Stewart Leask’s Silver Bullet Shines in Texas Lone Star Drift Series Round 2 at Texas Motor Speedway
Will Parsons clinches second place, NST President launches new Gasoline Energy Drink at Lone Star Bash to support Texas grassroots sports community
Written by Meagan Ellsworth
Photos by Meagan Ellsworth
Mineral Wells, Texas–Sporting a pink NST shirt, Jose Jasso’s young sister doesn’t know what to say about NonStopTuning or the Lone Star Drift Bash taking place at Mineral Wells airport.
Like him, the 12-year old girl has never been to a drift event before, but her brother heard about the bash from a friend, checked it out online and thought the grassroots experience looked like fun.
Hosted by Fabricated Motorsports, the bash is part one of a two part weekend and is not a competitive event. It is simply a time for drivers to have fun drifting and spectators to get involved with the sport.
On the first day, there’s ride-alongs, DJ’s spinning whimsical mixes, and a free keg for the drinkers with spirited tandem action during round 2 of the series on the next day at Texas Motor Speedway.
Initially, Jasso said he wasn’t going to make the trip to the Lone Star event because he didn’t want to travel the three-hour drive from Royse City alone. Luckily, his father and sister wanted to go too, so they made their way towards the Forth Worth area.
Mom stayed at home though.
She already gets a little scared when her son drives and living with a drag strip next door, he said she doesn’t really like the noise at events like this.
But Jasso and his family can’t get enough of it.
“I love the smell of tires burning,” he said. “It’s a nice day and then seeing these cars running around side by side, I love it. I like the colors of NST too.”
They’ll be back again they say.
Another family watches one of their own screech around the lot.
Cecilia Bradford is a resident of Highlands. Her grandson-in-law, Travis Percle drives a 240 Nissan.
Percle was at the Lone Star series last year when he blew his motor, but now he’s back with a new one going at it again.
Bradford said she loves the Lone Star event and enthusiastically describes how the tandem cars haul ass in the entrance.
“It’s exciting and fun,” she said. “They go through the gears so fast with lots of smoke and drifting side spins. Some sound like they have a lot of power and others sound like little mopeds.”
“There’s lots of testosterone,” her and her family member chime in with a laugh.
In the distance a new Gasoline banner flaps next to the NonStopTuning team’s tent.
NST President, Mike Rahimi, and Gasoline co-owners launched the new energy drink at the event: Mark Torres and Aaron McElvany.
Rahimi said the three wanted to start an energy drink company to support the local grassroots motor sports community in Texas, specifically drifting.
“There are obviously other energy drink companies and large companies involved in motor sports such as Formula 1 and Nascar, “ he said. “But up to this point there hasn’t been a local based company supporting the local community”
The drink was introduced at the bash because the event was known for fun and drifting, which Rahimi said is what Gasoline is all about.
Austin resident, Melina Saybounkham described the drink as “scrumptious”.
“It lit up my life and I would name my kid after it,” she said humorously. “It’s danktastic.”
All the cars and trailers at the bash are parked together alongside the team tents with spectators right in front of the track. One after another the drivers make their fun runs until the time comes for the day’s only contest—a TV Smash.
This is a game where a television is set out at the widest point of the curve as a clip and the driver must drift as close as possible to it without destroying it.
If a driver smashes the television then he has to clean up the mess under the hot Texas sun while wearing a dunce hat. But, the driver who gets the closest, the fastest, while holding the best drift without smashing into it, wins a free television.
Surrounding the track, the crowd watches and wages on who they think it will be.
Excited oh’s and awe’s are heard every time the smoke trail comes close enough to make the tags and RPM numbers fly.
But the entertained expressions don’t compare to the sensational satisfaction and emotion shared by the spectators when a car glides around a clip in full drift and suddenly loses control and horrifyingly looks like it is about to slam into the small crowd of families or media personnel.
It doesn’t hit the by-standers, but for a second it looked like it was going to and that was just enough to kick the adrenaline in–that’s the thrill the spectators were waiting for.
The contest is long and hot with run after run ran without a smash or crash.
Finally, all drivers have had their turn and the decision is made with Charles Clark winning the free TV.
2012 Lone Star Drift Series- Round 2
The next day contenders make their way to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for the second half of the Lone Star Drift weekend and round 2 of the series.
The southern Pro-Am series for Formula Drift services the Deep South for Texas, Louisiana, and surrounding states.
It is a gateway for entry-level drivers aspiring to go on to more advanced series such as the Xtreme Drift Circuit and to earn their FD license, while competing against some drivers who are already in the XDC.
This part of the Lone Star event is held on the smaller track within the speedway.
Today there’s a rainbow arching overhead as the sun fights the cloudy skies.
While NASCARS casually race around the outside of the track, an S13 battles an AE86 on the track inside, and a group of men stand in the parking lot racing remote control cars next to an Audi parking in the car show next to them.
One McKinney resident said he went to a local event in Denton last year and had a chance to go on a ride-along with NST’s black S13 with green wheels driven by Joshua Steele.
“They make one awesome drift car,” Michael Campbell said.
While Campbell goes to events all the time, he said he prefers events like Lone Star because there are all different types of cars and Honda isn’t bashed.
“It’s all local guys,” he said. “Run what you [brung]. Drive in, tires in the backseat, no trailer, no nothing. Go out and drift with down to earth guys talking about tuning and drifting”
During the event, Gasoline demonstrated how it was going to have a measurable impact in the local scene by offering a contingency program to drivers of the series that started at the Lone Star Bash and would be carried out for the rest of the 2012 series season.
