Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Out of the Box: DorkiDori Clothing with Lenn Franz

DorkiDori clothing has been some of the most interesting designed clothing I've seen in a long time. When I started looking for car oriented clothing I could never find anything that sparked my interest. Following Zilvia I started noticing the name float around. Looking into what was on the home site, my mind was blown. Everything was full of color, there was about every car I wanted to see on a shirt, well on a shirt. Offering up tons of different product I knew I hit gold finding this company. I looked into DorkiDori and wanted to know more. So, I contacted the owner and designer, Lenn Franz. Lenn is a pretty down right cool guy. I threw down the questions, he put down the answers. Now check out the coverage.

How did the idea for DorkiDori arise?

DorkiDori Clothing was an idea I had years ago. I think it popped up as a viable idea in 2005. I had been into Japanese cars for about 3-4 years prior, but I had just started getting into fashion a lot more. No one at the time was making anything fashionable as far as car clothing was concerned. You could find a cheesy, poorly made shirt with an S13 on it and some boring font that said "240sx" to accompany it, but nothing about it stood out as fun or exciting. There were a few Initial D shirts you could get off eBay that had various characters on them. But, again, nothing that made you want to wear it when you go out and hang out with your friends or to a car meet. Honestly though, when I look back, the initial designs I started DorkiDori with (not many people have seen the original designs from 2005/2006) I kind of cringe a bit compared to what I can do now lol.

What does the name DorkiDori stand for?

Heh, that has always been a bit of a mystery for people and now Im going to spill the beans. DorkiDori was a nickname a girl I was dating for a while back in 2004 use to call me. When her and I were together, I was a HUGE drift nut. I was nuts about my car and the drifting culture in general. One day she was making fun of me a bit (in good nature) and out popped "dorkidori". I thought of it as a cute term of endearment kind of thing back then. But when I got around to coming up with an idea for a name for my clothing line, DorkiDori instantly stood out in my mind. 

Within your design's, in what way has drifting inspired them?

Its not necessarily drifting that inspires what I do. Sure, the drift scene is my favorite car scene. I'vee been nuts about drifting since i got my first S13 back in 2002 (yes, Im kind of old now lol). When I did my initial designs, they weren't really based on drifting so much as they were the actual cars and parts. People were re-doing already existing slogans and such (Dorito - Dorifto) on shirts, but there was only one other company that I knew of that did actual cars on shirts when I started. Ironically, I still think his artwork dwarfs mine. That company would be Import Bible. I took a lot of inspiration from Import Bible. I really wanted to push myself to create artwork that was as clean as his, but at the same time retain my own style. Import Bible, I think, really pushed the envelope for what "Automotive Apparel" should have been and currently is. I hope that people see what I produce in my artwork as something different and fun and not just a "clone" of Import Bible. (By the way, I want to give props to Import Bible, EffectApparel and JimmyUp...all of you contribute more to the pursuit fashion in the automotive scene than any other company out there. ALL OF YOU should be proud of what you do and I am glad that I've gotten the chance to grow along side such great companies and designers over the years)

But a more direction answer to the question could be, drifting isn't what inspires me, its all about the cars. Every car I reproduce on these shirts makes me want to push myself even further and harder to show them in greater and greater detail to pay tribute to how awesome they are in real life. I personally have a HUGE soft spot for the S13 Coupe and Hatch. I love both of those cars more than is legally allowed in some states. lol

How did you get into doing graphic design art such as what you do in your clothing?

Uh oh, that question had to come up. (Laughter!!) My entry into graphic design started in high school actually. I went to a local magnet school here in Vegas for art. I've always been a traditional artist. Basically I've been drawing since i could pick up a pencil. My Freshman year in high school, I thought computer art was cheating. That the computer would automatically do things for you. I couldn't have been more wrong. My sophomore year I decided to take "Commercial Design" as an elective. Well thanks to that class, I have now made a career out of graphic design. I started out using (I am about to show my age) Photoshop 2.5. I had spent a few months working in that when one day I sit down and all of the computers were upgraded to Photoshop 3.0. This was huge...PHOTOSHOP HAD A NEW FEATURE CALLED LAYERS!!!! I was instantly hooked. I the rest of high school LIVING Photoshop. Thru my junior and senior year, I just kept learning more and more about Photoshop. I had my first graphic design job at the age of 16 at a local photo lab here in town called Allen Photo. I learned about output to different RGB and CMYK printers. I worked with a lot of cool stuff. Allen Photo also introduced me to a program I use quite a bit today called Adobe Illustrator. I spend just as much time in Illustrator now as I do Photoshop for creating my designs.

