Dirk Stratton's "DriftVette"
Holley: Tell us a little about yourself.
Stratton: I am from Beloit, Ohio, and I work as an Internet Sales Specialist at Stratton Chevrolet, which is a small Chevrolet dealership in the country that has been owned by my family since 1928. I have been at a racetrack since I was born. My dad used to race Competition Eliminator in NHRA. He won the World Championship in 2001. That is where I must get my competitive drive to win. I would consider myself a car freak! I like all types of motorsports. I have only been drifting for 3 years, but I love it! It’s exciting for me to keep learning and honing my skills. I enjoy fun events and competition events.
Holley: We saw you at LS Fest in 2014 and you were driving a Nissan S13. What constituted the change to a C6 Corvette?
Stratton: The S13 was a great car to learn how to drift with and was pretty competitive with the L33 5.3L LS engine. For 2015 though I knew I wanted more power, more grip, and better reliability. So it was either dump a bunch of money into an old S chassis like everyone else does or build something different. So being that my family business is selling and servicing Chevrolets it only made sense to build a Chevy. The only problem with that is choosing a chassis since no one really uses a Chevrolet besides Gen 5 Camaros. I came across the Vette on eBay with a salvage title for a good deal that I couldn’t pass up. The build was fun and challenging. I could not have done it without the help and knowledge of my awesome service technicians and support from Stratton Chevrolet.
The “DriftVette” really just has basic stuff for reliability, such as oil pan baffles and an Accusump. It has all factory control arms. We removed the leaf springs in favor of the LG Motorsports GT2 bolt in adjustable coilovers.
Power wise, it is just the factory LS3 with a Lloyd Elliot custom camshaft and Chevrolet Performance CNC cylinder heads. I am running the beautiful new Hooker Headers BlackHeart series stainless long tube headers and full 3” exhaust. I also run the Holley Performance valve covers. It has a Monster Clutches street Twin disk clutch.
The main 3 modifications to the car that really make it work I owe to my good friend Justin Robertson of JRfab. He fabbed up the custom steering angle setup up front, and the dual caliper setup on the rear for the hydraulic e-brake and the fully tig-welded roll cage. It was a fun process that took a total of around 7 months. We didn’t know how well the car would work, but I knew after my first test run it was going to work great!
Holley: What made you decide to come back for a second year?
Stratton: Well, the event is a no-brainer for me since I love LS engines and I love drifting! LS Fest is just cool with all of the different cars and events going on throughout the day. I don’t really have any complaints. I think over each year Holley/MDU staff seem to make things run smoother. I do notice that we seem to bring the most fans into the stands…
Holley: Will you be competing in other LS Fest events in the future, like AutoX or Drag?
Stratton: If the timing would work, I could run my car in all of the events technically…what reward is there for drift car that also can be a competitor in the other categories? I’d love to see some of the awesome AutoX machines out there drifting.
Holley: What other events are you currently involved in?
Stratton: I have been running the Midwest Drift Union Formula Drift Pro-am series this season. We just finished the last event at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis. I am leading the points overall and have won the series this year! It’s been a blast and I love the MDU staff guys and surrounding drivers.
Holley: What does the offseason look like for you? What about 2016 plans?
Stratton: In the offseason, I am looking for any sponsorship deals I can get, for tires especially. I have a few safety items to add to the car such as fire suppression system. So far for 2016, I plan on running a full Pro-Am season again and any other events I can manage. I will earn my FD Pro2 license this year, but neither myself or my car is quite ready for Pro2 yet unless the right sponsorships come about, then I may consider it.
Holley: Have you ever been on the NCM track? Would you rather drive it as a track day or drift it?
Stratton: I have not driven on the NCM track. I’d have to say I would like to drift it! I like track days and I hear the track is amazing. My car would just need some wider tires and a brake upgrade to really excel at grip driving on a road course.
-Lloyd Elliot custom camshaft
-Chevrolet Performance CNC cylinder heads
-Hooker BlackHeart longtube headers and full exhaust
-Holley valve covers
-Monster Clutches twin disk clutch (street)
-Custom angle kit
-Custom dual caliper rear brakes
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