goldenautomotivetop16Vd – We are here with VegasProAm contender Shawn “Smitty” Smith. Shawn has made “Top 16” consistently this season and is currently sitting in (7th place). You can spot Shawn’s RX-7 from a mile away for one simple reason…it has a mullet!
Alright Shawn, tell us about yourself, your daily grind and how you got into drifting.

SS – Hello, well im Shawn G Smith / SGBS racing. 29 years young. I love IN and OUT Burger, long walks on the beach and wiener dogs. Hate tail lights and bodykits.

Daily grind, all depends on the day. I own a flooring company with my dad so that keeps me busy during the work day. Nights are either working on the car, watching videos to improve my skills, or working on the “Mad Mullet.” I also enjoying dressing up in random outfits sometimes, riding my roller skates or winning another kickball championship. (We have really good girls on our team)

I got into drifting at the end of 2010. I moved to Cali and a good friend of mine(Dan Burkett) just into drifting. He would go to Willow Springs for the missile car parties with a few pro guys and I would tag along. To be honest I was a little scared. It seemed so fast. Even though I used to go 100++++MPH on my bike and car but to be going sideways straight into a wall following another car. Crazy to me. Now I just want to go faster and more angle and closer to the lead car. So the 2nd missile car party I went to, Dan ask if I wanted to try it. So I did. He had a 1988 10th Ann RX7 Bridgeport 13bt 480hp. So my first attempt I spun, 2nd try I held the car sideways and keep getting a little better until I felt bad for using his tires. After That. HOOKED. The next day I sold my R1 and started looking for a good car I could start doing this crazy drifting thing on my own.998601_473626856056361_1936132661_n

Vd – Have you participated in other motorsports?

SS – Nothing to exciting. Raced BMX as a kid. Then played sports the rest of my life. Football/Wrestling/Baseball1013422_473627562722957_415020060_n

Vd – Give us the lowdown on your RX-7.

SS – Well, it started off as a really clean “Bud Light” blue S5 RX7. Got it for a pretty good deal. 870$ Not running, only needed a few small things to get it running. Car also came with four extra TII rims. After selling all the parts I didn’t need, I ended up making money on the car. Bought the car on a Tuesday and had to have it ready by Thursday for the Adams drift night. The car came with ok springs and decent sway bars. Dan had a set of PBM modified knuckles and I bought steering rack spacers. Drifting for a while with the NA 13b, but knew I needed more power to become better and compete at a higher level. Ended up going with a LS1 for the price and reliability.

After many many many long nights and not enough Alcohol beverages, Mr. V8 hater himself Vitaly, Bri and myself were in my garage thinking of ways to make my car different. I was trying incorporate my mullet into the car. So after many drinks, a trip to Joann’s fabric, 3 yds of Sasquatch hair and a tube of e6000 adhesive the mullet was made on the car. Then Vitaly and I had and Great idea to paint the car. Old Skool racing strips. We all know how bad the car looked. haha. After hitting the wall twice and tire wall at VegasProAm Rd 4 last year, I decided to change the car to something a little more presentable. But once again I had to be different or a cheap a$$. I added tube side skirts and double bash bars all around, removing all bumpers and fenders. Painted the car flat tan and added a dirt track wing. Then after a few PRO AM events, I was told I have to run bumpers and fenders. My stock fenders were pretty beat but I made then work. My bumpers on the other hand were toast. So, me again being different and cheap found a way to install a Scion TC front bumper and a Prius rear bumper. So that’s the short story of my car. haha

“Mad Mullet” Car Specs

  • LS1 kind of built 368RWhp
  • T56/ Monster clutch
  • Corvette driveshaft
  • Welded TII diff
  • Ksport Coilovers
  • PBM Knuckles
  • To many little things..
575904_483549011699596_503566082_nVd – So far, which VegasProAm track layout has been your favorite?

SS – This year the layouts have been great. Really challenging compared to the skid pad from past years. Even though I loved every round last year, I think its better to have a legit track so there is less room for mistakes. Round 2 of this year is by far my most favorite layout. I love love love going as fast as you can and clutch kicking to enter. Fast entry, long sweepers and challenging.1017154_770407500727_147528914_n

Vd – Karaoke…..we hear you have quite a bit of experience. What song/artist can you nail every time?

SS – Haha, Yes we get down at Bar 25 before events. Off the track VD will be coming soon for RD4. As far as songs go, I know a lot of songs that range a lot. But if I have to name a few…I will…

  • Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA”
  • Too Short “Cocktails”
  • Jake Owen ” Barefoot Blue Jean Night”
Vd – Who are you rooting for in Formula Drift?
392756_640543192629543_203542580_nVd – What advice would you give to someone that wants to start drifting?

SS – Well, if you want to do well and compete, you have to be ready to make sacrifices. A lot of them. It takes so much of your free time, sleep time, oh and money. So sell everything you own of value. Dump your gf if she doesn’t understand or just find a sugarMAMA. Get used to eating Top Raman and no buying anything except if it is for your car. You will no longer work for a dollar. You work for tires, a new diff, gas, radiator, entry fees and all the little bs you’ll need to get your car ready for events. If you feel like you’re able to do this, buy a car. But seriously, it will take over your life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There isn’t a better feeling then clutch kicking at 80+ MPH and being sideways.

I have really liked the RX7 platform. It handles very well and is easy for engine swaps. 240s are cool in there own way and parts are really easy to find. I have never drifting on the streets nor agree with it so go find a local event and get sideways.goldenautomotive2

So to get started:

  1. Buy a RWD car
  2. Weld the diff
  3. Get a cheap set of coilovers
  4. Modify your steering knuckles
  5. Start drifting

 

893101_643207899039737_307121903_oVd – Well Shawn, thanks for the interview. We’ll see you at VegasProAm round 4. Is there anyone you would like to thank or mention?

SS – Thanks for having me. There are many people I would like to thank and I will tell you why,

  • Mom: giving birth to me
  • Dan Burkett: introducing me to drifting and being a great man
  • Darin Zimmerman: Awesome friend and decent pit crew member
  • Kyle Freeman: Awesome friend and better pit crew member
  • Vitaly S: Great friend and helping me even though he hates V8s and my car
  • George Mar: Talking my ear off with helpful info about drifting
  • Pat R: Being nice to me and not talking to much bad stuff about my car
  • David Lloyd: being awesome at life
  • Bank of America/American Express: Having high credit card limits and letting me max them out

I would also like to thanks VegasDrift for having great events, Get Nuts Labs for letting me rip off my body parts and all the the super rad people that I have met and have been able to drift with.donnyfrsport1

Photo Credit:

-Winding Highway Studios
-Dante Potenciano Photography
-Golden Automotive Photography
-Tony Koch for Yay Drifting
-Garage-Tune.com
-Donny Ton for FRSport.com

 

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