Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew Learns How to Drift at Irwindale Speedway!

Drifting—the art of throwing a car sideways through turns and around obstacles in smokey and raucous displays of acute car control and raw, brutal, combustive power—is the fastest growing motorsport in the world. With roots in the mountains of Japan, drifting has spread throughout the world and gained acceptance unlike any other genre of motorsport before it. Naturally, the Plastic Cup Boyz—members of Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew and budding car-culture aficionados—want to learn everything they can about anything related to cars and car culture, including drifting.

A trip back to Irwindale Speedway, this time to visit the drift pad, is top on the Plastic Cup Boyz’ list to get the lowdown on this unique blend of extreme performance, unique style, and inclusive culture. Unlike other hobbies where enthusiasts or participants might shun outsiders, drifting and car culture in general are all about coming together to celebrate the thing we all have in common: a love for automobiles.

Related: Just getting into car culture? The MotorTrend App has something from nearly every aspect of automobilia: Learn what it takes to start a car crew with Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew, avoid driving on pavement as much as possible on Dirt Every Day, and laugh as the guys from Roadkill vaporize tires with crusty junk that hasn’t moved in years. Sign up for a free trial today!

On this journey of learning everything they can about car culture and what it takes to run a legitimate car club, the guys from Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car crew are hungry for any kind new experience they can find.

A Muscle Car Crew at a Volkswagen Meet?

It’s all in the name: Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew. Specifically, muscle car, and the fact that Joey Wells doesn’t have one. He is the proud owner of an oval-window 1956 Volkswagen Beetle. But that isn’t a problem for the rest of the Plastic Cup Boyz; they understand the importance of the Beetle to their friend and enjoy the new experiences that customizing a very un-American car can bring.

Which is why Kevin Hart and John Clausell joined Mr. Wells at the WestSide VolksWagen Club meet at Dockweiler Beach in Playa Del Rey, California. With every build style imaginable for a vintage Volkswagen on display, Joey is spoiled for choice with inspiration for his build.

“The Bug was my first car. A 1969 with centerline wheels. I’ve always had a soft spot for the VWs. So when I saw the Bug. Oops. I meant The Beetle! I was speechless.” —Joey Wells

After talking to the WestSide Volkswagen Club members, Lucky Costa (builder for the crew’s cars) and Lucky’s friend and owner of Powerhaus VW, John Randolf, Joey has decided it’s time for a bigger engine that can keep up with Los Angeles traffic and the high-horsepower muscle cars the rest of the crew drive.

Related: Eight Prototypes That Almost Replaced the Volkswagen Beetle

“Thanks to MotorTrend, Lucky, and Powerhaus, I now have an engine that can keep up with the guys. We are now concentrating on the interior. Not sure what color scheme we are going with, but look for a full upgrade. Seats, door panels, ceiling, and a new sound system,” Joey told us. 

Finishing Builds, Club Operations, and Taking in Car Culture

As the Plastic Cup Boyz dive ever deeper into their journey of car club legitimacy, all of their builds are progressing nicely and the guys are starting to get into the rhythm of how a car club should operate. John Clausell told us, “If I could change anything about how our car club operates, it would be mandatory hangouts where we all drive our cars and hang out and show off and show up. Oh, and also if your car is not up to par or meets the standards of the club, you can’t ride out! And of course that means we need to have standards on how our cars look!”

As one of the three members of Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew that already had a completed build at the beginning of the crew’s journey, John Clausell can focus on other things besides the final touches on his 1968 SS427 Camaro (Lucky is adding a Magnuson supercharger and huge Wilwood disc brakes), like improving his car control technique with the drifters at Irwindale.

“I am the fastest driver in my crew…my performance driving education came from the streets of Los Angeles or really on the freeways of Los Angeles, because you have to learn how to get in and out of traffic in a hurry, and that takes skill,” John said. “If you know anything about Los Angeles, you know that the 405 freeway is definitely considered a parking lot so you have to learn how to maneuver in and out of traffic. “

That doesn’t mean John and the rest of the Plastic Cup Boyz aren’t up for learning new things whenever and wherever they can. The culture of drifting, what it takes to own a vintage Volkswagen in a modern Los Angeles, or finding their place in the wide world of cars, the guys on Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew won’t stop taking in every car culture experience they can.

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