Each of the top three drivers who rock the Gasoline logo on the hood of their cars receive $100.00 from the company.
Another $100.00 Gasoline Gangster Entry Award was presented to Spencer Marvdashtipour for laying down the most aggressive entry during qualifying.
“Gasoline is awesome,” Campbell said. “It starts at grassroots, you don’t just become professional. A lot of larger companies are only searching for big names.”
At grassroots events, he said there are very select few drivers who have sponsorships aside from the handful who have small shops supporting them.
“To see a large drink vendor acknowledge the grassroots is a large feat for the guys,” Campbell said. “It is a small step up because it all helps them, whether just for fun or pro, and mainly because those tires are expensive.”
After the Gasoline Gangster check was presented the final tandem rounds begin.
Nearly 40 drivers were estimated to have participated at the event throughout the weekend.
Now only two drivers remain from the 20 who competed for the top 16 tandems spots up for grabs at round 2.
The crowd cheers as they watch Will Parsons’ notorious green AE86 bump into Stewart Leask’s infamous “Silver Bullet”, spinning both vehicles into a cloud of dirt during the final “one-more-time” tandem battle.
“It went great, Parsons said following the event. “Me and Stew were going one more time in a close battle. At first I knew I had to get close to suck in on that turn, but I [realized in transition that I] got too close and I couldn’t slow down fast enough. I felt excitement, and braced for impact. I thought for a second I wasn’t going to hit, full on break and everything.”
Parsons said he has noticed that the Lone Star Series, coordinated by Aaron Losey, is getting very competitive.
“Each getting more like XDC levels of competition, getting more ramped up with each competition,” he said.
Both cars are damaged with bumpers falling off as they drive back to the stands with a first place trophy waiting for Leask, a second place for Parsons, and a third place for Justin Garner.
“Overall I am very happy,” Leask said. “I had a really tough last couple of events and went through some teething pains. We were able to get the suspension set up with the help of Autocomp and Stance Suspension.”
“We were able to get the car dialed in and it became a very aggressive tandem competitor,” he said.
Moments such as this have contributed to a few lessons learned on the road.
“Five years ago, I would have told you that it was only for fun,” Leask said. “As I push harder and get deeper into competitive events and driving, I realize the research, development and dedication required. Competing across the country with such incredible drivers pushes me harder and makes me want to do better.”
Leask shared appreciation to the sponsors who made the win and lifestyle he lives possible.
“At the very minimum, thank you very much NST for going leaps and bounds beyond the required time and input that they’ve put into these events,” Leask said.
“They host events and none of it would be possible without NST,” he said. “Every single sponsor that is on every last one of our cars: be it NST, OS Giken, Stance, Autocomp, ASD, makes every last bit of this possible for us entry-level drivers. Without them, we don’t move on, so thank you to every last one of them.”
Leask especially shared gratitude for his sponsors: Autocomp Racecars, ASD, PowerFAB Automotive, Falken Tire, OS Giken, Stance Suspension, WFSU, Big Country Labs, Swift Springs, and said “special thanks to my wonderful girlfriend Aubre and my family.”
Third place winner, Garner, said the event, the prizes, and the competition was great.
“Everything went smoothly, no issues, and it was lots of fun,” he said. “I wasn’t in my car, I was co-driving Luis Rodriguez’s black S13 with an SR20 motor. My normal car is down for an LS1 swap [that] I hope to have done by XDC Texas in September.”
Garner has only driven XDC and Lone Star Drift, but also said that this series carries the same caliber of drivers and is very competitive.”
He shared his gratitude for the hosts and sponsors of the event as well.
“NST always supports the community,” he said. “I’m always rocking their shirts. I’d like to thank Aaron from Fabricated Motors for putting on the event and lastly I’d like to thank my team, teamsilhouette.com. Without those guys I never would have been here.”
Later that night after the event, Parsons and Leask stand toe to toe at BJ’s restaurant nearby. Parsons has just dropped a comment about Leask running into his Toyota Corolla during the final run.
The two stare each other down intently. Everyone stops what they’re doing to look at the two drivers with their chest out and their muscles flexed.
Finally, the two begin to laugh.
They shake hands the way old friends do, smiling as they join their families and friends as they separately head in their own direction home with a first and second place spot saved in the Lone Star Series history books.
NST – NonStopTuning
TOP 10 POINTS UPDATE AFTER TWO ROUNDS:
Points after our second event. These scores are a combination of both your qualifying score and your final position, and any previous points events from this season. Points awards are taken directly from the 2012 Formula Drift rule book. When there is a tie in final points, the higher qualifier is placed higher than the lower qualifier.
1. 210 – Will Parsons
2. 175 – Stewart Leask
3. 139 – Josh Steele
4. 138 – Justin Garner
5. 134 – Spencer Marvdashtipour
6. 132 – Kyle Gille
7. 129 – Robert Lee
8. 120 – Mario Gomez
9. 112 – Brad Burnett
10. 111 – Ryan Rohrbach
QUICK VIDEO BY MATT POWERS’ CREW:
Posted on July 18, 2012, in Guest Blogger, Motorsports, NonStopTuning, NonStopTuning Media and tagged 2012 Lone Star Bash, 2012 Lone Star Drift Media, Gasoline Energy Drink Gangster Entry, Gasoline Energy Drink Texas Drift, Matt Powers Texas Lone Star Bash, NonStopTuning Drift Team, NST AE86 F20 Turbo, NST S13 Joshua Steele, Robert Lee AE86, Will Parsons Trubo AE86. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Stewart Leask’s Silver Bullet Shines in Texas Lone Star Drift Series Round 2 at Texas Motor Speedway.