Roy Narvaez Pulls Double-Duty with his Time Attack Monsters
Four dollars and twenty-five cents. Not enough to get most of us a gallon of gasoline in our economy. That’s what Roy Narvaez earned hourly at his first job at the young age of fourteen, back in 1991, working as a copy boy for an elementary school during school breaks. As a teen in a low-income family, he helped lessen the financial burden on his parents by continuing to push forward in the work force. “My family was once on welfare and we were below-middle working class for most of my childhood,” says Roy. He’s taken on almost any service industry job you can think of since: busboy, cashier, upholstery for low riders, unloading planes at Los Angeles International Airport, working on a warehouse dock, delivery services, student worker for Bureau of Family Support and multiple IT jobs with several companies. He even saved enough to purchase his first car, an '89 Mercury Capri 5.0 when he was 15 (back when the legal ownership age was 14.5). Like many of us, cars and trucks intrigued Roy as a young boy. He played with them on the sidewalk or rolled his Tonka truck around in the dirt. As the years moved on, Roy pushed into competitive sports, playing football all four years during high school. In 1999, he purchased a '95 AWD turbo Mitsubishi Eclipse and dabbled in the local street-racing scene. After a few times racing, Roy was hooked and felt compelled to be faster than everyone else. Roy devoted his days, nights, weekends and finances towards modifying his GSX with that goal in mind. Once Fast and Furious hit the theaters in 2001, the underground street racing scene became saturated with large crowds - gaining the unwanted attention of police. For Roy it was a turning point, he got off the streets and begin racing competitively in the IDRC Street AWD class. He later joined NHRA Import circuit and raced at local Southern California drag strips, also competing in the Sport Compact Car Ultimate Street Car Challenge in 2004, placing 2nd overall. In college, Roy’s education became a priority and he chose to sell his 700whp GSX. “We all know racing is an expensive sport and as a college student I just couldn’t fund the hobby anymore, so I had to sell it. In fact I was in debt because of it.” Before long though, Roy was feeding his need for speed again - purchasing an '06 Suzuki Hayabusa, the fastest production bike at the time. "That was a rush," remembers Roy. He was bit by the speed bug again and began taking the bike to the track, but backed off when a friend passed away after an accident. Selling the bike, Roy opted for a YFZ450 Yamaha Quad and headed for the dirt and sand instead. When asked what he enjoyed about the dirt riding, Roy said, “I enjoyed the freedom of no rules.” Shortly after the Nissan GT-R was released, Roy saw it roaming the streets and fell in love. “It was love at first sight. I told myself, I have to have her.” Unfortunately in 2009 his wallet didn’t meet his desires and Roy couldn't afford a GT-R. After working hard, saving, and earning winnings from playing Texas Hold’em, Roy was able to purchase a GT-R in 2010. After his experiences with the GSX, Roy promised himself he wouldn’t modify the GT-R - but three months later the modifications began. With the help of RD Engineering the GT-R was built and tuned. Roy started to attend HPDE events at local tracks, competing in a GT-R-only event where he placed 2nd at Buttonwillow. In 2012, he competed in his first Global Time Attack event - which he has continued racing in within the Limited AWD class. The GT-R also raced in the Modified AWD class of Redline Time Attack. Roy’s 1000 WHP GT-R has all the bells and whistles needed to put down fast lap times while still retaining it's streetable amenities - power leather seats, AC, full interior, radio, CD player and all cup holders. When not at the track, you can find Roy and his GT-R driving all over the greater Los Angeles area and having fun in the Angeles Crest Canyons. In case you wanted to know what goods went into this Godzilla, the modifications include an: AAM GT-1200R turbo kit, Twin Garrett GTX3076R turbos, all Whiteline suspension products, HG Motorsport chassis bracing, APR GTC-500 adjustable wing and side rocker extensions, tuning from ECUTEK, and 315/30/20 Nitto NT01's to keep the extra power planted. As many know, “The GTR eats tires, brakes and rotors." So in 2013 Roy went on the hunt for a track car which would allow him to get more driving time without all the expenses of tracking the GT-R. He landed on a 2011 K20A supercharged Ariel Atom 3 as his solution. An all-driver type of car - the Atom has no ABS, no power steering, no AC, no radio... it's just Roy and the road ahead of him. Weighing in at just 1,350 pounds, the 310 hp beast is street legal and California registered. Roy currently competes in the Unlimited RWD class in Redline Time Attack and is enjoying the extra driving and chance to improve his skills. Between the two, Roy has raked up a good number of trophies and podium wins over the past few years. When asked about his future goals, Roy stated, “I’m transitioning from being an employee and business owner for the past three years to solely being a business owner.” The added freedom will allow Roy to continue time attacking with the Ariel and GTR, but also to expand and build a Mitsubishi Evo in conjunction with Road Race Engineering. The plan is to attack the world-renowned Pike's Peak in 2015 with the Evo. While you might imagine Roy owning a fancy restaurant, club, or bar of some sort in order to finance him to pursue his hobbies, he actually chose to invest in a Laundromat during the recession. He knew it wasn’t flashy, but that it would provide consistent cash flow during rough times and would also enable him to pursue other endeavors. Roy’s philosophy can be summed up in his quote from Jordan Belfort, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bulls**t story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it”.