot of the people. Thats what it’s all about.
Knowing it was going to be close if the Z32 would be ready or not…
1. Buy plane tickets to Texas.
2. Fly to Texas to pick up race car aka Z32 from EPRacing.
3. Bring car to the Tail of the Dragon for ZDAYZ.
What actually happened;
1. Get notice Sunday that the car was not going to be ready.
2. Ditch plane tickets.
3. Pack up the 350Z
4. Start driving one hour later
Passing a few states, visiting my mom on Mothers Day in Arizona, getting into Dallas Monday.
Visiting the guys at Courtesy Nissan, getting the Z washed, and grabbing some lunch with them on my quest to find the road trips best BBQ we went to Bone Daddy’s… super good food, and for the fellas there were scantily clad dressed women.
Needing to kill a few hours we took the Z to a few spots and did a photo shoot around Mckinney and Plano;
(photo credit-Chris Waters)
Getting an invite from Billy at Courtesy to come to Mad Mikes house for a BBQ/party we decided to stay another day in Dallas. The next morning we cruised out bright and early with Mad Mike and Tetsu from Japan who were both also going to ZDAYZ.
We parted ways with Mike and Tetsu around the Birmingham area and we headed north while they headed towards Z1. We made it to Chattanooga Tennessee later that night and met up with the guys and gals from Louisiana and cruised up with them for the rest of the road trip to Tail of the Dragon. Stopping at a Walmart on the way for some necessities.
Once we got to Fontana Villiage we didn’t waste any time getting into the Moonshine
A few rolling around ZDAYZ pictures;
Cant forget Beer-limpics… well i’m sure some did.
A couple shots around Deals Gap and The Dragon;
(First three photos courtesy of Killboy)
Here is the #Selfie video if by chance you haven’t seen it yet… I’d like to think of it as a funny video yearbook of what really happens at ZDAYZ;
Since the Dam Photo was cancelled due to weather, we decided to venture off and check it out and take a few photos as well…
And who can forget Nissan making the 2015 Nismo 370Z debut at ZDAYZ!! (Those seats are to die for)
Before leaving Sunday morning, Aaron-winner of the best tape job and I cruised by the dam and did a few donuts around him.
The day we left, we cruised out with the Memphis Z Club and took more pictures. Once we got to Memphis we got some amazing BBQ.
Cruising out of Memphis back to Ft Worth were I visited Mitch at EPRacing… oh yeah and my race car :D It’s so close!!!
The next day I started my long journey from Ft Worth back to Phoenix where I was going to be drifting in a Car Street Journal event, but it got postponed until June. Instead of sitting around, we decided to go to the big car show that happens every weekend at the Scottsdale Pavilions. Met up with Shane Schuller, Simon Parsons, Nicole Ellan, and Rebecca Nguyen.
So this day was another great day. Although it started a little rocky for some of us, Garage Life started on fire and while everyone outside was running for water, I was running to my phone to try and catch some flames… this is what I got;
Then, my second run of the day the wall just came out of nowhere and hit my wheel!
Maybe it was me that was excited and came in too hot and hit the wall, the tire still held air! for how hard i felt like I hit i think the wheel held up pretty well! Here’s the rest of the carnage …
I put this blast on Facebook but had to share here as well because I can’t describe what happened at the track better than I had previously;“I just wanted to do a medium/quick shout out to the guys at Courtesy Nissan, Billy, Phi, and Vince, you guys are awesome! From this past Saturday while at Willow Springs, I couldn’t get the Autozone down the street to have a clue what I needed (3 people I got transferred to), I called Phi at Courtesy, he got me a part number, I called Autozone back and they said they couldn’t get it. OK I can see how that can be a dealer only part, so I called the closest Nissan dealership-armed with the part number. Hoping that I could make the 30 minute drive and just swap it out at the track. But that guy at the dealership seemed very unenthused and told me he didn’t have the part. I asked if he could do a parts search for me if any other dealership in southern CA had the part and he said he could not…I live and breath car things-I know you can check. So after I got off the phone with that Nissan dealer, I asked Phi From Courtesy Nissan if he could check for me which dealers around me had the part. He did, and let me know Riverside Nissan had the radius arm I needed…Still too far for me to drive and be able to finish the track day, I bent the arm back into place and drifted for the rest of the event. Then today, I called Billy at Courtesy, gave him my card number, and he’s shipping out the arm! It just seems like when everyone else found it too hard, Courtesy just pulls through with the best service.” After we bent the radius rod back to somewhat normal I finifhed the track day and we all sang and danced…