My fondest memory of a Nissan Sentra was in the 90’s when my buddy Armando had a crew called Insane Racing in North Carolina. In his crew, there was a black Sentra SE-R owned by Chris Argo. Given the popularity of Honda’s and Acura’s at that time, the Nissan Sentra was overlooked on both style and performance. Even though the sleeper SE-R boasted 140HP with its 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, the Acura Integra’s (non-VTec) 142HP was still a more popular choice. Before the black Sentra was boosted, it was juicing a happy 125-150HP shot of nitrous via direct-port. While some of the Honda blocks had a hard time keeping things together, the solid deck block of the SR20DE held up with ease even with the combo of boost and juice. That’s when I became impressed with the SE-R and the SR20DE block.
We met Scott VanderHeide while interviewing his race mate and girlfriend Kerryann De La Cruz, Scott had a Sentra that he was re-building. In fact, we had to push it that night of the filming for some reason. At the time, It was solid red with a few hand crafted Home Depot mods to assist with airflow and cooling.
In 2013, Scott fully committed into completing the Sentra for competition. The commitment morphed the Sentra into a beast with a new graphics package by Gatorwraps and aero package by Andy Turlo of Robispec. An APR Performance GTC-200 rear wing was added as well. Scott chose a combination of KSport Coilovers, Whiteline sway bars with bushings, and Team Dynamic Pro Race wheels attached to Toyo R888 to keep the Sentra on the track. The larger Wilwood brake helps Scott hone in his braking target.
The factory motor was quickly replaced by an SR20DET from a Japanese spec Pulsar GTiR, but even in stock trim it couldn’t meet the demands Scott was looking for. The internals were swapped for stronger JE Pistons and a Synergy 20G turbocharger was added. At the time of the shoot, Scott was still waiting for the Garrett GTX3067R turbocharger to land into his hands. A few goodies from Turbosmart was added on to regulate pressure and boost, while a Godspeed intercooler lowers the intake temp.
While i’m only slightly capable of describing how Scott started racing to the ladies, Scott was kind enough to give us a few words during his downtime.
DaYUUM: When did you start getting involved with cars?
Scott: I’ve pretty much always been involved with cars in some way or another. My dad used to take me go-kart racing when I was younger and I always kind of had a knack for it. At 16 years old I bought my first car…a brand new 1990 Nissan 240sx way before it was cool ($11,500 – 1 at this price). During my teens and early 20’s, I didn’t own a car for more than 2 years…I was always on to the next car and modifications!
DaYUUM: How did you get involved into motorsports?
Scott: My first job out of college was working with the Marlboro Team Penske Racing Team. I performed onsite marketing/promotions with the team as we followed the C.A.R.T. circuit which then merged with Indy Racing. We also worked a promotional program funded by Philip Morris and Marlboro. I was part of the staff at the Marlboro Racing School. One of the bonuses of working with the team was that we always rotated the staff into the school as students. I was able to get a free education in car control on the job…the rest I think I just learned through Osmosis! Honestly, you can’t work in this field without catching the bug. After 6 years of traveling with the team, I took a good paying stationary job where I was able to build my own car and start racing for fun. After that…it just became a disease. I compare it to any addiction…drugs, alcohol, gambling, racing…all the same stuff! After five years out of the industry…I became bored. I don’t make half as much money as I used to…but at least I get to work in this industry again…and I wouldn’t change a thing!
DaYUUM: What other motor sports have you been involved with? Either for fun or competition?
Scott: I started with Auto-X and quickly got bored with it. Seriously….in a full day, you’d get less than 10 minutes of actual driving! And then they made you work! I soon worked my way into open track days with Redline Track Events and Speed Ventures. 2+ hours of driving in a day…and I could relax between sessions…yeah that’s the ticket! Then Redline created their first Time Attack event and I decided to give it a shot. It was so much fun that I continued to go, learn, and progress as their events did the same. The best part about being out at the track is the friendships I have made throughout the years. Heck, I even met the most amazing woman in the world at a Redline Time Attack event 5 years ago…and she is still here by my side. I even have Time Attack to thank for my career in this industry. I met the owner of Fontana Nissan, Mike Cronin Jr. at an event at Buttonwillow Raceway…which resulted in the position I hold today.