I have always been into learning how things work from A to Z. I am very hands on with everything I do. I've spent my entire working life in the field of graphic design. So when the chance to learn about screen printing walked thru my door at work one day, I jumped on that like crazy. This was in 2007, I was hired as the art director for a vehicle wrap shop here in town. One summer afternoon, our neighbor in the suite next to us walked in and asked if we needed any shirts printed. I asked him if I brought him some shirts and a design if he would print them. He agreed and so DorkiDori Clothing had an official screen printing shop. The rest of the story is history.

But for all of you who want to get into apparel printing and running your own line successfully, I will tell you this. ITS HARD WORK!!! LIKE SUPER HARD WORK!!! LIKE YOU HAVE NO LIFE HARD WORK!!! (Am I getting my point across?) You have to CONSTANTLY be creative with your designs. You have to find a printer to work with who will accommodate your needs and be willing to push their skills as yours develop. You will HAVE TO learn the ENTIRE screen printing process in order to design functional and likeable shirts. Most designers out there don't understand much when it comes from going from the monitor to the finished product. And in some cases, that's OK. But if you're going to be running your own line and making your own shirts, YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO learn as much as you can about screen printing. I have been involved in the entire process for over 2 1/2 years now. I'vee printed a few hundred DorkiDori shirts personally (yes I do print the shirts you guys buy at times heh) andI'mm STILL learning new methods and tricks to push the envelope about what I can and cant do with my designs on shirts.


What other projects are you doing along the lines of clothing and design?

I have a secondary line of shirts I produce called Black Umbrella Clothing. Thru the years of doing DorkiDori stuff, I had come up with random drawings and designs that I thought would be fun to put on shirts, but they didn't fit in the DorkiDori lineup at all. So I decided to split off and make a sister line to DorkiDori. Hence Black Umbrella was born. The Black Umbrella line also serves as a promotional line for a band called "The Dreaming" based in Los Angeles, CA (if you're an old Stabbing Westward fan, singer Christopher Hall and drummer Johnny Haro are the founders and still current members of The Dreaming. Check them out at if you like kick ass music!!!) Half of the BU designs I've released are based around songs from The Dreaming. The Dreaming currently sells my shirts at their shows to help raise tour money and such. But Black Umbrella is finally turning into the line of ideas I had originally intended it to be. The new Muffins and Kittehball shirts are getting fairly popular. Basically BU is just a fun way for me to mess around with shirt ideas that have nothing to do with cars.

I received your most recent newsletter, it mentioned that you felt, “it was time to grow the image of the company a bit more and mature it a little”, what is going on with the changes and how will it move DorkiDori ahead?

Well what I meant behind that was, it was time to re-brand DorkiDori a bit. The old pink and black color scheme/setup was starting to show its age. Pink and black was fairly popular when I started DorkiDori. It was really big in the Finnish (Finland) goth scene and the Cybergoth culture here in the US. It worked for a while, but I felt it was time to grow the brands image a bit and make it something a bit "cleaner" in appearance. I had been doing a lot of freelance work for people over the last few years and the red/black and red/white combination really started standing out to me.

I am looking forward to the future in a few ways. My better half Julie (shes the one who came up with the Muffins shirt slogan by the way) has given me a few ideas on where to take DorkiDori in the future. One of them is into the motorcycle world (mainly street bikes). That will wind up becoming another sister line to DorkiDori. I plan on releasing small videos covering local drift events soon. I am going to be developing the media section for the website over the next few months. Plan on interviews of amateur level drifters who want exposure, professional level drivers including Takatas own James Elterman and Nathan Brasz, plus, hopefully, some sit down time with The Dreaming for those interested in the musical aspect of what inspires some of the work I do. I've got a lot of stuff I've always wanted to do over the years and I am working to make those ideas a reality.

What type of involvement does DorkiDori hold in drifting? I know Nathan Brasz runs your name on his car!

I personally haven't done much in the drifting scene as far as racing goes since I sold my S13 last August (which I'm still not thrilled about), but I would like to continue to be one of the top and trusted names as far as automotive apparel goes in the car scene. A lot of stores you find in the malls and outlets don't realize what they are missing as far as not carrying products produced for the import enthusiast. I have been pushing for quite a while now to get my shirts into stores like Hot Topic and Zumiez, but unfortunately they don't think the import automotive culture and clothing have much in common. I've had TONS of people in the car scene ask me if they can get my stuff at a local store in the mall where the live. I have to keep telling them to purchase the shirts from my site as stores such as these refuse to carry them. Over the next few years I would really like to push hard to bring the import automotive culture into the lime light as far as fashion goes. The drifting scene has embraced what I've brought to the table for them, and drifting is just as big as skateboarding and snowboarding as far as I'm concerned.

