2010 NST Driver Q&A: Chelsea DeNofa
Over the next few weeks we will bring you a new series called, 2010 NST Driver Q&A. This session is with our good friend, and 2010 NST Driver, Chelsea DeNofa. Chelsea is one of the most energetic and accomplished drivers in Texas, and has a great deal of experience in drift series such as XDC, D1GP, and NOPI. Enjoy!
How long have you been driving? What types of competitive driving? How long have you been a drifter?
Since the start of my racing career in 2002 I have had my hands in several forms of automobile racing. I started drifting in 2002; I was only 14 at the time, so my Mom had to drive my 91′ 240sx to the track for me. In 2004 I extended my driving abilities through schooling in Road-Racing and Stunt-Driving. Continuing along my road-racing path I was granted an SCCA pro racing license in 2005 and drove Spec Miata. When my focus turned back to the exploding sport of drifting in 2006, I had one thing on my mind, driving as much as possible. I hit nearly every drifting event on the east coast and the majority of pro events throughout the States. Later on I got to drive Internationally in Japan and Bermuda. Throughout the years I have been granted every professional drifting license; Nopi Drift, D1GP USA, D1GP Japan, XDC, and Formula Drift.
What was the first car you ever bought? Why did you choose that car and how long did you own it?
My first car was an 84′ Alfa Romeo Spider. It was actually given to me by my dad. I did some work on it and wound up trading it a year later for a Jeep that I sold immediately at auction to buy my Miata. First drift car was a 91′ 240sx coupe.
Tell us about your current drift car and its setup? Future plans for the car?
My current car is a 1999 BMW M3. It has a 3.2L S52 Technica Motor sports turbocharged engine that runs flawlessly on pump gas. It’s held to the ground with BC Racing coilovers, Level7tune suspension arms and steering parts, and Nexen Tires. I cannot stress the level of radness this car is at. Other then retiring the original 200k mile motor, I changed the oil 2 times, added some gear oil to the driveline, and spent a total of $437 on parts… All year. That is not a joke. 25 events and 41 days of driving. Future plans will be a new car for 2011 race season, and maybe a hoopdee tandem bomber for the Lone Star Drift Series.
You just finished the 2010 Xtreme Drift Circuit, how would you rate your overall performance and experience in the XDC? What was the most memorable event/moment for you this season?
I think I did well. Performance was on par. Had a couple podiums, few mistakes, and a lot of fun driving with some gnarly people. I think with a more thought out car that had all of its parts 60% or more working I could have done better. I ended up winning the championship by over 100 points. While you read online that I finished 1st with 260 points, in reality it was more then 400, XDC SHOULD UPDATE THE FINAL POINTS from the LAST TWO ROUNDS! Most memorable event had to be the wreck of the year… Quac Ly and I. He said howdy, I got super rowdy.
Did you compete/participate in any other events/series in 2010? If so, what was the highlight of the year for you, outside the national tour?
-1st place Fabricated Motor sports “Mexican Stand Off” Mineral Wells, TX
-1st place Fabricated Motor sports “GGP Drift” Houston, TX
-1st place Mean Streets Drift, Austin, TX
-1st place Mean Streets Drift, Baytown, TX
-4th place Import Reactor Drift, Houston, TX
-1st place Imported Performance Drift, Houston, TX
Also did attended some road racing at Road America and took 1st place in the b-class at a 24 Hours of Lemons race with NST Driver Will Parsons, and Brad Burnett. Demo driving is also fun, we get to give ride – a – longs to all of the exciting fans!
Tell us about your experience as part of the NST “Green” Team this season. What stood out the most? What would you like to see moving forward?
The NST “Green” Team worked out really well. We have 3 completely different cars with 3 completely different drivers that all want to do one thing… DRIFT! We have the 1.6L AE86 that has a power band shorter than a 18 year olds sex life, driven by the long haired ecofriendly Will Parsons. My 3.2L BMW M3 which brought some class and then busted its ass by adding frame and body damage that not even a metal master could fix. Then the 5.7L GM powered car that idles worse than a rotary in Alaska, had a ratchet strap holding the engine from hitting the steering shaft, a wing that was used more for a push handle than for downforce, and is the only car I have ever seen run a 20mm spacer on only ONE of the back wheels. But we showed up in full force with cars that ran awesome and put on an even better show! This was just the driving! You have no idea about getting to and from! Sweet talking my way out of losing all 3 cars and the trailer plus $10K in citations due to DOT, not just once! Side of the road transmission rebuilds, getting soaked in ATF, Diesel, Q16, and other fluids! Catching cars on fire, replacing Will’s distributor caps 236 times! Yea, in short I had a great time, made some awesome friends, and met more than a few police officers.
Tell us about some of your other sponsors, supporters, and crew. Who are they and how do they assist you and your team?
In 2010 I worked with a group of awesome sponsors. Bret at Technica Motor sports built a great motor and tuned it to perfection. Chang, Zach, Dave, and everyone at Secret Services Auto maintained the car well and fabricated some gnarly 1 off parts. Pete from BC Racing hooked it up with a killer set of coilovers. Nexen supplied the tires to light the fires. Dave from S-Max Intercoolers helped keep the car cool and making power while supplying support at events. Level7TUNE supplied some ballertown steering parts that should BE ON EVERY CAR IN TEXAS 2011! Ian and Ashley from Sideways Vinyl stepped up for all of my last minute sticker needs! And of course Mike at NST helped at almost every event by setting up a quality looking pit area and making products that made our ego’s even bigger than they already are. We all went green to be EGOfriendly! BUY MY NST BMW T-SHIRT READERS!
What are your plans for next year? What do you see as your biggest challenges moving forward?
Plans for next year are to form new partnerships and continue with companies that I have great relationships with. A full 20-ELEVEN! Formula D season is in the works, just finalizing the budgets. If we don’t reach our quota, Ill be driving another season of XDC and a whole bunch of Texas events.
What are your strongest assets that you can bring to the table for potential sponsors for next season? What type of assistance are you most in need of?
This is a question that could get cocky really quick! Basically, I drive more events than nearly anyone… 25 this season… I have been in tons of magazines, TV shows, driven in front of crowds nearing 100k people, I am the XDC Champion, and I drive to win no matter what, so I leave #1 in points or people’s hearts. I want to be the company’s image, and if you want your company to be noticed, you need a driver that is memorable.
As for what my team needs, Green… and I am talking about the kind from the Mint.
How much of your life do you devote to drifting? If you weren’t so committed to drifting, what else would you see yourself pursuing as your ideal career?
I devote nearly everything to racing. Driving is my life and it always will be in one way or another. I race cars, work as a cinematographer for a racing media company, and spend all day working with my sponsors on things like you are reading right now.
Anything else that you’d like to add for your friends and fans who may be reading this? Any shout-outs?
I would like to thank all of my friends and fans for the support. Anyone who has helped over the course of my career should know that I couldn’t do it without you! I wish I could show my appreciation better but THANK YOU!
Shameless Plug: Do you know someone that owns a company that is looking to expose their products to a new youthful market of highly disposable income? Make money off of me! Get me a deal and Ill cut you in on a percentage of the sponsorship dollars… ChelseaDeNofa@gmail.com
NST – NonStopTuning
Posted on December 16, 2010, in Motorsports, NonStopTuning, NonStopTuning Media and tagged Chelsea DeNofa, Chelsea DeNofa Green M3, Denofa M3 Drift, NST BMW M3 Drift, NST E36 M3, NST Green BMW. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 2010 NST Driver Q&A: Chelsea DeNofa.