Vd Check-Up with Chris “POW” Billedo

Vd – Chris has been drifting for less than a year, but has been involved in motorsports for some time. He was the Redline Time Attack Champion and Rookie of the Year for 2010 at the young age of 19. Ok, tell us about yourself and what motivated you to start drifting.

CB – Hey Vegas Drift! My name is Chris but I go by POW, I’m also known as DJ POW since I am a DJ as well. An interesting fact about me is that I’m probably the smallest person in drifting haha! I’ve been involved with cars since I was 16, I started AutoX in a hand me down 1997 4 Cylinder Automatic Camry and was hooked! The crazier thing was that I was actually competitive in the class I was racing in and I was only 16 beating out Porsche’s and other crazy super cars that I wasn’t suppose to be beating! I don’t even know how I saw over the steering wheel. As I got older I got a job and bought my first car, a 2008 Honda Civic Si. Right when I got it I knew I wanted to start racing it. My parents weren’t too happy with me racing the car since it was brand new but that’s what I wanted to do. I started racing in Redline Time Attack and in my first year racing I won a championship in my class and also Rookie of the Year. It was an amazing experience with a lot of learning and that’s when I decided to try something new so I got into drifting! It took me about a year to complete the car build so for this year I will be going for my license in a full season of Vegas Drift Pro-AM. Getting a car to slide is actually my main style of driving, even in a front wheel drive car since in theory your suppose to drive a fwd car “sideways”.

Vd – What mods have you done to your S13 hatch?

CB – I wish I could say the car is unique and special but it’s actually not. I guess you could say the only thing “unique” is that I am still running the KA24DE. I decided to build the KA for boost because I did not see why it was worth it to go SR especially being that the SR is smaller in displacement. Torque is very important in drifting and I didn’t want to sacrifice it just to swap in a motor that came turbo stock. As far as the chassis and suspension goes I am running everything from Godspeed Project and solid bushings around the whole car. I have been using everything since I started and have held up greatly. It’s safe to say that I probably have the most BASIC car running in Vegas Drift competition. I am hoping that with driver skill and a properly set up car I can succeed and hopefully podium one day.

Vd – Give us a recap of round 1.

CB – Round 1 was such a stressful but definitely a fun event, any event in Vegas is ALWAYS fun. First off, I work full time at Godspeed Project so it is very hard for me to work on the car but luckily I have a great team behind me that is willing to work hard on the car even when I’m not there. I was able to leave work a few hours early the Friday before Round 1 but due to traffic I got to Vegas around 10PM. What made things even more stressful was that I had a car on my trailer that has never been started since November and a brand new clutch so I still had to break it in. Thankfully I didn’t change much to the car as far as the motor goes so it was just a matter of putting everything back together since I took it apart to clean up the engine bay and also replace the clutch. We finally got the car started around 2am and started to break in the clutch in the parking lots of LVMS. My team and I got back to the hotel and I was only able to sleep for about an hour because tech inspection was early in the morning. The car ran great all day but unfortunately I didn’t do so well during qualifying so I did not make it into the show. I promise I will come back strong for Round 2 as it lands on my birthday.

Vd – Besides VegasProAm, what other ProAm series do you intend to compete in for 2012?

CB – I plan to have a busy schedule this year as long as budget and time permits. As far as the series I want to compete in, I look at Vegas Drift as my main focus but I do want to compete in Top Drift and also Xtreme Drift Circuit. I also might be hired to pilot a few time attack cars this year so be on the lookout for that.

Vd – Whats your take on V8 swaps?

CB – Honestly I want to go V8 so bad. The way I look at it, the only way to be competitive is with a V8. I think you can get by with some sort of 6 cylinder but nothing seems to be more reliable than an V8. The LS series would be my choice of V8 but a VK56 sounds awesome as well. There is a lot of hate on V8s but I look at the sport as an evolving sport. I believe that it shouldn’t matter what motor is in your car, what matters more is how the driver can take advantage of what they have.

Vd – What advice would you give to someone that wants to start drifting?

CB – If I were to advice to someone that wants to start drifting, first I would buy a car that is RWD and probably a popular platform so that parts are readily available such as a 240sx. Next I would make sure that the motor is in healthy condition and that it is safe and sound to be put up to the abuse of drifting. Once you make sure everything is fine, weld the diff and go have fun. Many people think that you have to mod your car first to learn but honestly I learned with just a welded diff and a completely stock 240sx with stock suspension and stock motor. Just have fun but most importantly be safe!

Vd – Are there any sponsors or friends you would like to thank or mention?

CB – First off I would like to thank all my sponsors that have helped me for this season. I would like to thank Godspeed Project, Turbo by Garrett, G2 Graphics, Clutch Masters, Torco Oil USA, Sparco USA, NissanRaceShop, and Feal Suspension. I also wanted to give a shout out to the people at Nos Energy Drink for supplying me with drinks and NOS swag for all my events. Next I wanted to shout out the members of my team, teamPOW. I would like to shout out Matt Mullen for being my lead technician for the car and Fernando Lopez for also being a technician for the car. I also wanted to shout out Kyle Briones, Bobby Aune, Jofel Tolosa, and Eric Monnig for doing a lot for me as well. These group of guys are much more than a team, I consider them FAMILY to me. I also have to apologize to these guys as well, if it wasn’t for my stupid aggressive driving style we wouldn’t have to work on the car but what fun is that! I want to also personally thank all the fans I have out there. Thank you for all the support and trust you guys give me, if it wasn’t for all my great fans I would NOT have the motivation to do well! Lastly I would like to thank an important person to me by the name of Roxy. She is always by my side when it comes to all the important events, even if it’s 115 degrees out she’ll still be there. Even though I don’t show it thanks for giving me all the support and motivation you have given me! Thank you Vegas Drift for interviewing me and I totally can’t wait for the rest of the season!

Check me out at these social networking sites!
www.facebook.com/teamPOW is my racing page!
www.facebook.com/djPow909 is my DJing page!
www.twitter.com/DJPOW is my twitter!

HIT ME UP!

Photo Credit:
Jofel Tolosa Photography
Yukio Taira from Garrett
Erwin Weaver

 

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