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#GRIDLIFE Midwest Festival

Needless to say, after attending Gridlife's South Festival last year at Road Atlanta, I knew I had to add this event to my roster for 2017. It did not disappoint. The atmosphere at Gridlife's Midwest Festival in South Haven, Michigan is unreal.

The drive to Michigan about 16 hours for my partner Kevin Parlett and I, so we broke it up into two days. We arrived at the track in time to tech the cars on Thursday, and the amount of foot traffic and campers already was impressive. We were unable to resolve the brake issue for this race due to finite resources, however I needed to learn the track and had some great media things lined up for the #916 Enjuku Racing LS350z. So when push came to shove, and we knew the brakes were at a manageable and predictable level of ineffectiveness, I decided to suck it up and drive through it one last time. With a custom kit from StopTech being made, I knew I had only to deal with it one last time.

The goal for the weekend was to get some awesome exposure for the car and the team sponsors, and to learn the new track.

The car had a bit of a temper tantrum on Friday, deciding it didn't want to start again (Oh, bane of my existence). A competitor and friend of mine, Tony Fuentes had his Solo Motorsports diagnose the issue, I had a spare starter, so we threw that in. That didn't work. The Solo Motorsports crew figured out that the chassis grounds for the starter were insufficient and that it would arc everytime I turned it over. We ran new grounds, and by Saturday morning the issue was resolved.

Saturday I spent the day learning the track since I missed most of the sessions on Friday. I had my friend and Fortune Auto Teammate, Phil Grabow, jump in the car Saturday to help diagnose a snap oversteer issue I had been experiencing. We ended up figuring out that under power with input, the rear inside wheel would lift off the ground, causing the diff to lock and send the car into a full on drift. After playing around with the suspension a bit, we found that the rear coilovers didn't have enough droop to keep the wheels planted, so we needed helper springs. Saturday evening, we filmed an interview for PowerNation TV's Detroit Muscle episode that would air on Spike TV a few weeks later, which was pretty cool!

Sunday morning, I let pro drifter, Geoff Stoneback get behind the wheel of the #916 Enjuku Racing LS350z to turn some laps in a head to head battle against Will Au-Young's World Time Attack Civic for Super Street's new show: Modified. The show would air on MotorTrend on Demand and later on Super Street's YouTube Channel. Geoff did great in the car, and only drifted it a little bit and brought her back in one piece.

Sunday we only had two timed sessions, and after some of the suspension changes we made, the car felt a ton better, and was finally sliding progressively instead of snapping. I took a few more seconds off my time each session, managed to keep it on track and take it home in one piece!

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