And since you mentioned Nathan, yes he does run my stickers on his car. He has been my only pro-level sponsored car almost since I started DorkiDori. Nathan is an AWESOME driver and I love helping promote him where I can. I made a custom shirt for him in 2008 that he was selling and autographing for people. I had one planned for last year but it never saw production due to financial matters at the time. But him and I still talk to this day. Nathan is a great guy and I only hope we can continue working together as both of our recognition grows in the import world. I might do a shirt for him this summer, however, that's still up in the air as I have some big stuff coming up that I am working on that may heavily effect the style of my shirts. We will see...


In the future, where do you see DorkiDori going with sponsoring people in drifting?

As far as sponsorship goes, for 2010 the only car I will be doing a sponsorship with is Nathan Brasz's S13. 2010 is a bit of rebirth year for DorkiDori as 2009 wasn't exactly great in a few personal matters. I put in a lot of time to what I was doing last year and lost a lot from it. But fortunately, all that I lost is now starting to come back to me and is keeping me motivated and upbeat. I will be taking applications for sponsorships come November/December of this year for the 2011 season. I am a bit of a hard ass when it comes to accepting cars for sponsorships that are on an amateur level. I set up a sponsorship program in 2008 with a few people and it back fired on me in terms of business. I'm not going to get into details, but the promotion level I was expecting was not there. The sponsorships for 2011 will have to be met on a professional level that I should have incorporated since day 1.

I would like to give a bit of advice for people looking for sponsorships (and take this from someone who has quite a few sponsorships in his automotive lifetime). When you are applying for sponsorships, you are basically asking a company to invest in you by giving you discounts or free parts. If you are applying for a sponsorship, you need to keep in mind a certain level of professionalism. If you send Greddy an email saying "Hey, I have a 240sx that I want you to sponsor. I don'tt have any parts, but I am determined" and a few pics taken from your iphones camera, they wont look twice at you that'ss just how it is). Now, if you take the same car, do a nice photo shoot with it with your friends Nikon D40 camera and create yourself an actual "Business Presentation", companies will take notice of you much more, even if you have very little done to your car. Its all in how you present yourself to people.

Since you have been dealing with the drifting culture for 3 years now with your company, what do you think of the community and culture of drifting?

The drifting culture in general has changed so much since I started in it back in 2002. There have been a lot of positive and negative things to happen in it. Its sad to see the wrong people in the scene who came in just because it was the popular thing to be in. With those people comes theft, shady parts dealers etc etc. We all have to be careful now. But on a more positive note, its nice to see the culture expand out to the point it has. Information is so much more freely available. There are track days to promote drifting on the track instead of the streets now (I'm a big promoter of this). The amount of tuning knowledge of various popular drift cars has exploded. Though, I think some of the "family" feeling that drifting use to have in its early days of 99-03 in the US has gone away. But its nice to see what has developed over the last 10 years in drifting culture here in the states. I know the popularity of it has calmed down a bit in Japan which is sad to see. Honestly though, with Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai introducing new entry level, RWD sports cars aimed at the younger crowd, drifting may get big again with the introduction of a whole new generation of drift fans.


Where do you see drifting going in the years to come?

I think Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai (and Nissan if it ever got off its ass) will really help bring in a whole new generation of "drifters" with the Genesis and the FT86/Toyobaru. I for one am really looking forward the FT86. Its probably the most aggressive and fun car Toyota has made available to the US since the Supra. The Subaru version is exciting too as that may attract a whole world of Rally people who are curious about drifting as well. But I can bet you when the FT86 does premiere in a years time, it will be EVERYWHERE!!! I think this car will really help people get excited about drifting again since the car as a whole was inspired by a classic drift icon, the AE86 Corolla.

I don't see the sport changing much, just the styles and cars. Aero, JDM/USDM car styling, wheels, music, etc etc is always changing in the drift scene, but the sport itself remains the same (which is nice to see). For a few years when Formula D was big in the mainstream, the sport almost seemed like it was made into a "Ballet of Destruction" which concerned me as the skill of drifting seemed to be overlooked. But it looks like the recognition of the skill has come back quite a bit.

Do you have any final comments?

I want to make this clear to anyone reading this or who has purchased shirts, YOU MAKE DORKIDORI WHAT IT IS!!! If I didn't have the awesome customers I do, DorkiDori wouldn't exist. I think a lot of people have a mixed up idea of DorkiDori in some ways. DorkiDori is owned and run solely by ME. I am the only person you will talk to when you email with a question, call about a concern or see a group buy on a forum with my shirts. I design the shirts, website and any other printed media, I pack and ship all the shirts you guys get in the mail and I do all of my own promotions. So all of you reading this, please know that DorkiDori is a small business that takes itself very seriously when it comes to the product it sells to its customers. I personally wear the shirts I make for all of you. I've beat the crap out of them to make sure what I sell you guys will hold up to whatever you throw at them.

