Journey Out West.
Late one afternoon Brandon Wicknick called me and asked if i’d like to fly out to Salt Lake City to film a few things and participate in Street Driven Tour X Stance Wars in Las Vegas. Not knowing exactly what to say i immediately said yes. Him and a few of his friends pitched in to help pay for my flight in return i would make a video for their drift team called Take Luck. The closer it got to me actually leaving i stressed out, i had no idea what to do or what to expect. I had never flown, and I’ve never been outside the south. Was i really about to do this…
I woke up early Tuesday morning and headed into work at Chase Bays and had my co-worker Cory Chandler take me to the Birmingham airport. As soon as i stepped out of his truck and though the automatic sliding doors it hit me… I was about to fly.
I made it through security with my backpack full of camera equipment and headed to my gate when i noticed a Jim N Nicks, I went and sat at my gate realizing that i had almost an hour before departure. So… I gave in and sat down for some good Southern BBQ and a Sweet Tea because i knew i wouldn’t get anything close to a sweet tea out west. I finished and rushed to my gate and boarded the plane luckily getting a window seat for my first time on the right side of the plane with a perfect view of the wing. While listening to the attendant go over all the rules we started cruising towards the runway. We paused for a few minutes, listened to the pilot talk about the weather in Dallas and our approximate arrival time followed by the attendants making their rounds and checking everyones seat belts. After this we immediately took off and caught air, with the scariest part being take off. After we were in the air for a few minutes i quickly overcame my fear of planes and traveling by air.
We landed in Dallas and from there i got on my flight to Salt Lake City, once we landed in salt lake i waited for Nick Stucky to pick me up. We arrived at CNG Technologies where brandon and his crew work also known as D-Spare Garage.
We chilled there, Conversed for a little while and made our way to IN-N-OUT. A glorious place i had only seen my friends out west talk so greatly about. After drooling over tons of pictures of this incredible burger joint i had my first IN-N-OUT burger. Definitely exceeded my expectations.
We left IN-N-OUT and headed back to brandon's to crash so that we could wake up semi early to load the cars and prep for the event. Early that morning we pressure washed the car, mounted a few tires, gathered some much needed items and loaded the cars onto the trailer.
Here's Brandon's massive smile as UPS arrived to bring him some goodies from Garrett Turbo.
We headed out and began our drive to Las Vegas. As tired as i was i stayed up to enjoy the drive and see the sights.
Along the way closer towards Las Vegas we stopped at a place called Lupita’s to eat with a few of Brandon’s friends. It was pretty good, just no sign of sweet tea…
After our meal i had to run to walgreens to get chapstick because we had the windows rolled down the whole way and i had yet to adapt to how dry it was there. The mexican food did nothing but make my lips worse, but it was good none the less.
We got back on the road for a few hours and i finally saw the lights! The photo below is taken about 14 miles outside of Las Vegas. We weren’t even there yet and i was very impressed.
We finally arrived at the truck stop across the street from the track to get some shut eye before Street Driven. It was outrageously hot and nearly unbearable to sleep inside the truck, but it was a really cool experience to sleep in the top bunk of a semi.
We woke up pretty early to get Juha’s car to the track for some repairs, We got signed in, and started setting up immediately and finished just in time for the driver’s meeting.
While everyone was getting their cars ready for drifting i figured i’d walk around the Stance Wars show to see what Las Vegas had to offer, I immediately had the impression that the west doesn’t F@#$ around. Everyone goes balls out. Here’s a few photos i snapped of the show before the crowd started heavily rolling in.
Here's @shiro_devil_z 's Bagged Widebody 350z. I've been eying this car for quite sometime, and i finally got to see it in person.
Lowballers Crew had their presence on lock.
There were a few oldies but goodies there as well.
With my favorite being this "RATWAGON"
Not a huge fan of paint splattered wheels but i fell in love with these Weds Kranze Cerberus's on this IS300.
This guy had the right idea. Being very new to the weather my nose decided to bleed for the rest of my trip... I'm pretty sure it hit 102º that day.
Ian Perri's Datsun S130 280zx literally blew my mind... Didn't think i'd ever be able to see this thing in person, but turns out he's from Las Vegas. So look who'd shown up!
I'm a fool for Shakotan Style cars and this one was done right. This car is slammed on Advan A3A's and its his daily driver. You can catch a full feature of this car on SouthrnFresh
Fred's Q45 is also a car that I've been dying to see in person.
UpslideDown Crew showed up and i was immediately intrigued by their appearance. You can't go wrong with gold and chrome on black.
They caught my interest enough to give them a follow on Instagram and peep what these guys are about. These guys are doing it right!
I was done walking around for a bit so i headed back to the tent to grab some water and to sit in the shade for a few minutes. Everyone had so much energy that day, It was honestly hard to keep up with getting little sleep.
Here's the only decent photo i got of Brandon all day due to filming literally everything.
I also wasn't able to get any good drifting photos due to filming. I could screenshot them but... You'll just have to wait for the video. ;)
After walking around a bit i did a few ride alongs with Nick & Brandon to grab some footage for Take Luck. Along with filming some others getting sideways and the mini games. At this time i’d wished i wore sunscreen.
