Andrew Lewis is a name you will be hearing more of in the next few years. Having just turned 24 two days before we sat down in a bicycle bar in South City St. Louis to do this interview, he finished his second season in Midwest Drift Union Formula D Pro Am in 3rd place earning him a Formula D license. Not too bad considering he also found himself in top 10 in the series the year before. Even more impressive than that is the fact that before both seasons I remember him pulling a Babe Ruth and saying he is going to be in top the top 10 his first season (which by its self is no easy feat for a rookie in this pro am series).
After that lighting struck twice, he then made claims to get his license the following year. Which he did, otherwise there would be no article here. It may come off as cocky but this kid is far from that, Andrew is one of the nicest and most personable drivers on grid. He just puts his mind to it and then follows through with confidence, simple as that. Not to mention you can put Mr. Lewis in any car and he will drive it like like it’s an old friend, a real life round eyed Takumi if you will. We’ll get more on that subject later.
E-braking his civic in Southern Missouri fields for fun before he ever knew what drifting or a 240sx was, Andrew saw his first drift car owned by BMX riding buddy Andy Seehausen. It was a fine example of two tone S13 goodness whether it was an RB car at the time escapes me and probably irrelevant. Andrew regretfully admits it wasn’t JDM Option videos, Initial D or anything rad that actually opened his eyes to drifting.
No, it was Tokyo Drift. Thankfully as with all Fast and Furious movies he saw through the Hollywood fluff and saw the basis of what it was written about. People doing fun things with modified cars.
Ryan Harrison:So, planning on running any FD rounds next year?
Andrew Lewis: No, I’m probably going to Atlanta and or Texas and bringing a notebook to take some Brian Earl Spilner style notes for 2015. If any Pros read this don’t worry if you see me in your pits, I’ll only be looking. I’m going to run MDU again next year to prepare the car and myself for a 2015 try. “Also I’m going for the number one spot next year.” he laughed.
RH:What was your first drift car?
A:L I got an 88 Supra for dirty cheap, my dad had a carbureted 350 small block in the garage and the rest was history. Then I quickly got smart and bought an S13 hatch.
RH: It seems you can drive just about anything and drive it smoothly. Is it really that easy for you or did you have to work like a fat kid and skateboarding?
AL: Aww man I don’t know how to answer that without sounding like a douche… Natural Talent with a mix of learning what car does when you toss it in ways you were taught not to. Don’t get me wrong, I hit my fair share of things. But I can drive just about anything and figure it out I started operating some of my dads heavy machinery at 5 because he wanted to see if I could do it. Dump trucks, excavators, boats, whatever you wanna throw at me I’ll figure it out. I suck
at ball sports though.
RH: What is the most memorable moment of your career thus far?
AL: So far bumping doors with Cody Grimm on the sweeper at Gateway with 300 less hp than him.
RH: How about the most embarrassing thing on track?
AL: Oh jeez, like when you’re on the grid, let out the clutch and you’re not in gear. Then (Nick) Swann will just look at you like you’re stupid and laugh. Otherwise missing a gear against Geoff Stoneback really ruined my mojo. I felt like I could have won that one.
RH: Advise for aspiring drivers out there?
AL: Have fun, that’s the main thing. Make sure it’s what you want to do, hit up your local beginner events and just rip it. Don’t put all of your money into it if you don’t think you have a chance at competing. Everyone should learn to drift but don’t bother going into Pro Am if you don’t think you hang.
Keep it fun and make some new friends.
RH: Any favorite cartoons growing up?
AL: I didn’t have Nickelodeon growing up so just like Animaniacs, O.G. Looney Tunes, and Arthur P.B.S. hell yeah. Oh yeah and Recess for sure.
RH: Favorite track you’ve ever ran?
AL: Gateway. Streets of Detroit was dope though.
RH: You don’t rock any big sponsor stickers, any you would like to thank?
AL: Haha, yeah I need to thank my family and friends, I wouldn’t be where I am with out their support or their truck. Also Dee’s Design’s, Neo Motorsport for their suspension help, other than that I don’t have any as they just want to give you a 10% discount in return stickering 3/4 of your car.
RH: 4 words to describe drifting.
AL: Dopetastic, redonkulous, is money-pit one word?, also whatever word means I do it for the chicks but it never happens, and #getsmashed that’s 5 sorry.