Please feel free to add DorkiDori on facebook at

Lenn Franz
DorkiDori Clothing

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sitting Shotgun: Lee Alexander

I've known Lee now for a good year. I remember a few years ago when Lee had his car painted up in blue/orange 2-tone. It was the hands down loudest car I have ever heard at the track! Lee now has his car beautifully set-up. It looks mean as hell and runs like it too! I like Lee's aggressive driving style. Lee is all about having fun and keeping drifting that way. I have a lot of fab work for Lee to do and it started with the simple, diff welding. Took him maybe 20 minutes. Turned out beautiful! While I was there I had some good words with Lee on drifting. Heres what he had to say..

1K: How many years have you been drifting?

Lee: I've been drifting for 3 or 4 years now.

1K: How did you get into drifting?

Lee: I went to a US Drift event at ODS and I just felt and knew that I had to do that.

1K: What did you start drifting?

Lee: A 2005 Lexus IS300, it was awesome. I totalled it. Pretty much immediately after that I got my S14 and a trailer, because I almost got stuck at a Drift Nirvana, it was my daily.

1K: When did you start fabricating?

Lee: About the same time, once I started drifting I realized I needed to do stuff. So I started doing it for myself, then I started doing it for close friends.
Then those friends told friends, and so on and so forth and its just kind of spread from there. It's goin' pretty good now.

1K: Where do you plan on going with drifting and doing fabrication?

Lee: I don't really plan on going anywhere with drifting, unless it's fun. I don't wanna' be a super star. I just wanna' have lots of fun. And I want everybody else
to have a lot of fun. That's one of the reasons I do the fabrication, to involve everyone as much as I can. Get people tandeming, because that's where all the fun is at. And to get people on the track, you shouldn't be drifting unless it's on the track.

1K: What have you seen change in drifting since you started?

Lee: I've seen a lot more people come to it, a lot of more diverse people. A lot more cars, the community's really grown a lot in just that short amount of time. Its gotten a lot better too, there's a lot more friendly faces coming out. Everybody nowadays is just really cool and everybody that has been doin' it for a long time is really cool. I hope drifting doesn't change. I like the way it is.

1K: Where do you think drifting is going in the future?

Lee: I hope the way it stays now, I hope it doesn't get really really commercialised and played out. I just hope it stays grassroots, and I hope it stays fun, and I hope it stays accessible to everybody. Thats one of the important things is, accessibility. I dont want to be a super star, I want everybody to come out and have a good time and be approachable and be willing to approach people. You know, not be scared of people.

Any last comments? Corey Zankam, is my hero. (Lee calls me Zankam instead of Zinkhan, alot.)

Those pictures of the diff are a quick process of the welding. Open. Clean. Bead. Plate. Flip. Repeat. Complete. Down below is Lee's S14 and his spec sheet! 

Car: 1997 Nissan 240sx, Black exterior, hammer finish black interior
Engine: Fully built, turbocharged KA24DE
-All machine work and assembly performed by Gunther’s Machine Shop in    Woodsboro, MD.
-Bored .030 over
-Supertech pistons and rings
-Eagle connecting rods
-OEM bearings
-ARP bottom end studs
-ARP head studs
-Ported head
-BC valves
-BC valve springs
-BC 264 cams
-MLS .5mm head gasket
-Excessive Engineering intake manifold
-Witch Hunter tuned 740cc top feed fuel injectors
-Billet top feed fuel rail
-Walbro fuel pump
-Full Race top mount twin scroll T3 exhaust manifold
-Garret GT3071R twin scroll turbocharger
-Full Race down pipe
-Tail 44mm wastegate
-Buddy Club Spec II catback
-Mid mounted intercooler with custom 90deg end tank outlets
-Custom intercooler piping from MA-Motorsports
-Tail blow-off valve
-Meziere electric water pump
-Mishimoto aluminum radiator
-Silicone radiator hoses
-Avid Racing Motor and Trans mounts
-ACT unsprung 4-puck clutch
-B&M short throw shifter
-Custom engine and chassis wiring done at MA-Motorsports
-Electromotive TEC3 R engine management

