I was born in the Ukraine, and my family immigrated to the US in 1993 when I was 6 years old settling down in northern New Jersey. Growing up, I was a competitive kid and took a liking to anything on wheels. From bikes to go karts, if it had wheels, I wanted to race it. I became interested in cars and professional racing watching NASCAR and Champ Car races on TV. Naturally, the top drivers became my heroes, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in driving from a young age. As I made my way through high school, I became aware of the reality of motor racing and how much money and support it would take for me to get started even at the lowest levels of the sport. Knowing that my family could not financially support me in my racing career, I decided to take a more conventional path and go to college to pursue my second passion, engineering.
Throughout my years in college, I still had the itch to race. I worked hard in summer jobs to earn enough money to buy my first car, a ‘92 Nissan 240SX, in the summer of 2007. I began competing in every local autocross event and open track day I could afford to attend. After a few events, I was consistently finishing on the podium in my class. I continued to compete in autocross throughout 2007 and the beginning of 2008, but I was starting to notice that my 240SX was more comfortable staying sideways through turns. If I botched a timed run in an autocross event, I would take advantage and drive the car sideways through the remainder of the course just for fun. Even though I knew it was a slower way around the course, I was having a blast. When I wasn’t autocrossing, I would go to empty lots, set up a single cone, and practice e-brake turns and donuts to improve my skills.
I attended my first drift event in Englishtown, NJ in April of 2008. Club Loose held a drift practice event one night each month in the parking lot of Raceway Park in Englishtown, and it was the biggest thing I looked forward to every month. By my third event in June 2008, I was promoted to the advanced drifting group. I did this with an open differential and the only modifications to my car being coilover suspension and a bucket seat. I drove in about 10 local practice events throughout 2008 with basically a stock car focusing on improving my abilities.
At the same time, I graduated from college with an Electrical Engineering degree and got a job as a software developer. With a steady income, I could finally afford to get more serious with my driving. For the 2009 season, I wanted to start driving in competitions, so I completely rebuilt my car adding the mandatory rollcage for competition driving and installing an LS1 engine for more power. I did all of the work myself. I spent the majority of the year figuring out how to set up and drive the new car. Nonetheless, I managed to do well in several competitions and even win a few of the amateur competitions I entered.
For 2010, my goals were to build on my experience from the past year and win as many competitions as possible. I rebuilt my car during the off-season to freshen it up and make improvements based on the knowledge gained in 2009. The car performed beautifully in the first few practice events I drove. I attended my first competition of the year in June, XDC Round 3, in Summit Point, West Virginia and managed to secure a 2nd place finish against some impressive competition. I continued that success throughout the rest of the season finishing on the podium six times in competitions across the country.
For 2011, I installed an LS3-based engine in the car with over 100 more horsepower than the previous setup and made numerous suspension changes to make the car more competitive. My goal was to further develop my competition skills by participating in the professional DMCC series in Canada, the XDC series in the US, and the HTL northeast ProAm championship. In the 15 competitions I entered in 2011, I finished on the podium an impressive nine times, scored five wins, and took home the 2011 DMCC Championship!
I’m currently competing in my rookie season in the 2012 Formula D championship. I have had a lot of promising moments throughout the year, including qualifying in second place for round 3 in Florida! Even though the competition is extremely tough, I am motivated to keep pushing myself and becoming a better driver in order to compete at the highest level of the sport.