Honestly, I’m not sure what I would do if this video ever disappeared from YouTube.
I write this as I lay in bed, with some pretty crazy sunburn, tired as all hell from spending the last three blazing hot days at home at Gingerman Raceway for Gridlife’s annual Midwest Festival.
This year’s festival really was the best it’s ever been. Trackside, everything went relatively smooth, only one semi major hiccup put the track behind schedule all weekend. And off track, the show was truly amazing.
Offtrack, the festival was the biggest and best I’ve ever seen. The car show was packed, the camping section in the back was another world, and the stage setup was MASSIVE. it literally looked like a scene from Forza Horizon 3, but better because it was real life.
The weeks leading up to this event were relatively tame. The Ramblers main focus for this event was finishing Mikey’s fit to drive in the SpecFit competition. He commissioned a friend to paint the entire with GridlifexRamblers flavored graffiti. It came out beautifully, especially with Dennis’s SBC RPF1’s.
During the last stages of finishing Mikey’s fit. I brought my car over to swap distributors and some shifter bushings. And we had a special guest come hang in the garage with us. A few months ago, Adam Jabaay let us know in the Ramblers chat that a guy from the UK was super stoked on coverage from last year’s Gridlife South festival and was planning on attending the Midwest festival in 2017. We were stoked to hear that Gridlife was receiving international recognition so we all made it a point to show him a good time. Richard Symons is one of the coolest dudes I ever met. He came to the garage to hang before the event, and it was like he’s been a homie for years. Hopped right in helping us time my motor/dizzy, told us rad stories from Europe and ate pizza with us. He made his first trip to the US to hang out with a bunch of car dorks in the middle of rural America. I’m happy he had a great time. He even drove around the track in Chris’s S2000 haha.
The hangs were perfect in the paddock this year. We were pitted right by our brothers from Brofunction and Twerk Team Racing, this made for some primo shenanigans. From nipple stickers to chugging beers out of a cone, this weekend was a blast. I can’t thank this hobby enough for introducing me to some of the best friends I’ve ever made in my life. Earlier this year, we surprised Brofunction with flags with our logos on them to fly at events. This weekend, they surprised us with these cups with our logos printed on them. I’m so grateful to call these guys my friends, there is never a dull moment with these homies.
I’m lucky enough to have hopped into Gridlife as a beginner from the very first event. This event introduced me to Gingerman, and I’ve really found a home with the organization that runs Gridlife and Western Michigan Honda Meet. I almost don’t believe how big Gridlife has gotten, all weekend there were moments where I just had to stop, and I just looked around at everyone smiling, and genuinely enjoying themselves. Driving and instructing with Gridlife makes me proud to be involved in such a great community of drivers and friends that put such an emphasis on having fun. Im so happy to be involved in something that’s grown so much, and has given me the opportunity to grow and earn such great experiences as a driver. I love this shit, it really is magic.
The team was hard at work yesterday and today getting Mikey’s fit ready for Gridlife. It’s come a long way, and and has a long way to go, but I’m confident it will get done and will be great. Not going to show much more of what’s going on, because there’s a lot going on. But I’m excited for the finished product. You’ll see it on here soon enough.
Today, GeeDeeThree Cody came to visit from Milwaukee. He came down for an S2000 meet at TF, but because I was off this weekend, we decided to make a day of it. He came in the morning and we went to go visit Momo’s grave. This was the first time I visited him the Civic, and Cody’s first time with the AP1, so this visit really meant a lot to us.
This was also actually my first time seeing Cody’s S2000, it’s got a ways to go yet, but he’s taking his time with this car. He’s got a lot of stuff piled up for it, but with his recent home purchase, he’s put moving forward with it on the back burner. He let me drive it back up to Mitsuwa today and that reaffirmed my desires for an AP1 hahaha. Roadsters are cool as fuck.
Today was a great day spent with friends.
The homie Mikey and I took a trip down to visit our Rambler team mate Chris today to get dinner and give him a gift.
A couple weeks ago, our friend Shocker Joe hit us up with an idea to surprise Chris with a Hybrid Racing fuel rail, complete with some Ramblers flavor for his Kswapped fit before Wekfest. The car was giving him a bunch of issues, and we thought the gesture would be nice. We couldn’t get the part to him till now, but we’re happy he finally got it.