Interior- Custom 6-point NASA/SCCA legal gusseted and double Do-Luck roll cage
-Cage painted florescent pink
-fully gutted interior
-Spray painted Hammer finish black
-Sparco Fighter seats
-Sparco 5-point harnesses
-NRG 2.5 quick release hub
-Sparco Safari steering wheel

Exterior- Chaser Aero Type 4 body kit
-Chaser Aero vented fiberglass hood
-Chaser Aero Carbon Kevlar trunk
-Chaser Aero 30mm rear over fenders
-Chaser Aero 30mm vented front fenders
-Ganador rear view mirror
-Lexan side and rear windows
-LED tail lights
-17 X 9.5 MB Battles
-235/40R17 falken azenis(front)
-235/40R17 Nankang NS-1(rear)

Chassis- Tubbed and tubed front end
-Front and rear crash bars
-PBM Coilovers
-Battle version tension rods
-Orange tree rear arms
-MA-Motorsports Awsomeatron steering knuckles
-SPL outer tie rod ends
-Z32 front brakes
-Goodrich steel braided brake lines
-Solid rear subframe mounts
-Welded S13 Diff
-One piece aluminum driveshaft

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Driver Profile # 88Jim Waughe

Name:  Jim Waughen aka "Won Ton"

Age:  14+24  (you do the math)  My Mom made me a birthday cake with this on it last year.  (See attached pic)  This June I will be 14 + 25.

Location: Mechanicsburg PA the 17055

Years Drifting: I don't drift my car.  I make movies about cars sometimes.  I can't afford to repair my car and I don't know how either.  So I have to pay people at Import Intelligence in West Chester to work on my car.

Vehicle of Choice: 1991 Nissan 240SX  (The S13 chassis is smoking.  A simple, yet beautiful design.  I prefer the hatchback.  The later 240s are okay looking I guess.)

Why: I bought this car in 1993 slightly used with 17k miles on it.  I always loved the 280Z car design.  Nissan improved the looks of the early Z's with the S13.  The swept back cab and simple lines of the vehicle are quite simply intoxicating to the observer.  The stock KA is underpowered, but you can fix that.  Either yourself, which I can't do, or with help from others.  Kind of funny that a car, a machine, could change someones life.  It has definitely influenced me.

Mods:  SR20 swap.  It's black.  Koyo Rad.  GReddy FMIC.  Walbro fuel pump.  Top mount injectors.  (Not sure of size or make.)  Short shifter.  GReddy boost controller.  BC Coilovers.  External wastegate.  Not sure what size.  It's probably a Tial.  17x9 FN01R wheels.  BC coilovers.  Driveshaft shop 1 piece aluminum drive shaft.  Sony stereo.  Garrett 2871R Turbo.  Tomei exhaust manifold.  Apex N1 Dual exhaust.  Big Supra styled wing.  Battery in trunk.  No cruise control or AC.  Flashed ECU.  Big air filter.  Heat shield around brake fluid reservoir.

Favorite Track to Throw Down:  So far it would be KilKare Speedway in Ohio.  Had a great trip there last year.  I drank some beers and filmed there.  That's pretty fun.   Unfortunately I did lose a towel, my favorite blue blanket, a tripod, and swimming trunks on that trip.  I did get the tripod back.  But everything else is still gone.  I think Damien has my blanket.  I really don't want it back at this point.  So he can keep it.  No problem.

Personal Accomplishments in Drifting: I just film cars. 

Personal Goals for the Future:  Film more cars and have fun.   I would like to do a burnout in my car someday.

Random Fact:

Corey Z- Check this link for Jims nice drift video work!

Driver Profile #87 Marvin Narciso

Name: Marvin Narciso

Age: 34

Location: Stationed in Bahrain for a 1 year but trying to make my way back to Japan

Years Drifting: 7 1/2 years

Vehicle of Choice: Nissan S14 

Why: I felt the need to upgrade from an S13 to the S14.  

Mods: Greddy TDO6-25G, HKS 256IN/256EX camshafts, HKS F-con Pro V, URAS Tension Rods, Cusco RUCA, G-Master Basis Coilovers, CST Zero-1 17x9.5 front 18x9.5 rear 

Favorite Track to Throw Down: Nago and the Bullring on Okinawa are fun but I like Motorland SP in Northern Japan but I'm sure that will change when I hit up other tracks.  Here is MSP 

Personal Accomplishments in Drifting: First American to be in the top 16 for Northern Japan

Personal Goals for the Future: As far a drifting goes, I plan to continue having fun doing it.

Random Fact: I spent the last 10 years in Japan

Last Comment: People tend to forget how fun drifting really is when they try to be the best.  You also learn more when you are having fun.

