Wendy Pate has never had a problem doing battle at the race track, but now she faces a more menacing opponent. Wendy has cancer. Now the Mitsubishi/DSM community has come to help make her dream of clicking off a ten second ET at the track a reality.
What’s your real name? Screen name?
Wendy Renee’ Pate – Girlieracr4g63
Where are you located and what do you do for a living?
I live in Kure Beach, NC. I have spent several years in the construction industry, providing new water and sewer service to new communities. I have been fortunate enough to leave that industry and become a domestic engineer.
What Mitsubishi(s) do (and your family) own?
I have my baby, the 91 Eclipse GS-T (turbo FWD) five speed. Brad, my husband, drives a rare 91 Galant VR4 (turbo AWD). #1707/2000. Our oldest son Brent, has a 91 Eagle Talon TSi (turbo FWD) automatic.
What originally attracted you to Mitsubishis? How long ago was that?
I have been a fan of the Eclipse since its debut, that was almost 20 years ago. The engine platform is just amazing. The stock block can handle upwards of 500 hp, and that is just outstanding to me! Many people have dug deep in the 10’s on the stock bottom end of the 4G63.
We’ve heard that you’ve got some racing cred. Have you set some records or something?
Unattractively and uncondoning, I started out street racing and have made many chalk ups for myself. It has always been a complete rush when a man looks over and underestimates a female. Lets just say I have hurt a few feelings/ego’s. Back in 2004 I set the unofficial record for the quickest big 16g powered FWD no nitrous. The time was 12.1 @ 114. I’ve also obtained a 1.69 60 feet in a FWD.
Why did you stop racing? Did life end up getting in the way?
I stopped racing back in 2005 due to becoming pregnant with our third child. I was really on a roll with the feel of the car and felt as if we were connected. Of course, I went 9 months without racing, then Brayden was born.
When he was born we found out he was born with a cleft. So the following race season consisted of trips to Chapel Hill to have many things done. After Bray’s surgery we noticed that his head was flat on the back. This condition is know as plagiocephaly. The treatment was he had to wear a helmet for correction. So we had to take trips back to Chapel Hill every 2 weeks so they could shave out sections of the helmet for his head to grow in that direction. Time flew by with many thoughts of racing but was never possible due to unexpected circumstances like this.
Just when we thought we were in the clear and on our way back up, December of last year I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I spent the first 5 months of this year receiving radiation and chemotherapy. On May 5th the doctors gave me the green light. I was set up on a schedule of appointments for the year and on my way to having my life back. However, sadly my joy was very short lived. I found out just after the Showdown at Englishtown mid August that the cancer had metastasized to my liver. This diagnosis comes with a possible grim outcome. However, I am a fighter in everything I do, and I refuse to give up on anything. Having three beautiful boys and a wonderful husband is enough reason in itself. Currently I am receiving a series of chemotherapy and a wonderful trial drug that has had spectacular results.
It’s inspiring that, despite all you’re going through, you’re still focused on achieving one big goal. Tell us about that goal.
I have always wanted to make a 10 second pass in my car for several reasons. Mostly, though, for personal satisfaction. I have used the car as something to focus on while times are down. Plus I know that it will always be there, and it could be done at my own pace depending on my health at the time. I just wish my father was still alive to see it come true, but the support from my mother and the rest of my family makes just as wonderful.
Many people have made jokes over the years that I drove a FWD, claiming the AWD was available for better times, and the FWD wasn’t worth the effort. I’ve always loved the challenge of the FWD and the fact that it is a 5 speed. Call me the black sheep if you wish. Many people also have jumped on the automatic bandwagon to get better ET’s but not me. I don’t want anything made easy.
How has the Mitsubishi/DSM community helped you towards reaching this goal?
My loving and fully devoted husband Brad posted my story on DSMtuners and DSMtalk. Soon my story spread like wildfire to numerous other sites around the country and the generosity and thoughtfulness of everyone out there just really made this build move forward extremely quickly. He posted what we had to work with and they asked how they could help. Complete strangers, friends, and vendors alike, just started providing their services and parts along with constant prayers and well wishes. This has truly been a blessing which I could never even begin to repay.
