In this week’s Better Know A Driver, we venture to the St. Louis area to check in with Steven Fishel. He’s been seen in Midwest Drift Union, Tennessee State of Drift, DriftSTL and other events over the years, often in different cars. That multitude of platforms is one of the questions we ask, so read on to find out more!
SMASHED: How did you get into drifting?
Fishel: I don’t remember the exact moment, I just knew since I was real young I wanted to do it. When I had enough money saved, I went and bought me an S14 and haven’t stopped.
SMASHED: Do you look up to/get inspired by any of the Formula D or D1GP drivers? If so, who?
Fishel: I’m definitely a fan of Forrest Wang. I love how he builds his own car, exactly how he wants, and also rips as a driver. That’s the way to do it.
SMASHED: What achievements are you trying to reach in the sport?
Fishel: Really I just want to keep doing what Ive been doing, Driving cool events with cool people and meeting new friends in new places. Is that an achievement?
SMASHED: What’s your biggest motivation to help you reach those goals?
Fishel: It gets me pumped to see more people get into the sport, and the existing people stay in it and continue building their cars and improving as drivers. Nothing is more motivating than the thought of being door to door with all your homies.
SMASHED: What is/are some of the biggest hurdles you’ve had to overcome to get where you are now?
Fishel: Probably the biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was getting my car to perform how I wanted. I’ve been through quite a few different engine configurations that mostly didn’t work out. I’ve had four SRs and two RB25s in the chassis I have now. They would malfunction or just strait throw a rod every event or so.
SMASHED: You’re competing in both MDU and Tennessee State of Drift. As a driver, what do you find to be the biggest difference between the two?
Fishel: They both feel about the same. Tennessee is a bit more laid back, and based on having fun. But it’s not a Pro2 feeder series so that makes sense.
SMASHED: We’ve seen you drive your S13, Dan Sommer’s S13, a Mustang convertible, and more over the last few years. Why the seemingly constant change, and which car do you enjoy the most?
Fishel: The main reason behind the different cars was because I was rebuilding my current S13 over those years. But in between that I built a few street cars or daily drivers that doubled as drift cars. Dan Sommer was nice enough to share his chassis with me when I was out of options earlier this season. That was a bro move.
Hometown: St.Louis, Missouri
Current city: St.Louis, Missouri
Car: 1991 Nissan 240SX
Engine: Toyota VVTI 1JZ
Suspension: NEO Motorsports coilovers, Megan Racing arms, Driftworks rear drop knuckles, Nocturnal Motorworks modified front knuckles.
Wheels: Cosmsis MR-II
Tires: Velozza ZXV
Sponsors: JDMHookup, NEO Motorsports, Gateway Powdercoating, VIS Racing
Years Drifting: 4
Day Job: Assistant manager at JDMHookup
First Drift Car: S14 240SX
Favorite track: This is tough, but it’s between USAIR and my home track, Gateway International Motorsports Complex