DaYUUM: Tell me the services that Nissan RaceShop provides.
Scott: NissanRaceShop is the Motorsports/Performance division of Fontana Nissan. We specialize in aftermarket performance parts for Nissans and Infinti’s. Although we don’t limit ourselves to those makes…a lot of our customers drive other makes and models. With the support of the owners of Fontana Nissan (Family Owned), we have a huge amount of freedom with this department and offer a huge variety of aftermarket and OEM parts and Genuine Accessories. We are a small crew of true automotive enthusiasts that actually use the parts we sell. Race on Sunday…Sell on Monday. We live this statement! Our service department is also a Mod-Friendly Service Center. Its not uncommon to see 4-5 R35 GT-R’s getting serviced here, full blown race cars getting track prepped and aligned, lifted Off-Road Trucks, and even Herra-Frush cars too! No, really…we actually welcome Modified Cars here 😉
DaYUUM: How did you decide on the platform you have now to compete.
Scott: After racing my 05 Subaru STi for the previous 5 years, I was able to accomplish many goals…but it was time to move on. With the new position as Motorsports Director, I felt it was in the best interest of the store that I pilot some sort of Nissan. I firmly believe that it brings legitimacy when I can talk to my customers and explain what parts I recommend and show that I use the exact parts on my own race car. I found this car as a rolling chassis from a gentleman in Las Vegas that had already gutted and caged the car…it was a good start. This build was meant to be a budget build…even though it has been nothing but budget! I guess it never is when it comes to racing. The B13 Sentra really is a good platform…its light, nimble, and has a pretty good aftermarket available to it.
Scott’s sponsors include: Fontana Nissan, NissanRaceShop.com, OSR Dyno, Robispec, Turbo by Garrett, Jordan Innovations, Toyo Tires, Team Dynamics, Whiteline Suspension, Turbosmart USA, KSport Suspension, Sparco USA, Buddy Club USA, Gatorwraps, APR Performance, AEM Electronics, Mishimoto, JE Pistons, and Wolf Technology
Other mods include:
Snow Performance Water/Methanol Injection
RC Engineering 1000cc injectors
Tuning by Reggie Youmans of OSR Dyno in Fontana, CA
AEM EMS-4 Stand Alone ECU
AEM Gauges – Water Temp, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure
Snow Performance Water/Meth Controller
Turbosmart Electronic Boost Controller
All wiring by Jeff Jordan of Jordan Innovations
Buddy Club P1 Race Seats
Sparco 6 point harness
Sparco Competition Wheel with Quick Release
Custom 6 Point Cage
Dash wrapped with Suede
Fastbrakes Wilwood big brake kit up front (Thank you Mike Kojima!)
Seibon Carbon Fiber Hood
Seibon Carbon Fiber Trunk
Extreme Dimensions R33 Style Front Bumper
In closing, Scott would like acknowledge the following:
I would like to thank all of my valuable sponsors that make it possible for me to do what I love. Special thanks to my pit crew, Robert Krencik, Chris Heimburg, Aaron Singh, and Albert Castaneda. You guys bust your asses to make sure I can drive the car safely on track…I’d be nothing without you guys! Reggie Youmans and his crew at OSR Dyno for putting in tons of hard work prepping the motor and tuning before we head to the track. Also thanks to Andy Turlo and Robert Fuller of Robispec for dialing in my suspension and aerodynamics. And of course, my beautiful girlfriend, photographer, and hype woman, Kerryann…I’m the luckiest guy in the world! And thank you to the guys at DaYUUM! For always showing your support!
If you feel the need to stalk or to keeps tabs on what Scott and Kerryann are doing, then check out their site www.scottandkerryann.com. It’s pretty hilarious because they video tape the most random stuff and talk about cool things and completely nonsense. It’s worth checking out – I got hooked on it – Episode 1 was hilarious.
Thank you Scott for your time and always supporting us! -@DaYUUMDen