06th Dec2016

The Take Luck Interview

by Michael Chandler

It finally happened!  I finally sat down with most of the Take Luck team, and hammered them with some hard hitting questions.  We also had pizza, which ended up on the floor a couple of times.  

Take Luck on Instagram

Take Luck on Facebook

Tanner Spencer Creative on Vimeo

BY THE WAY, we’re finally on iTunes! Please rate us, leave comments, and subscribe!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
14th Nov2016

VegasDrift: Vegas Stuff That Isn’t SEMA

by Michael Chandler

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

SEMA was over!  Oh glory it was over!  We love going to SEMA, but good lord it gets tedious after a few days.  You see amazing cars, but you see them sitting still.  Static.  Yes, you can admire the craftsmanship (or lack thereof in some cases), but you don’t get to see them do anything.  Thankfully, there was a VegasDrift event the day after the show closed.  Earlier in the week we helped Jason Smith get prepared for the event, so we figured we’d pop in and say hi.

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It took a few hours, but we eventually did see Jason.  Before we did though, we saw Ian Perri.  It was nice to see him, and it was nice to see him drift in person.

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Blaize Potts came down, started a small fire, and did some skids.

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That’s not Scott, that’s Brandon!  Yes, Brandon Wicknick was driving a V8 car.  Will he see the light that is low end torque, and not having to wait for the power to come on?  God willing, he won’t.  

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And Forrest Wang is powered by pizza.  Anyway, here’s a gallery

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Jul2016

Bash To The Future 4 featuring Take Luck

by Michael Chandler

SCD2016 Round 4 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-19

Last month the Take Luck guys made their way up to Oregon for Bash To The Future 4.  Unfortunately I didn’t make the trip with them.  Fortunately Tanner Spencer, of Tanner Spencer Creative, did make the trip.  He makes videos, and is a pretty cool guy.  At the most recent Salt City Drift event, he let it be known that the video he did for BTTF would be posted on Sunday, and that we could repost it and share it and such.  Since I have a website, I figured throwing it up here would fall under the loose guidelines he set out.  This is a rad video.  Like it, love it, share it.

 

Bash to the Future 4: Take Luck Takeover from Tannerspencercreative on Vimeo.

The Take Luck Team traveled up to Medford Oregon to compete at Bash to the Future 4, presented by Tandem of Die. They ended up taking 2nd in the team tandem competition. Here is the recap of the weekend. Enjoy and Share!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th Jun2016

Salt City Drift Round 1: It Didn’t Rain!

by Michael Chandler

Salt City Drift 2016 Round 1 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-31

Yes!  It actually happened!  There was an organized, legal drift event that went off without fear of rain!  And it was a solid six-ish hours (drivers meetings, loading and unloading of cars, and so forth) of driving!  Of course local hero Brandon Wicknick was there!  And so was Nick Stucky!  Although his banana mobile decided it wanted to plantain.  And Derrick Lopez came out, in an SR20 powered S13 hatchback, that was a lot like Brandon’s.  Just more pedestrian in the looks department.

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Scott Bradshaw and Dane Seering were out in LS powered S13 coupes.  Scott went with a bass boat theme, while Dane went with a general death and destruction vibe.

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We had some friends come up from Southern Utah, and they taught us some valuable lessons: You can link the whole track if you have a twin cam KA in your 240 and have enough lights, and a stock E46 M3 is ready to party as soon as you pull the right fuses.  It wasn’t just a drift event, it was a learning experience.

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Speaking of learning, there were a lot of new faces out there!  It was good to see some guys who weren’t afraid to go out, suck out loud, and seek out answers as to why they suck, from people who don’t.  That’s how you learn kiddies: go, do, suck,, figure out why you sucked, go again, do again, suck a little less.  I hope we see these guys out again, because by the end of the night they made some progress in the right direction!

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We also had our first contest!  Blaize Potts, in his KA24DE powered S13 coupe, finished in first.  Nick Nengas in a virtually stock 350Z finished in second.  Third place was occupied by Hayden Campbell in his E30 BMW.  This wasn’t just a contest for the sake of having a contest.  There are season long stakes on the line!  Whoever has the most points at the end of the season wins a roll cage, or possibly a set of wheels.  Not bad for coming out and sliding with your buddies!

