Vaughn Gittin Jr. Warns He Could Be Missing Irwindale Speedway

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 In Formula D Major Announcements Vaughn Gittin Jr.


According to an interview conducted by Larry Chen at, it appears that Vaughn Gittin Jr. is very likely to miss Round 7 of the Formula Drift championship at Irwindale Speedway in October. This is due to his horrifying crash in Texas. The S197 chassis Ford Mustang is totaled after the hard hit with the k-rail at Texas Motor Speedway. (video)


The backup car he has is now on a crate heading to Japan, we are told, which eliminates its use for the Irwindale Speedway weekend. His new S550 demo chassis seen at events like Street Driven Tour X Hyperfest this year is a demo car and not built to Formula Drift legal specs eliminating another option for him. A tough break to end his 2015 season. He is also only one of three drivers left to run every single Formula Drift event since inception. He would be removed from the list if he fails to attend Irwindale Speedway later this year. Below is an exact recount of what he said. What are your thoughts on this?

Screen Capture of Important Part of Speedhunters Interview – Full Interview Found Here

Screenshot 2015-08-28 13.58.25


  1. esanchez says:

    Probably a long shot but maybe renting/leasing the old “Brostang” from JTP/ASD now that Pawlak is using the new Roush ‘stang this season.

  2. ryandriftingfat says:

    If Chelsea can find a backup car in the span of days, Vaughn can too.

  3. apieceobacon says:

    Well he could take the rental car route. Yeah it wont be the same vehicle but it really seems like its either that or sit on the sidelines.

  4. Guest says:

    That was a hell of a hit, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was still very sore.

    I wonder how many Mustangs has this guy driven (JTP too come to think of it) and how many of those are still around? Do his old competition cars get parted, sold, or do they simply not meet current regulations? It would be a shame if he missed the final round ever at Irwindale but if the contingency plan is in a container heading overseas then that’s that.

  5. apieceobacon says:

    Most retired FD cars will get parted out or will be donor cars for their new vehicle to help offset costs. Drift cars and race cars in general are always cheaper to the next owner so they aren’t sold as a whole very often. I know vaughn still has his first mustang that he had and his old 240 but I really dont think they would be competitive anymore in fd even if they managed to update it enough to be legal.

  6. Tie Fighter says:

    Really interesting that they don’t have a backup car available. I wonder if a call has been made to Falken about JTP’s old car….

  7. Yoshi says:

    Just borrow the retaks car! oh wait…

  8. Alika80 says:

    Glad he is ok. Hope he can find a ride. He’s got plenty of time to borrow something nice. It would be very nostalgic to see him in an S Chassis. Either way, I hope he can drive at Irwindale, seeing as how it’s being demolished and this will in all likelihood be the last FD event at the “House of Drift”. #sadface

  9. Drift bukake says:

    No big implications here. Statistics show that he would just spin out, or crash anyways. Bye Felicia

  10. Doof says:

    So he won’t be there to straighten out on the bank and let Forsberg win again?

    Ok. I’m fine with that.

  11. NUTTERBUTTER says:

    love all of the above comments. he will just man the big t shirt cannon and swing his arm in circles.

  12. Bronson says:

    @Doof F-ing right about that move from VGJ at Irwindale last season on that particular battle/run, clearly let Forsberg win on that one!

    On another point, VGJ must be limited by his contract with Ford to ONLY run Ford cars at competitions/events/demos (and is really out of cars).

  13. Mike Penis says:

    Thankfully Vaughn Gittin Jr. is okay. This is another reason why power needs to be regulated in Formula DRIFT. These cars are making more HP than NASCAR, Formula 1, and WRC. Most of the venues which FD is using are not up to par in terms of safety. And the reality of neck restraint systems is that they are not really designed with side impacts in mind. The “boys will be boys” attitude of Sage and DeAnda after the crash between Justin Pawlak and Tyler McQuarrie only highlights a serious neglect for safety as there were no penalties for either of those idiots. This is a topic in which I’d never want to be right but in every other motorsport where the show and the HP became king and safety was lax there have been fatalities.

    I would hate for this to happen to anyone on that grid.

    That being said Vaughn is probably the best when in someone else’s car. He podiumed in a borrowed S13 in 2005 and he proved to be more of an AE86 competitor than wannabe Ken Gushi when he drove a borrowed one in D1 Grand Prix. Falken has a couple of Mustangs parked at their HQ, I think one was built for Rob Dyrdek and can be converted over to FD spec. Maybe it’s time for Gittin Jr. to make some phone calls.

  14. Brandon says:

    I hope to see VGJ at least compete in Irwindale. I see some people are wanting him to drive his old 240sx. I doubt he would since he is backed by Ford heavily.

  15. Brian says:

    He could put the drive train out of this mustang into his fox body, that would cool to see, he would get to drift, ford and other sponsors kept happy, win/win situation lol

  16. johnny says:

    That Ford sticker probably means he can’t drive a borrowed car if its not a new Mustang. Isn’t he a factory backed driver. Would be like Aasbo driving a chevy. Anyone checked on what events are happening in japan?

  17. sanlis says:

    Falken has Justin’s old Mustang, maybe Vaughn can borrow it

  18. Samurai Sam says:

    Why would Falken help Vaughn out? Especially since RTS contains some former ASD employees.

