MindOverEye videographer, editor, and director Mark Lenardon passed away on April 14, 2015 from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident. He was 26 years old.
Born February 8, 1989, Mark moved to California from Michigan to pursue his passions for drifting and videography. Eager to pick up a wrench when he wasn’t holding a camera, Mark helped produce many shows for Motor Trend, including "Roadkill" and "Hot Rod Garage."
Mark was deeply rooted in the drift community and worked closely with Formula Drift driver Geoff Stoneback, whose team has dedicated this season to Mark and his family. Mark was an ardent car enthusiast, who had nearly finished installing a Chevy small-block into his own RX-7.
Mark is survived by his father, Mike; his mother, Cindy; and his sister, Rachel. He is remembered by his family for the love they shared, by his sister for the special bond they had, by the entire drifting community for his giving nature and hard work, and by friends and coworkers for his smile and goofy sense of humor.
That Car We Built
Late last year, Mark Lenardon and I spent a lot of time in a garage working on an old Nissan. We stuffed a V-8 in the thing, and spent more time doing so than either of us planned. We had planned to spend more time on the car this year, too. We’d “take our time” and “do it right,” as Mark often said.
I wasn’t nearly as qualified of a wrench as I’d hoped, but Mark was happy to show me what to do. He had that endless car-guy enthusiasm, and he was excited about our project. He loved cars and bikes. He was working on getting his V-8-swapped FC RX-7 out to California so he could get it running and get it drifting.
Working on the Nissan was frustrating at times, staying late into yet another weekend night trying to chase down little annoying problems. But Mark had a great, goofy sense of humor about it, and that’s what made working with him so much fun.
He laughed while cutting into the 240SX’s pristine, stock fenders so we could install wider ones to fit our oversized wheels and tires. He wanted to do neon underglow. We both laughed hard when we realized we could hook up that 4-inch muffler we bought the car with to the V-8. It’d be fun and it’d be funny. And that was the point.
I’ll never forget the first night we drove it. It still had a small leak, but we didn’t care; we’d spent so long just getting it to this point that, dammit, we just wanted to drive it. And you know what? We laughed like maniacs. That car we built had the same weight-to-power as a new Corvette, but with a fraction of the tire and no ABS or stability control. It was great. You learn a lot about someone when you spend that kind of time cooped up in a garage with them banging your knuckles against metal. I learned Mark was a great guy: A hard worker with a fantastic sense of humor and a passion for all forms of motorsports. He loved his family and often talked about going back east to see them. He loved drifting and the community, eager to go see his friends at the events he filmed and helped out at.
Mark had a sticker on the back of his Dodge pickup: "Keep Drifting Fun." It’s the name of a documentary that celebrates grassroots drifting culture.
Keep it all fun. You did.