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The next event is June 18th, out at Utah Motorsports Campus.  This is a daytime event, running from 9am until 5pm.  There’s a mandatory lunch break, so you won’t miss out on any driving because you want a burger.  We hope to see all of these (mostly) smiling faces, along with yours out there!

YOU THINK YOU WOULDN’T GET SOME BONUSES?

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
04th Feb2016

Grab A Dance Partner

by Michael Chandler

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And let’s dance!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
28th Jan2016

America’s Favorite Drifting Ginger Goes East

by Michael Chandler

D Spare Demp Apr 26 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-39

Brandon Wicknick just got back from Japan, where he was driving a 180SX.  We’re going to try and catch up with him, and bug him about the trip, if he brought us anything, and Brazilian food in Japan.  Anyway, follow him on instagram with the hashtag #brandoninjapan and check-out highlights from his awesome trip.  This is a super old photo, but it’s cool and helps deliver the point

 

12th Sep2014

Paint, Vinyl, and Hardware: D-Spare Preps for Formula D Texas

by Michael Chandler

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 9)

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Brandon Wicknick drives in the Formula D Professional Drifting Championship.  He’s also a buddy of mine.  While we were in Idaho he invited me to come by his shop and snap some photos of the preparations that were going to be going on before he loaded up and went off to Texas.  It was nothing too crazy: just repainting the car, applying new graphics and sponsor decals, hanging some new body panels, rebuilding the motor. Some rather basic stuff that everyone competing on a professional level (privateer or factory backed driver) does.

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (3 of 9)

Brandon and Jose handled the nuts and bolts stuff.  Literally.  Brandon was putting the motor back together, while Jose was working on a differential for Brandon’s S13 and also doing some work on Juha Rintanen’s widebody S14.  For the uninitiated: Juha is a Finnish Formula D rookie, but he’s no stranger to competition.  He’s won a national championship in Finland, and was the 2013 Drift All Starts European champion.  He’s currently 61st in the Championship.  ANYWAY…

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (5 of 9)

While Jose and Brandon put things mechanical in nature together, Danny and MsRae Rossi of Stick-It Vinyl Graphics were busy applying vinyl to the car.  They’re the ones for the original wild color stripe scheme, and they were back at it.  Since this was just a refresh nothing was going to change livery wise, but a few sponsor decals were moved around a bit to make them easier to see.

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Speaking of his sponsors, whom you should support only because they support this mad man in his endeavors, are:

D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 9) D Spare Brandon Wicknick Formula Drift Texas prep Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (9 of 9)

At the time of writing, Brandon qualified 10th in Pro2, which has him paired with…  Wait for it… Juha Rintanen.  Yup, garage mate vs. garage mate.  S13 vs. S14.  2JZ vs. … another 2JZ.  Whatever, We’re pulling for Brandon to be on top of the podium, he and the rest of the D-Spare crew have been working too hard not to get a win in Texas.

UPDATE: He won!

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Sep2014

Boise Drift Day 2

by Michael Chandler

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (1 of 56)

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

When last we left our brave travelers they were scrambling for cover from the sudden and violent storm that had rolled upon Magic Valley Speedway.  Chance, Mikey, Brandon, Hector and myself chose to sleep in Brandon’s trailer, while Jordan and Riley elected to sleep in Jordan’s and Hector’s trucks respectively.  And now for the conclusion of our tale…

The sudden storm lasted through the night, but had mercifully ended by morning.  We awoke to a beautiful, albeit a little chilly, sunny morning.  Those of us who slept in the trailer had has decent of a night as one can while sleeping on the floor of a trailer.  Meanwhile Jordan and Riley had learned why you don’t sleep in your vehicle in the cold.  While at least Jordan came prepared for camping, Riley only brought his hoodie.  Suffice it to say they were both happy to see the sun creep over the mountains.

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All over the makeshift camp grounds people were working on various things.  Brandon was mounting tires for the day, and Mike had begun to cook breakfast for himself and his crew of jolly pirates.  Zack was still working on his wheel studs, while Jordan was looking at what appeared to be a bent left rear wheel.  Chance took Brandon’s truck into town, and left Mikey with us.  Chance returned with breakfast for himself, Brandon, Mikey and Jordan.  I had a Clif Bar, and Hector managed to score a parfait from Brandon.