Driver Profile #86 Paul Otlewski

Name: Paul Otlewski  
Years Drifting:
Vehicle of Choice: 1998 BMW 328is
Why:I've always wanted one ever since I was in highschool
Mods: Its a big list
Favorite Track to Throw Down: Myrtle beach speedway
Personal Accomplishments in Drifting: getting third place at
Streetwise tow Saturdays ago.
Personal Goals for the Future: Win a Amateur comp and grow as a
driver, get faster
Random Fact: Im hungry right now
Last Comment: Hold my dragon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sitting Shotgun: Jens Scott and Summit Point Raceway

I have been going to Summit Point Raceway for a little over a year now.Settled down near Winchester, VA, Summit Point Raceway is a melting pot of motorsports. I found my way there for the first time a few years back when I attended Hyper-Fest. Hyper-Fest was this crazy day of pure motor sport fun.
Being around a lot of small town car show type stuff and wanting more drifting in my life, I knew this was the place to go. US Drift was holding their Nationals event there where people like Nathan Brasz, Brian Wilkerson, James Evans and many other east-coast drifting staples were throwing down hard competition
and crowd pleasing smoke screens.
(Hyper-Fest '09, Zach Catlin-Kiely Macky)

Jump ahead a couple years, and I found myself at my first Drift Nirvana. Drift Nirvana was the closest event series to me (about an hour), and was directed at the grassroots guy like myself after following it a bit on Slideways. Every time I needed a question answered being my first event I was always guided to Mr. Jens Scott. Jens was to be the man in charge, with all the information. Jens headed the drivers meetings, award ceremony's, and was all over the place non-stop doing work. I figured Jens would be a man of power and arrogance, not having time to talk to the little guy. Was I ever wrong. He is hands down one of the nicest people I've encountered at the track to date. Jens knows what we as drifters want, and when he doesn't, he asks. We as drifters know that Jens and Summit Point Raceway are two big parts in what keeps us grassroots drivers, and all around beginners, on track. I wanted to know what the man behind the scenes had to say, and how he felt about drifting. So I asked....

1K: Give me some history on you and Summit Point..

My dad bought Summit Point in 1980 and he's ran it since then. He passed away this past December, and now I'm running the motor sports side of it.  That's sort of the broader history of it. In 1980, I was 8 years old so I'd come up and ride my motorcycle up here. Like where we are right now, is the middle of the woods, you know back then. This was woods and we called it a hair scramble course. There was a motorcycle course  and ran on and I used to ride my motorcycle back there. That cave right over there, I used to go spelunking in that cave. It was totally un-cool cause I coulda got killed but you know, oh well. Summit Point is normally considered the motor sport part of it. Then you have BSR which is  now become more of the training arm of Summit Point. BSR does all the driver training for EVERYBODY you can think of. All of the military organizations everywhere. So, that's kind of Summit Point, and BSR.

1K: How did drifting become a part of Summit Point?

Drifting started off I think with Hyper-Fest. Hyper-Fest and Formula Drift and US Drift and various other places rented the track to do drifting.  But years before Drift Nirvana existed. But then Alex came up to me and said that we should probably do a drifting event of our own. He felt that the drifting organizations were coming out of touch with the baseline enthusiast. You know the guy who was trying to get  started and something like that. You know you had to spend so much money, you had to have sponsors, you had to have a flashy car, and mostly  the cheap guys couldn't get in the game. So Drift Nirvana was designed around people bringing up pieces of junk and drift. It seems now  its expanding into the more expensive cars but I don't want to lose that jalopy background. 

1K: What was it like running the first Drift Nirvana?

The first Drift Nirvana was on some bastard weekend with Greg Cobb. And him and I ran the first Drift Nirvana, like anything we do, we researched how to run it and see how to control the flow of people and stuff like that. And I think Greg kind of set the tone, for what  Drift Nirvana was to become. He really set the tone of people being responsible for them rather than us always being around. There's no  way of having a gestapo type of environment that forces people to behave in a certain way. As opposed to bringing everybody to the floor and  saying this is how we'll run this event, try and play by these rules. 

1K: So it's kind of like a collective effort between the track officials and drifters as a community to keep it straight forward?

Totally. I mean they're totally interlinked. If the drifters did not behave as well as they do, there would be no Drift Nirvana. Because there would be no other reason to do it. And I don't know how people realize we have to make money, well yeah we do have to make money. But on the other hand, it would be so difficult to make money on Drift Nirvana if we had know put out security guards, police, kick people out 
and do all this stuff. Which just wouldn't make any sense. So yeah,  without that there wouldn't be any Drift Nirvana.

1K: Where do you see Drift Nirvana going this season as far as growing and doing things differently? 