It’s a really cool piece with our exclamation point engraved in it. It’s destined for this car:
It’s come a long way since he got it. It’s been a long road, but it’s finally taking shape. It’s his daily driver, but it hasn’t kept him on the road as much as it should. He’s got a goal for completion set for the Midwest Gridlife Festival.
Chris’s other car has far less issues other than being so damn good looking. This car has always held a spot in my heart. It’s one of a very few local S2000s that really do it for me. It’s simple, but very well executed.
This car and my car have played a part in almost killing Chris, Mikey and Me haha. It’s funny how close almost colliding on track give you some of the best track friends in this community. This car is soon going to be sitting on a set of white TE37 SLs, my personal favorite look for it.
It’s been a while. At the beginning of every summer, I always tell myself I’m going to blog more, and I pretty much never do hahaha.
It’s about that time of the year, and I’m getting that same notion. But this year, I’m back in school. I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of writing, (Im actually taking a break right now from finishing an essay to write this) and I’m finding that I enjoy it more now than ever. This semester I’ve read and wrote more for these three classes than my entire college career. (And that’s an embarrassingly long time) But I figure I might actually make an effort to post more this year. Over the last year, the ramblers have tried their hands at vlogging and collecting video coverage, but that’s so much more involved to me than simply writing is. So I’m hoping I have the motivation to document most of the Ramblers adventures this year. I feel like that’s an interesting source of content for this platform seeing as I’m not really going to be as active driving this year.
This year’s revisions to the civic are more in favor of maintenance, save a new set of wheels and tires. Now that I’m back in school, I’m focusing less on driving, and more on actually doing well. I want to get my life sorted out before pursuing more driving goals.
In Ramblers news, the team has been to TWO new tracks this year. I sat out for Mid Ohio because I was in DC on vacation with my mom. But I had the opportunity to drive Road America with an almost complete team earlier this month. My car came down with some ignition issues mid day, so I called it an early one. I think I need a new distributor. But Road America is an amazing place. The track is crazy, but the facility is phenomenal. Next month, we go home to Gingerman for Gridlife’s Midwest festival.
I don’t have much else to say, this is just me checking in with myself really. But if anyone is out there reading, hello.
I “grew up” car wise, in a time where blogging was the norm. People documented damn near everything car related on their blogspots. And being in Chicago, I got to see first hand, a lot of what I saw on the internet from teams like Risky Devil, and Crazu Knights. They were such big inspirations to me. Back then the more prominent profile based social media platforms were myspace and forums, and thats how everything in the scene was organized, and thats how I got to meet a lot of these mysterious people from the internet, and later become friends with them.
Without these relationships, I’m 100% certain my life would be much different. Hell, I might not even still be interested in cars the way I am without the guidance I was lucky enough to be given.
This past weekend, a very important car to me was permanently put out of comission due to a suspension failure essentially destroying the chassis. This car was probably the most important car to me since I started this whole mess of a hobby. It’s the first car Ive ever taken notice to that was crazy low, tucking tire and was crazy loud without sounding broken. The first car I ever realized could be made to be so ridiculous. This is Josh’s 180SX
This picture is from 2007 or 2008. Pretty soon after I got the Civic. Thats’s me on the left with the red shirt, being flabbergasted that this car even existed.
Over the course of the years since then, Josh, and the friends Ive met through him have become great teachers to me. Teaching me about style, driving, and aura. Showed me what is really good. Ive learned a lot from them and I feel good whenever I feel like I can pass that kind of knowledge on to younger car folk who actually have open ears.
But after seeing what happened to Josh’s car, it’s really starting to hit me that damn near all of the people I looked up to while coming up in the car scene no longer have the same cars that they did when I first met them. There have been pictures circulating of old civics, integras, 240’s, and other cars formerly owned by friends that have drastically changed since then, or just no longer exist. It’s weird that so much of my personal history kind of just doesn’t exist anymore.
I guess this is the first time in my adult life that something like this is dawning on me. And im sure Im going to over analyze other parts of my life after posting this, but these friends and these cars were such a big part of my life for such a long time. I guess Im rambling at this point. But I guess for old times sake, here’s a picture of what to me is the beginning of where I really got my eyes opened to what car shit should be. The night I met EVERYONE.
I had a bit of a rough off while driving Time Attack at GRIDLIFE a couple weeks ago. Left my bumper looking rough, but the car is mechanically sound, and I’m gonna get have to check my alignment settings. BUT I finally had the opportunity to buy something I’ve been wanting for the car for a long time. I got a pair of old Ganadors, thanks to my friend Cody out in California.