Hector, having eaten, and Zack, having replaced his wheel studs, were the first two out on track, and were both giving ride alongs.  Chance and myself made our way over to the track and were chatting about something inconsequential to this story while watching the two of them make their way through the infield.  Hector took his usual line through the last two turns, and Zack took a wider line…

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The rear quarter panel hit then end of the barrier, and spun the front of the car into it with a great deal of force.  Zack and his passenger were ok, however his car was finally dead.

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The car hit so hard it snapped the lower control arm, bent the coilover on that corner, dented the wheel well so deeply that the clutch pedal couldn’t be pushed in, sent the fender into the windshield and generally tweaked everything.  As it sat the car couldn’t move or be dragged off the course without leaving more parts in its wake.  So the plan was hatched to bring the trailer down, and drag the car on to it using ratchet straps, a jack and man power.

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A crowd gathered to watch the lifeless S13 get dragged on to the trailer.  It took some effort on the parts of everyone in the infield, but the car was on the trailer and secured.

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Although he had the worst weekend on paper, he had the best weekend because he went out there and said fuck it.  Blow out both tires? Finish the lap on the bare rims and swap them out.  A wheel goes flying? Throw that thing on the hatch and get to work fixing the studs.  Destroy the car? Jump on that hood, throw your arms to the sky and declare that you won’t be defeated by conventional means! It had cost him $75 to drive, and he got his money’s worth.

After clearing what was left of Zack’s car, the rest of the drivers came out to play.

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Everyone was having a good time, just sending one after another after another.  Things were moving like clock work.

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Smile! This is going on the internet!

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And then Brad spun out and knocked one of his battery connections loose. This brief pause in the action allowed for some other drivers to fire up their chariots and make their way on to the track.

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Crowd favorites Mikey, Brandon, Worm and Dennis all were out.  Things progressed as they do: one driver led to pairs of drivers.  Those pairs linked up with the other pairs and suddenly we had gridlock in the grid.

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Thankfully this traffic jam passed, everyone was sliding, and I climbed atop a gigantic planter.

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This continued for a few laps, then people started peeling off to grab tires or to let their car cool down.  This left me standing on top of the planter, and Dane in his 1UZ swapped Celica Supra taking laps. After passing me he stopped, backed up and asked “Hey, do you want me to just hit this corner?”

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Yes, yes I do.  As so he did until the time came for him to grab new tires and take a break.  Which it seemed liked we all decided to do.  I took this time to wander about, change lenses, and eventually jam a GoPro on to Jordan’s car before he went out in a four car group.  All was looking good.

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Until a small fuel leak caused a fire in his car.  Thankfully the fire was extinguished quickly, but not before his wiring harness was toasted.  Fear not though, there were still three of our group still running!  Sort of…

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So the trio went out, with various passengers who had GoPros on sticks.  Since this was a grassroots, just for fun kind of thing nobody could communicate with the cars while they were on track.  And car to car communication was primitive.

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And occasionally crude… It was during these runs a few of noticed that Mikey was smokey.  Really smokey.

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Catastrophically smokey.  There was an oil leak somewhere, and it was bad enough to send Mikey back to the trailer.  He wasn’t done though, he would take a few runs in Brandon’s car.  However, Hector was entirely done.  He bent a tie rod on one run, did an epic burnout and headed back to his trailer.

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Our crew may have been decimated, but there were still some people who hadn’t broken their cars! Mike and Worm were still out taking cuts.

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And then the track cleared, and the Previa rolled down the bank, and began its runs.

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Behind every good man is a strong woman, and Dennis & Katie literally demonstrated this.  They mounted the rear bench seat of the Previa in the van backwards, she strapped in and went for a ride!