Who, specifically, has donated to your cause? Individuals, communities, vendors?
* Wier Automotive Racing has donated their shop and labor to build the car. Jason and Brian Wier, to include the Eagle Rods.
* The block is done. O-ringed, Eagle rods, and CP 9:1 compression pistons w/ upgraded wrist pins. Pistons donated by Majestic Motorsports, Richard Homer, owner.
* The head is also mounted. ARP Head studs, MLS gasket with Crower springs and retainers, and new BC 280 cams donated by JNZ tuning. They’re also doing all the powder coating work. (JNZ finishing)
* National Speed ( Jordan ) has sponsored all the dyno time to get the car dialed in.
* Turbo is a S259ET with polished compressor cover, new knock sensor, the phenomenal spark plug cover, AN fittings and lines donated by Wendy’s unofficial brother Steve S (Steve93talon).
* ECM tuning ( Thomas Dorris) donated Link V3, tuning software for a DSM.
* DSMTalk members Sean M, Steve S, Allen S, Christopher D, Adam H, Joe L, Ean K, and Paul P donated a FMIC 4″ thick, its huge, along with piping, couplers, clamps.
* JM Fab Race sheet metal intake manifold donated my Jim, JM Fab owner.
* John Shephard ( Sheptrans) is building her a race transmission.
* Fuel Injector Clinic donated 1650 cc blue top injectors and Easy Tune, Jans, owner.
* Boost boys and girlz racing donated A1000 fuel pump, Shawn and Sandra.
* Carl donated, a 4″ intake pipe with filter.
* Joe S (DSMTuners) has donated a cutoff switch.
* Turbo Tony, has donated an Evo III ceramic coated mani and the o2 housing with external gate flange.
* Kiggly Racing, Kevin is Wendy’s inspiration, he sent her 2 T-shirts and a Hat and coilovers for her FWD.
* Matt B, Steve H, Cody R, Dave G, Brian (DSMtuners) donated an Aeromotive FPR (Fuel Pressure Regulator).
* SS Studs (Jeff), has donated a full set of exhaust, intake and valve cover boltings.
* Anger890 (DSMtuners) donated a forward facing oil filter housing and turbo oil feed line.
* Punishment Racing (Tim) has sponsored an ACT chromoly flywheel and 6 puck clutch disc.
* Jay-Racing (Jay) has sponsored a Mishimoto aluminum radiator with dual fan shroud, Gates timing belt, and plug wires.
* Three Speed (Harry) has sponsored a FWD scatter shield that was specially made that they no longer make.
* Forced Performance (Aniel) has sponsored a FP race exhaust manifold.
* Extreme PSI ( Hung and crew) sponsored a Tial 38 mm waste gate.
* WAVETRAC LSD. This has been sponsored by many people to include: Patrick K, Sean M, Shane P, Matthew G, Michael H, BP E III, Jesse F, Will S, Kim S, Scott F, Eric R, Matt S, Jim M, Joe K, and Matthew B.
* Non cruise throttle cable sponsored by Matt Z, (DSMtuners).
* Zaklee (Rob) sponsored a clear timing belt cover.
* IAT and pigtail sponsored by Jackson E.
* Tuners Nation (Garfield) sponsored Fuel system (push lock) lines, fittings, and filters.
* Water pump donated by DSMTalk member Lonnie G.
* Import Evolution (Ryan) sponsored Hot pink RJS racing harness.
* Driveshaft Shop ( Frank) sponsored level 5 axles, these things are insane.
* Craig S. has sponsored his catch can/ oil separator.
* Swift Racing Technologies Rob M. has sponsored a Norgren boost controller.
* DSMTalk members ( names coming ) sponsored the final fuel items: Aeromotive check valve, -10 AN plug, and -6 AN to -6 AN fitting.
