One thing the people featured on this site have in common is that they’re all leaders. They may not actually run a community, but they lead by example. This week, we interview Andy Smedegard, who actually runs a Mitsubishi community – WI-DSM.com.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
Andy Smedegard (known on most forums as “Dizmm”)
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
I live in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I do IT support for several local small and medium sized businesses.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
I have an 03 Evolution VIII. I’ve had this specific Evo for a bit over a year now.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
My philosophy for my builds is reliability. My stuff tends to be closer on the stock side. I do mostly road course, auto-x, and ice rally events and I hate when by car breaks leading to less/no seat time. Not to mention, coming from the DSM world I quickly became annoyed with wrenching on cars. It’s MUCH more fun to drive. I also like to put more focus into suspension and handling rather than peak power.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
It all started with a 92 Talon TSI AWD. I’ve owned about 15 different DSM’s, and when Evo’s become more affordable, I had to get one.
What got you into racing your Evo on ice?
I started ice racing about 6 years ago with my little Honda civic. A friend talked me into going. At the first event, I quickly realized ice racing is a great way to improve driver skill. Loads of seat time with little to no cost and hardly any wear and tear on your vehicle. I encourage everyone to give it a try. You’ll learn how to drive right on the edge of the traction circle with little to no negative results when you exceed the limits and spin out.
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
Several buddies around town have Evo’s, and we try to attend big track days together. It’s always fun to have a group of 7-9 Evo’s show up at the track all chasing each other down.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
I love beating up on big American v8 muscle cars. The more challenging part is dealing with the fuz. These big wings and fart can looking exhausts seem to be a magnet.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
Driving! And chasing a few of the other Evo buddies around the track. It’s kind of like the go karts when you were a kid, except faster.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
Our local car group extends beyond cars. From our Taco Tuesday’s at Taco Johns to some pickup basketball games.
How do you want your community to benefit Mitsubishi owners? What steps are you taking to make sure that happens?
Our Evo community is pretty close. We all help each other when we need it. If someone needs help taking out a tranny for a new clutch, there’s always someone there to help. It’s really neat to have such a dedicated group of guys to help you out when needed. We all kind of have our own area of expertise as well. I’ve been doing most of the suspension and alignment area as well as tire changes (I’ve got my own tire changer/balancer).
How do you feel building a Mitsubishi compares to building a Mitsubishi community?
The small details can make a big difference.
What’s next for your Evo?
I may switch up some suspension stuff, but otherwise just tires and brakes will be about it. Oh and a lot of seat time!
What’s next for WI-DSM.com?
WI-DSM.com is now more than just DSM’s, we have several Evo guys/gals on the forum. We hope to continue to build the Mitsubishi community and get more people involved. I hope to get more DSM/Evo guys behind the wheel instead of in the engine bay. A bit beyond WI-DSM.com, me and a few buddies started an official local car club (Central Wisconsin Sports Car Club Inc.) where we host several auto-x, lapping days, and ice rally events in the area.
Were you inspired by any other Mitsubishi community organizers? Who? Why?
There were a few on the DSMtuners board. That’s where I started and learned most of my car knowledge. I read countless stories and build threads and that motivated me the most.
Who do you look up to in the Mitsubishi community?
Not a specific person, but those that seem to have the full pit crew, big car trailers, fully gutted and modified race cars and unlimited stacks of tires. I’m more jealous but hopefully someday I can do that.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend? Want to thank any sponsors?
I tend to do most of my own work. I’ve had good experiences with ExtremePSI and MAPerformance. I’d like a sponsor.