Well, the hundred drifters of December event sort of put a bug in my mind about doing things differently. We had 10 Drift Nirvana's, pretty much a Sunday drift event/practice you know type stuff. This year were doing a lot of weekend events. I call them signature events as  opposed to just normal practices. Were going to have an alternating schedule of signature events and practice events. Signature events  are going to have something, some particular theme involved. I think the next one's the Civil War, they will span over a night. And there'ss  going to be alock-downwn principal in these multi day things, where once you come in on Saturdaythere'ses a certain time on Saturday that once you leave you cant get back in. There's another time that you can't leave at all, you're stuck here.

I haven't decided this yet,  but I think we're gonna have a no alcohol policy for the whole weekend. But I think Drift Nirvana is gonna remain a drug free, alcohol free environment. So therefore, it keeps the cost down bottom line. It keeps the cost of security and all the headache of vandalism, I can't tell you how many vandalism's we've had at Hyper-Fest. You know people just go and find a Jeep and crashes it up or plows a fence, we don't have that at Drift Nirvana. Fights, everything.. You ever see a fight at Drift Nirvana? You know? It just doesn't happen..So I think were going to try and keep that and try and span a whole weekend...

1K: How do you see Hyper-Fest going this year with XDC joining in?

I think it'll be fun. Michael Muer called me up and we worked something out. I think that will bring a higher end twist to Hyper-Fest. Again,  Hyper-Fest isn't Drift Nirvana. You know they're almost two parts of the whole. Drift Nirvana is zero to sixty percent, and XDC is from sixty  percent to 100 percent where they really bring in the top honor. So it will just be an interesting event. I think were working with them to get
the practice time they need on Friday so they can have a good event on Saturday. I think they will add a little variety to Hyper-Fest too.

1K: How has drifting effected Summit Point as far as growth and promotion, things like that....

In a round about way, drifting has uh, how do you say? Drifting..the format, the structure, the template, of drifting that we've created is un-like any other event we've ever done. Other events here are, you know, essentially like a school of some kind, or some organization  rents the track and just do the event however they want. Drifting is one of those events where we kind of designed it and its not necessarily a
school. Its a motor sports event, it has also gotten the idea of advertising and promotion into my mind, and after its gotten in my mind  now i thinking about how I can advertise and promote everything else. We never thought of advertising really anything in the company.  Drift Nirvana is the first thing we ever had you know, promotional models come to. This was unheard of before then, so now we have
promotional models for all sorts of things. 

1K: What is your take on drifting as a motor sport and the culture/community that it is?

Well it certainly has changed. I thought, forgive me my first impression of drifting was that it was a ballet, you know like figure skating  or something like that, that was arbitrary, BS, something like that. Then I thought the culture was a bunch of asshole kids you know, running  around causing trouble setting things on fire. But pretty much every one of those opinions have flipped 180 degrees. First,  I deal with guys who drift cars and I look at myself, and say to myself, I can't do that. They're better then I am. You know they're driving a car in a way I could probably never do.  So, that gains a lot of my respect right there. Second, it isn't as arbitrary as I used to think. It's much more calculated. When some guy wins, he's winning truly because hes the best drifter out there. Not because he's got the fanciest car. I've heard of that happening at other drifting
events, where the guy who has the most sponsorships or the most blah blah blah wins the thing. I don't think that here. I think the people  who are the best drifters, win. That's the way I see it. 

And about the people, weirdly, strangely, they're the easier people to deal with. The Culture and all that stuff, is a self sustaining, self supporting culture. Whereas other groups have a more needy mentality. It's a much more, much better community than anybody might ever initially imagine. You know the whole tattoo's, mohawks, the weird ear ring piercings and so forth..That harkens back to the older gen, like my generation. Things like Hells Angels,
and riff raff you know other groups. It's just a misplaced notion that drifters are riff raff. 

1K: Where do you see drifting going as a growing motor sport?

I dunno, I mean, I'm gonna roll with it. Wherever it goes. You know I've tried to influence motor sports in the past with my formula series and so-forth. But you know what? Me and the track are not enough leverage or force in these sorts of environments to effect the outcome of a  particular thing. All I can do is provide a petri dish type of environment, if something is going to grow, it will grow in this environment. If its not going to grow, I can feed and give it all the food in the world but it's gonna die all on its own. I think drift still has years left in it. I think the fundamental notion of burning out, horsepower and that machismo has always been there. There will always be some form  of it. Drifting may change its form, may change in the way its definition. What drifting is today was you know, drag races of 30 years ago. People coming out doing the street races at night, burnouts, chicks...It has just morphed to drifting. It may morph to something else, but, I'll go with that.
I'm not gonna hang on to anything artificial.