* AZAWD.ORG members: Chris H, Dustin P, Noah G, Rojas R, Kevin D, Antonio L, Ali A, Hunter G, Robert G, and Thai L’s donations have provided stainless clutch line from master to slave, 2’ of stainless pipe to complete the bumper exit of the wastegate, downpipe flange, 3 quarts of light shockproof tranny fluid, remaining fuel items: 10 AN push lock hose 5 ft,10 AN straight fitting (blue),6 AN push lock hose 3 ft,6 AN 90 deg fittings times 2 (blue), and 6 AN straight fitting (blue).
As hard as we have tried to stay on top of things, please forgive us if we have forgotten to list anyone. Your time or generosity has not gone unnoticed.
How close are you to achieving this goal?
I would say we are a few weeks out to getting the car to crank. Then off to the dyno to get the car dialed in. After that it will be going to the welder to have the cage put in, then finally, to the body shop for body work and paint.
How are you, personally, doing these days? How do you keep your spirits up?
I am hanging in there. I have my good days, bad days, and really bad days. I have had the phenomenal opportunity to get the clinical trial drug Avastin. I have started that chemo along with the “big gun” Topetecan my last treatment.
I start treatment again Monday, November 16th and have 3 days of treatment. My course of treatment is every 21 days. Following the three days of treatment, I receive an injection for 10 days to increase my red and my white blood cell counts. I keep my spirits up knowing what I have to look forward to with the car and my family. Graduations, college, weddings and hopefully grandchildren one day.
Do you see any similarities between the healthcare industry and your DSM? Is your doctor always on jack stands? Does your DSM charge a co-pay for each drive?
First off, I have to laugh at this question. There is a large misconception about a DSM. The way it should happen when people purchase this type of car is do all the general maintenance work first. Change the timing belt, balance shaft belt, plugs, oil, do a compression test, and leak down for boost leaks etc.
What takes place, and why the DSM has such a bad wrap is this, and I have seen it a hundred times before. A person buys the car and WOW, this car is great! They love the way it feels but its not as fast as their buddies. So what do they do? Research? Buy a Haynes manual? Read? No…First thing they do is run out and buy a boost controller and turn up the boost or go as far as putting a larger turbo on it without supporting mods.
They bang and miss gears. All the while not realizing what they are really doing to the car is tearing up their synchros and getting knock/detonation etc. and don’t even know it. They haven’t taken the time to investigate or read and make themselves knowledgeable enough to make smart decisions from the jump start. I have been bitten before by not replacing a balance shaft belt @ over 100 mph at the track. Needless to say a hard lesson was learned. I bent every valve and actually shoved one through the top of a piston. I no longer have balance shafts. ;)
I truly believe that if you buy one of these cars and do things as I stated earlier and read up, your DSM will serve you without having to take out a 2nd mortgage. If asked what is the weakest link on a DSM, I would definitely have to say the manual transmissions. Or sometimes the driver if I am allowed to say that. (lol) I guess I can honestly say my relationship with my doctor/car has been pretty equal in personal treatment. However, I would definitely have to quit racing if it were as costly as my medical treatment. That’s all I better give as far as my feelings on the current healthcare system though. heh
If you had one wish for the Mitsubishi community, what would that be?
To feel really worthy of all the wonderful things that have been done for me.
When and where can we all come out to watch you run that 10 second ET?
As of now this would be a tough question to answer. The uncertainty of when the car will be finished in conjunction with my health, and my course of treatment. I take many medications to control my pain at this time. Which I hope to start weaning off of soon so I can get some seat time in the car.
How can we help you?
By continuing to support me with prayers, and good thoughts for my family. Also, please take the time to do the general maintenance on yourselves as well. Like yearly check-ups etc.
Wendy, you are an inspiration to the entire Mitsubishi community. It is amazing to see how we can still pull together to help out our brothers and sisters. Thank you for allowing Gearbox Magazine the privilege of sharing your story. We wish you a speedy and full recovery. Please keep us all posted!
Despite the overwhelming generosity of the Mitsubishi/DSM community, the Pate family can still use all the help they can get. If you would like to lend a hand, but aren’t sure how you could do so, please drop an email to Wendy and Brad. Additionally, donations are greatly appreciated via PayPal at the same email address: BradRPate@aol.com