People crowded around to watch everyone slay tires, everyone went nuts.
Brandon ended up winning the Burnout Contest but unfortunately this caused him some issues for him at irwindale.
We packed everything up, left the track and ate with brandon’s parents at an italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo, Also really good food but still no sign of sweet tea.
We left there and headed to Jason’s house. He was currently moving out of it so there was no furniture but there was AC, a place to charge my phone and camera batteries, and a shower.
We overslept and woke up a little late but we had some rad breakfast at The Coffee Cup with Jason in Boulder City, Nevada. This place was featured on Diner’s Drive Ins and Dives so i knew it’d be good. Best damn breakfast Iv’e ever had!
We headed out to VORE (Vegas Off Road Experience) which is where Jason works as an instructor. I was told that we were going to drive trophy trucks, i underestimated that very quickly as i sat through a short video explaining the Do’s and Dont’s, and how to operate the vehicle.
I got to ride with Jake which is one of Brandon’s friends. For the first few laps they teach you how to drive the track and then they let you have it. I thought i was going to die.
As soon as we were done i was asked to get in the driver’s seat… I was like… Really??? I’M ABOUT TO JUMP THIS THING??? ME??? So glad i didn’t turn it down. It was bucket list material and i had the time of my life.
We all got to ride with Jason which was one hell of a ride.
Jason invited us to swim at his new place after we got done with the trucks, So we headed there and enjoyed the water before sun down. Here's Jake, Brandon, and Nick chilling' out.
Jason took us to to Tacos El Gordo after we swam and they were IMO the best tacos i’d ever had.
It was an in-door Taco Truck.
Jason treated us to a full day of awesome along with giving us a place to crash for two nights. Thanks a ton dude, You showed me how rad Nevada is in the most incredible way.
We parked the rig at Get Nuts Lab and walked to the strip and i was absolutely amazed at how huge Las Vegas was!
We started out by walking around Caesars Palace.
This place had my jaw dropping around every corner.
There were "Escort" Advertisements everywhere you turned your head. From people handing out what looked like trading cards to this fancy mobile billboard here. Found it quite hilarious.
Yes i went into the M&M store, But i didn't spend money on overly priced chocolate candy. Although i would've...
New York New York was literally i tiny version of New York squished into a few blocks.
Me too bud... Me too.
We made it to Luxor and explored the giant pyramid. We spent about an hour trying to figure out how we could get to the very top, we made it pretty close.
Here's Jake and Brandon in awe at how massive this place is. We were also trying to figure out how to get to the top.
We made it about 5 or so stories from the tip top and i snapped this picture. We were all pretty queasy looking over.
I actually didn't gamble once the whole time i was in vegas. Who am i?
We caught a cab back to the rig and found out that we walked about 6 miles, and headed back to Jason's place to crash. We woke up a bit early and headed down to Get Nuts Lab so that Brandon could grab a few things.
Spotted an extra S15.
Forrest had one of Brandon's old Livery D-Spare boards hanging on the wall.
Along with these rad license plates and and well deserved trophies.
Also spotted Alec Hohnadell's car getting some repairs done before Formula Drift Irwindale.
Peeped Forrest's Samurai. Looks like the ultimate fun haver.
He actually received another engine for it that day.
Forrest let us whip the fit to grab some money from the bank and scoop up some drinks from 7Eleven.
I grabbed a Coke Slurpee. It was a perfect choice for how hot it was, but i instantly regret chugging it and getting a massive brain freeze.
Ariana pulled up to show off her IS300.
Brandon grabbed the things he needed and we were back on the road again. This time we were heading back to Salt Lake City.
We drove through Arizona & Nevada at night so i never really caught a glimpse of the scenery. But WOW!
Here's a blurry picture of Brandon showing how stoked he is about the weather.
After a long drive we made it back to SLC, We parked the rig at the shop and immediately went to get food. But before we grubbed down Brandon wanted to show me the city by taking me up to one of the highest points in SLC.
Ended up going to a local pizzeria called The Pie. Hands down the best pizza I've ever put in my mouth. If you're ever in Salt Lake pay these guys a visit. They're open late and its damn good!
There were writings all over the walls and the place was lit red.
We were so hungry that we ordered a little too much to consume.
We headed back to the shop, Dropped off jake and headed back to Brandon's so that i could get some sleep before my flight in the A.M. Brandon drove me to the airport, I said my goodbyes, and I hopped on my plane and flew to Maryland.
I had a 3 hour delay so i ate and took a nap before my flight back home.
I was saddened to leave SLC & Las Vegas but i was so happy to see Birmingham lit up at night from the plane. I was finally home after my Journey Out West.
Special Thanks to Brandon, Nick, & Nate for helping with my plane ticket although Nate couldn't make it out to Street Driven. Jason for letting us drive trophy trucks, Letting us crash on your floor, and showing us a hell of a time in Nevada. Chase McMaster for making this opportunity possible. If it weren't for working with Chase Bays i couldn't see myself doing what i'm doing now. Thank you all.
Video Coverage of Street Driven Tour will be posted soon along with a short Video Montage of some things i captured along the way.
Okeydoke Brand | Skateboarder | Car Enthusiast | Designer | Video/Photo
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