"[...] I don't never walk away from the challenge! I'm gonna destroy that 86 and wipe that smuck grane of your face! I'll make your remember the day you've met Takeshi Nakazato! That crap rotary is no match for my 32!"
Takeshi Nakazato (中里 毅 Nakazato Takeshi, known as Zack in the Tokyopop version) is the leader of the Myogi NightKids. He made his first appearance at the race in Akina where Keisuke Takahashi of the RedSuns is to race against Takumi Fujiwara. Surprised that Takumi could defeat Keisuke, Takeshi decides that he is going to be the one to challenge and defeat the "Akina downhill specialist", and that the RedSuns are next on his list.
Nakazato is an intelligent and skilled driver, notably recognizing Takumi's the gutter hook technique while observing the Eight-Six's first battle with Keisuke's FD. However, his downfall is his anger and emotions getting in the way of his mind, resulting in poor throttle control. He also races all-out and usually fails to consider tire wear, so in the end, he loses the race, sometimes crashing his car, as seen in his battle with Takumi Fujiwara where he hits the guardrail and spins out because of his poor throttle control at desperate moments. Despite this, he learns to properly conserve tyre potential later on, as seen rematch withEikichi Shimura. He is very good at acceleration and is known for his grip driving philosophy.
His previous car was a Nissan Silvia (S13), with which he used drifting techniques. He changed to the Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) after a devastating loss to a white (or rather silver) R32 on his home course of Myogi. Following the defeat by the Skyline, his philosophy changed, favoring grip driving techniques over "weak" and "showy" drifting techniques. He also believed that no matter what skill a driver has, a car will not run beyond its capabilities.
Despite being the leader of his team, a separate faction of his team seems to be united under Shingo Shoji, whom Nakazato has conflicting relations with, even though they both seem to be friends deep inside, they both act as not friends whenever in public. Nakazato occasionally praises Shingo for his driving skills, which can go the other way around as well. Him and Shingo is seen spectating battles of Takumi and Ryosuke, Ryosuke and Kyoichi, Takumi's rematch with Ryosuke and the final battles of Project D, in which even though they talk casually and friendly, they still move away whenever they are in public and warns each other of people thinking them to be 'friends'.