And it is on that note that we end our story.  It was an awesome weekend, spent with awesome people and doing awesome things.  If there was a better way to spend Labor Day Weekend, and close out the summer, I can’t think of one.  This wasn’t an isolated trip either.  While I can’t make it to the next event, I will make it to a few more next year.  Until then, thank you Idaho!  GOODNIGHT!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

09th Sep2014

Boise Drift Day 1

by Michael Chandler

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 1 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (43 of 84)

 Words and photos by Michael Chandler

 

“Who’s going to the Boise Drift two day event?” It was a simple question that was posed to the Drift Utah Facebook group.  I saw photos from the last event, poked fun at everyone who had broken (i.e. everyone), but never gave much thought to actually going to one.  I would have to drive, I had no idea what their photos rules were, or even where I was going.  Plus my arm was still in a sling.  With all that in mind, I posted “If I can find a ride I can.” And that’s when this went from poorly thought out idea to a reality.

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After some back and forth with Hector Jurado and Jordan Collier, I decided to hitch a ride up with Hector.  He, and his friend Riley, were going to pick me up at 5:45AM on Saturday and then we’d head up to the Common Cents gas station in Roy to gas up, procure things and meet up with Jordan and Zack Penman.  We made good time, gassed up Hector’s new Ford F350 and his old S13 coupe and waited for everyone.  Zack and his crew rolled in, and while they gassed up we continued to wait for Jordan.  And wait we did.  Hector called him, left a voice mail, and we decided to leave him.

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The drive up was pretty uneventful, aside from Jordan calling us around 8am to say he slept in and that he’d be coming up with Mike Fulkerson (hereafter known as Mikey) so I’ll introduce you to Hector a little bit.  Before he got into drifting he was a Honda kid.  He owned three EG Civics before buying a his first 240SX off of someone on the internet.  He over payed for it, but it was his!  And it was low.  Worryingly low.  On the drive home the rear struts blew out, so he had to have it towed.  Upon further inspection some interesting things were discovered.  First: the car was said to have “coilovers” and it did.  It had two, and they were in the rear.  The front had compressed stock struts with the upper and lower spring perches bolted to each other.  No springs, just that ridiculousness.  Second: the car was said to have an SR20DET, and it had most of one.  It was pretty clearly an SR20DET at one point in time, but someone pulled the turbo off at some point and welded a “downpipe” to the exhaust manifold and then to the exhaust.  He got rid of that nightmare, and into a friend’s cleaner (and cheaper) 240.  And now he has the teal coupe you’ll be seeing a lot of.

Also of note: the day before we left for this event, Hector did something a decent chunk of American citizens can’t do.  He passed the citizenship test and was rewarded with a tiny American flag!  Also citizenship in this country, but that flag is nothing to sneeze at.

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After a pit stop at the Garden of Eden truck stop, we pulled into Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls and unloaded.  Zack and Hector brought a fair amount of tires, all mounted on different wheels for easy swapping between sessions.  We all made our way to the little shed that housed the almighty waiver sheet, exchanged money for wristbands and signed our lives away.  And then we had a driver’s meeting.  And then Hector and Zack went out.

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They gave ride alongs to whomever wanted one, and they were eventually joined on track by a fellow named Worm.  He proceeded to make some serious runs in his bone stock 350Z, while being chased by his friend in the camera car.  That camera car happened to be a turbo single cam Civic hatchback, and it kept up with everyone fairly well.  And well is how things were going, and then Zack’s problems began.

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In the course of the day his car decided to stop working entirely (top photo) and then shed a wheel.  Also along the way he managed to hurt his wrist, but he wasn’t too torn up about any of it.  His car started up again, and he got his wheel back on and went out to give more rides and play a fun little game with Hector.

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And that game was “Who can touch the wall on the front straight?” As we can see here, Hector was the victor.

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At this point you’ve seen Hector, Zack and Worm taking cuts.  They weren’t the only ones doing so! From the top down we have Jason in the multicolor Rustang, David (one of our gracious hosts) in his SR20DET swapped Corolla, Brad and the little Miata that tried, and Mike in his missiled out S13 coupe.  In a previous post I referred to Mike’s car as the “community” car because I saw many people who weren’t Mike drifting in it.  It’s not wrong, or weird.  Just pointing out Mike’s trust and generosity.

All was fun and well, and fairly normal for a drift event.  Then two fairly unique Toyotas appeared.