  19. Curtis says:

    I really don’t see why it matters if Vaughn can’t make Irwindale. It’s not like he will get enough points to win the championship

    Yes it sucks for him but he’s been having trouble with that car all year and he finally totaled it. Time to make a new FD Comp car.

  20. Tie Fighter says:

    the problem with JR missing a race is he has signed contracts with sponsors and has obligations to them, namely Ford and Monster. While he has a long standing relationship with them and on one hand they can understand what is happening, it really makes JR and frankly ASD look bad.

    My question would be why on earth would they build the 2015 and not have it conform to FD specs? even if they had no intention to run the car it seems irresponsible to not build it to the standards in which it can compete in if they are trying to R&D it for competition.
    Furthermore if you look back to the start of the 2015 RTR talk there is nothing (that I can find anyway) that says this was ONLY an R&D car and would never see competition this season due to it being outside the rule book. Wrecked even reported several times (not sure if it was pure speculation by wrecked or if it was based on info given from JR or his team) that the new 2015 could make it’s debut at some point this season. instead amid speculation the new car could make its debut nothing was said until their hand was forced with the total of the old chassis.

    something just doesn’t feel right about this, but either way it looks like one of the premier drivers and teams in the series got caught with their pants down.

  21. sanlis says:


    You are so funny. Because he is not gonna win the champ so he don’t need to give a damn on the final round then why would other drivers work so hard to get their car to Irwindale?

  22. apieceobacon says:

    Ok so after comparing previous season results and current season results, here is my prediction for irwindale.
    3-4. Saito or Yoshihara
    5. Aasbo
    7. Pawlak
    8. Whiddett

  23. @Tie Fighter In my experience of using this site, I view everything posted as “pure speculation” unless I have also seen it posted by the team / driver. This site is sorta like the TMZ of drifting, but it is entertaining as hell so I always come back haha!

    But in regards to the 2015 RTR Mustang part, it seems highly unlikely that Ford would want JR to reveal a brand new car during a season. Media day is a much more appropriate time to debut a new car.

  24. Stucky says:

    This just seems like hype to me. It’s getting his name out there and into blogs like this rather than just staying quiet and tinkering on a replacement or backup vehicle comfortably. Give it time, they’ll unveil some hero-level stuff where they had to scramble to put together a car in a month and a half for irwindale and unveil the 2015 at the finale. If not they’ll have some shell or backup hanging around that they can throw together for the final event. I don’t have a shred of doubt Vaughn will be at Irwindale and he’s playing the PR game.

  25. Curtis says:

    @sanlis I don’t know if you read the article but he doesn’t have a car anymore. He doesn’t need to worry about Irwindale if his car is wrecked. Other drivers have working cars and are trying to get more points.

    It hardly matters for Vaughn, he is already up there and has the sponsors. Missing a round won’t hurt him like it would the other lower tier drivers. Your comparison of JR to other drivers is weak

  26. Oliver says:

    OMGdrift had the solution to this. Build a foxbody missile on the cheap and bring it out. I’m sure they could slap something together between now and Irwindale. Doesn’t have to be competitive, just look cool.

  27. Nighthawk says:

    Just covert the Trans Am car he just ran at Road America over and use that

  28. KBanks says:

    He could just borrow an SCCA spec chassis and slap one of his powertrains in there. It wouldn’t be competitive but he could probably still qualify at least and make the show.

  29. Mark Lytle says:

    I just read the article that Speedhunters had 1st posted about the 15 RTR and it clearly states the car was for fun and to learn and develop on. I can understand that. VGJ aside from Saito probably has one the most invested car on the grid. It makes sense for them to play around with a car collect the data and then apply it to the competition car. Especially some of the aftermarket companies that want to develop parts for it as well. It is a collect effort from a lot of different people, not just Ford and Vaughn. The demo RTR may be able to drift but it may just not be on the level it needs to be to compete in FD

    From what I gather he was planning on debuting it in 2016 and had their schedule to do so. No one could have foreseen him totaling the car the last round. And with as much work that needs to go into that car how can he push the schedule date as soon as the next round? Hell we have seen plenty of FD drivers both Pro and Pro2 miss the opening day because they could not get their cars together and they had the whole off season.

  30. Blaze1 says:

    I think KBanks has the only reasonable idea.

  31. DonaldTrump says:

    They have ran the “new” mustang every version from the first of the season. This big of a team and not that important to run the newest release of a chassis? That isn’t how OEM’s would do things.
    Why would they build the 16′ car and not make it to or exceed the specs of tech needed
    I think he is retiring and moving on to Demos, Ford events, Military tours, ect.
    There is a new style to FD. He is past his mark and isn’t getting any better. If not now, when would you retire?

  32. Blaze1 says:

    I think JR is doing a Monster event with D1gp in October and that’s why the car is heading to Japan

  33. apieceobacon says:

    @DonaldTrump I dont think you realise the amount of dev work that is required to make a car competitive in Formula Drift. Especially on a new chassis that no one has run yet. He has run the “new” car every year because there hasn’t been very many changes from the previous but with this new chassis, so much has been changed that there is no way he could have built it and immediately become competitive out of the box. People could get away with it in 2007 and before because lets face it the drivers sucked anyways so as long as you maintained drift then you would probably get the win.

  34. Doof says:

    “There is a new style to FD”

    Sorry Mr. Trump, there is NO style to FD

  35. KBanks says:

    “head shot”