Bump this up. Don't think I ever finished the story!
Where the hell did I leave off? All Star Bash 2009.
2009. Jesus, that was 5 years ago. Holy hell I'm an old man now!
Boy, I gotta tell you, that event was glorious. The best event I'd ever driven to date and I'll tell you why shortly.
For those who have been around for a while, you know how big of a deal All Star Bash was. We're talking cream of the crop, best of the business, drifters that we had posters of sitting next to our beds that we would kiss goodnight to. You guys did that, right? No matter. All Star Bash was an event held by Just Drift but organized by Brian Harte of Pink Godzira, one of the oldest American drift "crews". This event had a pretty simple, yet hard to meet requirement: no ugly cars.
Oh, and you had to be either a part of Ziptied or invited.
I literally watched this on repeat as a kid, dreaming of one day being a part of this insane event. Just ask my mom, she knows this song by heart!
Well, shortly after the car became teal in 2009, I received a message from Brian. An invitation to drive in his event. Oh my GOD. Giddy? No. Excited? No. I could jump off a bridge in utter hysteria, but that wouldn't do any good. Crap, I needed to put money together for tires! I remember buy about 10 pairs of Feddys. Somewhere along the lines of $1,500. Christ, do I really wanna get back into this?
I remember taking Friday off from work just to load up the truck and prepare the car with my friend, Devin. I certainly didn't want to forget anything... What was I forgetting? Well, I couldn't remember, obviously, that's why I forgot. Irrelevant.
We headed up that night, hitting the road through the busy Friday night city making our way towards the darkness. The cool bay breeze slowly drifted into a warm arid desert air, the stars starting to appear one by one as the glowing mask of the city was now hidden behind the massive chain of mountains we were winding in between, "I Can't Drive 55" appropriately blaring over the radio. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally crested the last mountain to find light again; sweet civilization. Another 20 minutes and we were pulling up to the gates of Willow Springs. The distant rumble of generators and revving engines sparked the sudden realization that this was IT.
We pulled up without much of a plan. There weren't many pits set up just yet and it was darker than hell, with the exception of a huge enclosed trailer with lights beaming in every direction from it. Like a moth who had lost its way, the truck magically started rolling in that direction. As we pulled up, Luke Lonberger greeted us and offered to have us pit next to him. Well... don't mind if we do! We set up our EZ up, parked the car underneath, unloaded the tools and wheels and went to grab the tent.
The tent. THE TENT!
Well, there was no turning back at that point, the track had locked its doors right behind us. Hah. Luckily for us, it was mid June in the middle of the desert so we at least had that on our side. We ended up unhooking the trailer from the truck and driving the up the mountain some, with the air mattress in the truck bed.
That was the first time I'd ever slept under the stars and let me tell you, it was eye opening.
Do you realize how many stars are in the universe? Like, HOLY TOLEDO BATMAN. Planet of the Apes is out there somewhere, I'm telling you. But I digress.
I'd set an alarm for 7am to make it to driver's meeting by 8. Well the sun sent a giant "FJCK YOU" at around 5:56am when it unleashed Satan's wrath and all hell on my face in the form of a damned solar flare.
At least sun rise was pretty through a pair of facking sun glasses. It also gave me a minute to prepare the car and set up the pits.
8 was driver's meeting.
I'm sunburned. SUNBURNED AT 8AM. Also apparently blind because what on Earth am I wearing?! What a dweeb!
I got to be one of the first cars lined up for track "walk" no thanks to Mr. Sun over there and his rude awakening. Still a little bitter about that. We had a track walk because this was the first ever time WSIR would open up their Streets of Willow course to drifters. Yes, we got to be the first to totally destroy a perfectly fine racing track.
For the morning sessions, I really just tried to keep the car on the track, which was scary. I was infernally miserable at driving Horse Thief Mile, and known for crashing in straight lines with no obstacles at the Balcony. A skidpad. For crying out loud.
As the day progressed, I realized I really could use more power. The bone stock SR was having some difficulty linking some of the corners (read, I suck at driving) even on 215/40 17s. I remember Ueo talking about tire pressures in a volume of Doriten video so I thought I'd give that a try. Headed back to the City Tire booth and asked for some air. About 65 pounds. Cool.
Went back out for a lap; better but not quite there.