Jens took this interview extremely well. This is the word on Drifting, from a track owner. One with much experience in many fields of motor sports. I remember back in the day someone smashed a tree in a 350z and kind of messed up a venue. And I remember a track also in Cali., that didn't want drifting anymore because it was believed we were bringing noise, gangs, violence, drugs, etc. into the area. We all know this is un-true. And in fact is the complete opposite of what we really do. If places such as tracks, property owners/managers knew what drifting was all about, and gave us a chance like Jens has at Summit Point. We could get more venues and a few more events a year. If you want to bring up an event to a new venue, include this interview and it should help. Drifting is fun, and so are we. Let's keep it that way and keep it safe!

Article: Corey Zinkhan
           Jon Combs

Important Links:

Thursday, March 18, 2010 almost complete!!!

We now have the base site up and running. In the coming days we will be filling in the blanks and making the people happy. Expect alot of big features in the coming months!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

1K DRIFT T-shirt Winner from Drift Nirvana

Congrats Bobby! Bobby gets a MOAR GNAR shirt for throwing down the 3 bucks for a Virginia is for Drifters bumper sticker at Drift Nirvana and being ever so lucky to be drawn from a Thos Kids hat!! 1K DRIFT also welcomes Sam Durham to the crew! Keep an eye out for the 1K DRIFT exclusive with the man behind the track, of Summit Point Raceway. Jens Scott. And some nice media even on a severely rainy day, we still pulled out 67 drivers!! I got behind the wheel of an Evo on the skidpad, why? Because it was fun. Now keep drifting that way!

Also coming soon, Dorki Dori clothing exclusive, words with Forsberg, and much more!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Driver Profile #84 Ross Petty

Name: Ross Petty 

Age: 28

Location: Okinawa/Hawaii/USA 

Years Drifting: 13

Vehicle of Choice: Garage BOSO Rasta S15

Why: that is what we run for Formula Drift.


Favorite Track to Throw Down: Irwindale CA, Wall NJ, Evergreen WA, Geogia ATL.

Personal Accomplishments in Drifting:

Personal Goals for the Future:

Random Fact:

Last Comment:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Design a poster contest

So here at 1K we want to have the drifting community fully involved in everything we do. So with that said I proudly introduce to you, the 1K DRIFT design a poster contest. We will post up a base image with actual print size to draw off of. We want a good background of a car drifting first and foremost. From there its all up to you. Keep it badass and flashy. Thats all we ask. 
When you look at it. Ask yourself, would a drifter want that? Then send that shiz in and we will pick a winner after 1 week. Winning design will be credited in print to the designer and that person will receive a first print 1K DRIFT shirt and vinyl after they are produced very shortly by the way!!!! Base photo will be posted up this week so keep an eye out because you have ONE week from that day to get it gnar!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Driver Profile # 83 Ven Shenoy


Name: Ven Shenoy

Age: 24

Location:  Austin, TX and Houston, TX

Years Drifting: Less than 1 year = n00b status

Vehicle of Choice:  1993 BMW E36

Why: I sold a set of wheels to Chelsea Denofa from my F-Prepared BMW on and he invited me out to a drift event to check out his car - got hooked and decided to build one myself with the spare motor and suspension I had - spent a whole bunch more time on a shell and here I am - n00bage status FTW, but we all started somewhere. I've been autocrossing for about 5 years now - 3 years in prepared. I've had 2 E36s in F-prepared in SCCA Autocross, and a BMW seemed to be the logical car to build for me. Also, Chelsea was doing really well in one on the US drift circuit, and I had a spare motor and suspension sitting around.

Mods: Gutted, Ground Control Advanced Design D/A Suspension with Eibach springs, Motorforce custom camber plates, '95 M3GT clone British Racing Green paint, M3GT Wing, M52 motor, S52 cams, OBD-1 converted, M50 intake manifold, Southbend 6 puck ceramic clutch, The Racer's Market tune, soon to have a SMAK steering kit from Chelsea.

Favorite Track to Throw Down: GGP, Houston - nothing for me to run into and total my car (that's what I did with my gold E36 FP car)

Personal Accomplishments in Drifting: Can finally keep the car sideways and make transitions cleanly - hope to go crazier soon. I'm used to keeping the car in control and with traction to go faster in autocross, but learning to control it when it's out of control is actually making me faster too.

Personal Goals for the Future: Have fun, burn up a lot of tires, make more events, and oh yes, have more fun.

Random Fact: Both my street cars make more than 2.5 times the power of my drift car.

Last Comment: I'm the undisputed king of the parking lot, I'm sitting sideways.