Ask nearly anyone who owns a car and they will all tell you they love one thing best: driving. Andy Smedegard of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is a Mitsubishi Evo owner who spends nearly every weekend hitting autocross, road racing and other events around his home in the Upper Midwest and other parts of the United States.
In fact he even runs a group called 365 Racing which attends events as a club and hosts a number of its own. The name comes from the idea to drive 365 days a year, regardless of weather.
“It’s not necessarily a business or anything, it was more just a group of friends that had the philosophy of ‘just get out and drive,’” Smedegard says. “And do it as often as possible. Just because it’s winter or something like that doesn’t mean there are not events or anything to do. We do a lot of ice racing in the winter. We do a little bit of Rallycross stuff too … just anything.”
Smedegard first got involved in the performance world after buying a 500-horsepower Mustang when he was 18 years old. He was quickly invited to some autocross events where he competed a couple of times each year, and became increasingly interested in competition. However, he realized he had too much car for the autocross discipline. As a result he bought an Eagle Talon as a daily driver before selling his Mustang and going through multiple Mitsubishi DSMs.
“I just kind of started getting more intrigued with the whole turbo, four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive platform,” Smedegard says.
He has owned Subarus and Hondas, but right now his race-specific car is a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX RS.
“There really wasn’t much out there and Quarter Master had the nice, smaller clutch, less rotating weight than a lot of stuff, and the car shifts great,” he says. “I’ve had people ask me if I had a sequential in my car before because you can slam through gears so fast with such a small clutch.”
In addition to the V-Drive, Quarter Master also offers a 7.25″ Optimum-RR Import clutch featuring two-discs and eight legs for Evo VIII, IX and X applications. It can be used both at the track and on the street.
An IT guy by day, Smedegard’s 365 Racing group features, at its core, the Central Wisconsin Sports Car Club, of which Smedegard is the president. His organizations have become very efficient in timing and scoring during events they host, and they are often sub-contracted to put on other shows.
Smedegard is at an event nearly every weekend whether he is hosting, participating or both. Events in which he competes range from small, local competitions to major events like those presented by the Optima Ultimate Street Car Association. In fact, that series took Smedegard to Las Vegas at the end of 2015, where he participated in the SEMA show and the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Smedegard qualified for the event by winning at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, earlier in the year. More than a dozen cars from 365 Racing and affiliated RS Motors out of Minnesota won events around the country to earn an invitation.
The trip to Vegas was a nice perk, but like thousands of others across the country, for Smedegard the idea of friendly competition is at the heart of his passion for motorsports.
“It’s a hobby and it needs to be fun,” he says. “For me it’s just fun to do, fun to hang out with a bunch of friends. I love the adrenaline rush.”