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First was Dennis Niedrich’s Previa.  It had a roll cage (sort of) and no doors aft of the front ones.  The bench seat was hanging around, and it was eventually mounted back in the van… Backwards.  If someone like myself (but obviously not me because I can’t be trusted to do so) were to give out awards, Dennis would get one because that looked like the most fun.  This is why I don’t give out awards anymore.

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Parked next to Dennis in the paddock was this black Celica Supra.  Seeing one out and about, and ready to shred tires is a hoot in and of itself; however, this one became the biggest hoot when I saw the 1UZ-FE sitting under the hood.  Dane, the fellow who built this, barely finished it in time to come down from Boise to Twin Falls.  He said that that drive was basically the big shakedown run.  The drive served its purpose, because (from what I could see) the car ran flawlessly.  Speaking of 1UZs…

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Guess who finally showed up. The trio of Jordan, Mikey and Brandon Wicknick (America’s Favorite Drifting Ginger! TM.  In your face Forsberg!) pulled in around 5pm, and were mostly unloaded by 5:30.  I say mostly because Jordan’s transmission got caught on the trailer as he was backing off of it, and the car kept dying.  Eventually he got off the trailer, and along with Mikey and Brandon, put on a show:

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The mere sight of Brandon’s Formula D car drew a small crowd, even before it was fired up.  It drew a massive one when he hit the track.  He even took me for a ride in it! I learned a few things while riding with him:

  • How fast a pro level drift car moves and changes direction is mind boggling.  His car is the fastest car I’ve been in.
  • His passenger seat is clearly designer for a child, or a very slim human being.  I barely managed to wedge myself in there.
  • I have no idea how to work a five point harness, let alone do it with one good arm.

After a while we (Mikey, Brandon, Jordan, Chance Behunin, Hector, Riley and myself) piled into Brandon’s truck and went into town for dinner.  Since Brandon was driving, we were going to a La Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant where the give you chips and salsa.  The chips and salsa was a big selling point for Brandon.  After dinner, we filled up some gas cans, trolled the local populace and returned to the track just in time for the weather to take a dramatic turn.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of what the wind did, but I can tell you it blew people’s tents over and almost away and it threw a pop up canopy over 75 feet into a crowd of people huddled around a fire pit.

The decision was made to sleep in Brandon’s 45′ enclosed trailer.  Only problem is the people sized door on the side doesn’t open from inside the trailer.  To ensure we’d be able to get out of the trailer without kicking a hole in the side of it, Brandon attached a bungie cord to the door, and then to a conduit inside the trailer.  Bundled in our sleeping bags, Brandon then turned off the lights, and we slept.

Did we survive the night? Does Brandon’s trailer have a new “door”? If Train A, traveling at 70mph, leaves Westford heading towards Eastford, 260 miles away.  At the same time Train B, traveling at 60mph, leaves Eastford heading towards Westford.  When do the two trains meet? How far from each city do they meet? Find out the answers to those burning questions in tomorrow’s dramatic conclusion!

 

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
06th May2013

D-Spare S13: All Dressed Up, and Ready to Go

by Michael Chandler

D Spare livery redesign Cover Michael Chandler CAMautoMag done

Brandon’s car all last year was purple.  He got his license in a purple S13 with a 1JZ.  But then he went to Formula D Long Beach in a matte black 2JZ powered car.  This wasn’t right, and the universe cursed him with engine troubles.  So, taking a page from history, he went back to what worked.  And made it sparkly and far more colorful.

D Spare livery redesign Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

The sparkly purple paint job, which was shown off at the D-Spare Demo and the most recent iDrift event, has been accentuated with some bright stripes crisscrossing the car and new stickers from his sponsors.

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The “Insanity Is The Motive” sticker has been ditched in favor of one showing his eagerness to fight or two step tandem.

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Thanks goes to GodSpeed Project, Lowered.eu, RaceCo, WheelDude.com, The Racing Edge, Car Crafters, Corbeau, Stick-It Vinyl Graphics, Feal Suspension, Metric Motors, driftmotion.com, Brody, Jose, Joe, the D-Spare guys and everyone else who has helped in getting the car ready for Atlanta.

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.

 

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