I headed back to City tire and grabbed the nozzle myself, pumping air into the rears. And pumping. And pumping.
What did the gauge read? 110psi? Bitchin', let's go drifting.
Damn, Gina! This thing was flying now!
The day was incredibly hot, temperatures somewhere in the high 90s. I remember fooling my friends with little drinks I had prepared that Friday (instead of doing more important things like loading my facking tent in the truck). I had grabbed a few empty bottles of Redline Water Wetter I had and after washing them out, put pink Kool-Aid in them and drank that around the pits to keep cool. Everyone tried nicely explaining to me that I was pretty much going to die. Priceless.
As the sun finally started laying its head on the mountain-top pillow and the cooler air of dusk started settling in, announcements of a team tandem competition started being made over the PA system, which was surprising because up to that point, they had literally been playing the Keyboard Cat theme song on a loop at maximum volume. Years of therapy I underwent because of that.
I didn't have much of a team at the time because the rest of Mulsanne had pretty much chumped out on the invite we had and I was by myself, so I started riding this glorious bicycle around the pits in search for the winning team.
Felt kind of like that guy who ends up on a bike after losing his license on the wangan and shows up to Daikoku PA looking for a ride.
I eventually found myself victorious after finding 3 other friendless loners who were willing to crash with me, some crazy Norcal kid with an S13 and a massive BN Sports named Matt Field, a gold FC driver named Daniel Kuo and the driver of a Federal liveried S13 named Michael Something.
His last name is not actually "Something."
There were some pretty amazing team names being submitted. Wrong Way, Coming Soon, Risky D!cks and JTP's Mom were a few that I can remember off the top of my head. Somehow we came up with the name, Daughter Wreckers, which I think was up to par.
We got a few runs at practice. Matt's car had a 350hp SR in it and he was leading since we had all agreed that he was probably less likely to spin out than all of us. Needless to say, my 110psi of madness couldn't exactly keep up, but man was I trying.
On our last practice run I decided it would be more proactive to examine the mobile light pole in the middle of the track than to finish my run.
That was goodbye and goodnight to my sacred DMAX Type II bumper, but definitely not goodnight for me!
Other teams were ripping it up as we watched their runs in anticipation of our turn.
Finally our turn. We gave it all we had, but it just wasn't enough.
Don't know where the other two dudes went.
We actually ended up taking second place that night which was quite an accomplishment! The remainder of the evening was spent drinking, singing loudly and repairing my poor bumper; nobody had faith that it was revivable but I spent an hour on that bastard just to prove the critics wrong!
Well, it wasn't exactly back to its former glory, but at least I wasn't without a bumper. That would be a total no no!
Sundays at All Star Bash are more of a relaxed day. Usually open track all day long, both Streets of Willow and Horse Thief Mile. I had avoided HTM on Saturday as I had a 100% car fatality record thus far on that track, meaning the only way the car would get home usually was to forklift it onto my trailer.
But what the hay, I was feeling adventurous that day and some of the Risky Devil dudes were out on HTM so I figured why not.
I was actually having a miraculously good day, getting good vibes, driving with good friends who had not ugly cars. You know, that seems to have a pretty big impact. It's such a bummer these days to go to the drift events and see a bunch of dudes with hacked up monstrosities for cars, V8s in the tubed engine bays, and to them, they have a finished drift car. That is the height of their ambition for their Holy Grail. A giant pile of s***. People just don't take pride in their cars anymore. Why is that? I don't know about you, but often times I find myself sitting in the garage or the driveway just STARING. Staring at my perfection, imperfection, just admiring my creation. It makes me excited, it brings such joy just to know I've created something I love and such motivation to find the things I want to fix.
These dudes just show up, smack walls and each others cars and never fix the damage. It's disgusting.
I ended up finishing the day early by breaking the rear subframe on a gargantuan dirt drop, and since I have not driven HTM since that day, my record remains at 100% of me sucking at driving this track.
I did make some great friends- no, FAMILY- that weekend, memories to last until the day I die, and ambitions to drive again one day.
Drive again? Oh yeah, almost forgot. Almost like immediately after this event, I ended completely parting this car out in order to buy an R32 sedan which never came.
But does the story really end there? No way! This is merely the end of the chapter!
I know a few of you follow me on Instagram, but for those who don't, here is the sneak peak: