10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Texas

10. Great Layout and Formula Drift Texas Gets A-
I liked the layout this year and the how the event ran/flowed as a whole. Formula Drift gets tons of criticism from all angles so when they do something really well I want to stop and take the oppurtunity to give them credit. The judging was pretty spot on with the exception of Ryan L. once who picked Aasbo when their was no scenario on earth he won but we cannot all be perfect. Texas has been an event with protests, drama, delays, and bad accidents in years past so it seems like they finally got this layout to work and I am looking forward to it next season.

9. Looking Ahead to a Possible Lackluster Irwindale?
Chris Forsberg finished second at Texas after beating Aasbo in the Great 8 which kind of puts a damper on the Formula Drift Irwindale drama. With a podium or finishing two places about Aasbo at Irwindale Forsberg will lock down his third championship. Considering he has hopped on the podium the last six events in a row it seems like it could happen again. Vaughn is eliminated if Forsberg lands in the Great 8 so really it’s a repeat of last year at Irwindale with a larger points gap.
8. Where Did It All Go Wrong for Chelsea DeNofa?
Chelsea DeNofa made some serious efforts to run this weekend in Texas by loaning a local Pro Am car and giving it hell but you have to wonder where it all went wrong. Just six months ago we watched DeNofa win his first career event and establish himself as a championship player. Two events later he was removed from grid for having glue on his tires and now after seven rounds he finds himself in 15th place and 288 points behind Chris Forsberg. Talk about the highs and lows of a Formula Drift season.

7. Has Kenneth Moen Thrown in the Towel?
Kenneth Moen missed another round of Formula Drift and currently sits 29th in the championship points standings. In a realistic world, if the grid was more complete he would be relegated to Pro 2 for next season with a points score of 136 points through seven rounds. His style is so awesome it will be a shame if he doesn’t return for 2017.

6. Pro 2 was Less Than Ideal
Pro 2 has been hot and cold this year but Texas might of found the series in a new low. One battle had six zeros put together by two drivers before someone could muster up a score. Marc Landerville vs. Jeff Jones was probably the highlight battle of the Pro 2 show. I will be in Southeast Asia for the Pro 2 only round in Phoenix and watching this made me feel like I am not going to miss very much.

5. Alex Heilbrunn and Rookie of the Year Race
Alex Heilbrunn has been hot and cold over this season and Irwindale will have it all to drive for. Faruk Kugay sits just one point ahead of him in the championship race right now so whoever qualifies better and finishes in a higher round will win the Rookie Of The Year. It would be a huge loss for Alex Heilbrunn to miss out on ROTY after landing on the podium in Orlando. This Rookie of the Year race will be a really interesting storyline to watch at Irwindale.

4. Mad Mike Needs to Change Something Up
Mad Mike gave a 20 minute speech on the Livestream about how his motor let go on him in Texas. He just seemed like someone stole his childhood puppy talking to the camera. His string of bad luck with engine problems has been right at the point of him performing well behind the wheel. Hopefully he can leave this bad luck behind him and perform for the 2017 season. If the car could hang in there it seems like he has developed the talent to reign in this MX-5 for a podium finish.
3. Chris Forsberg Just Cannot Win An Event
Why on earth can Chris Forsberg not cross the finish line and win an event? For the championship points race, everyone should be glad that Forsberg can only manage to find the podium these days. He has six podiums in a row since Road Atlanta this year but they are all 2nd/3rd place. Forsberg has more podium finishes in Formula Drift history than any other driver by now a double digit number but he doesn’t even lead the series in wins. This is an interesting problem he needs to figure out and work through before the 2017 season I think. He shockingly has not won an event since Long Beach of 2014. That was 20 events ago.

Screenshot 2016-09-12 14.06.12

2. Geoff Stoneback vs. Fredric Aasbo was AMAZING
This might be my battle of the year. Stoneback just looked out of his mind in that 370z this weekend. Just watch the run and don’t listen to me ramble about it. https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMp0pKj-rY/?taken-by=formulad

1. Matt Field Finally Did It
The best drifter from Northern California finally crossed the finish line at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend taking home his first ever event victory! He has looked super comfortable in years past at Texas so it isn’t surprising this was his first event win. Matt needs to look forward into 2017 and focus on his consistency and I think he can move into the top 5 drivers of the new season. Who else thinks Matt Field can get it done?

I attended my first drift event at Road Atlanta in 2005 while shooting for Import Racer Magazine (RIP). Since then I have produced drift content for PAS Magazine, Modified Magazine, Drifting Magazine (RIP), and many more publications. I was the producer of the movie Slide America and then helped found this website in 2007.


  1. Jbone427 says:

    love the texas layout and the tandem was absolutely out of this world! however, for next year adding some lighting to the course could help drastically, as even from a fans point of view it was pretty dark being there in person. Nontheless, it was an absolutely epic event! probably best of the year with long beach.

  2. HasBeen says:

    If Aasbo and Forsberg could Tandem like the maniacs they are when they HAVE TO be that would be great. Got so use to them winning with “just enough” that kept me guessing IF they could win after each lead.

  3. isho says:

    I honestly dont understand how nobody BUT Ryan L. noticed how Geoff S. dropped a tyre. Aasbo even made a small gap between him and G. during the first transition aswell and lets not mention Aasbo’s near-perfect chase. Though Aasbo seriously needs to change up his style, even though I think its mostly due to his car. It just looks so boring.

  4. Hosford Hugger says:

    I miss Kenny Moen. He always went balls to the wall. I think he was selling his E46 chassis on facebook earlier this year too.

    I wish he would have grown a sweet mustache

  5. Prometherion says:

    Wasn’t Kenneth building a new car? Check his instagram. Got some pics of a new ride

  6. Tie Fighter says:

    I saw that Moen was selling the BMW but also said they were building a new car for next season

  7. OGLarry says:

    Kenny just showed his new E92 drift car a few days ago. No idea if it’ll be for FD.

  8. Scared of FD says:

    Not sure how Aasbo got the win after overshooting the clipping point and plowing into the rear of Faruk. Aasbo was way off line and came in way too fast and didn’t allow Faruk any room to transition and slow down before the wall.

  9. Turbology says:

    Luck is generally not on Mad Mike’s side given his chassis and motor choices. The short wheelbase of the Miata is already finicky through quick transitions, never mind in combination with what seems to be a chronically unreliable (but acutely awesome) strung-out engine.

    I know rotaries are part of Mike’s brand and image, but my guess is if he drove a more ‘traditional’ set-up, he would probably have much greater success, since, he can in fact pedal. Seems most FD layouts favor outright speed where more technical layouts could behoove a SWB car.

  10. AJ says:

    Not to mention Alec Hohnadell showing he is champion material with those runs. Had he not had a mechanical issue, I feel like he would’ve won the event.

  11. DevBizkit says:

    with the greater amount of rear clipping zones, comes the increased possibility for more side by side, which is terrific for spectators. Chelsea has to get some props for qualifying with an underpowered rental, which proves that maybe you don’t need 800+hp all the time to qualify? Thoughts?

    11. The judges are always super-cricital of Ken Gushi, but a bit more lenient on some others. But thats my personal opinion

  12. Htfbs says:

    So as always, odi fuckcheeks didn’t deserve really anything he got. He for sure got lucky with Essa because he would have gotten destroyed, although I’m sure they’d still give him a one more time. By far he did not deserve his one more time with Kristaps but the judges suck his dick so bad they will do anything to get him to move on. I will never understand why the judges love him so much to constantly let him get away with every shitty thing he does and also always try to get things the win. If he isnt getting away with waiting then blowing past people from the line, hes getting away with having zero angle zero style, doing a ton of wavering, and straightening up or driving straight on transitions to catch up. Also, as much as I’m glad kirstaps shit on odi bad enough to where there was no way they could give odi the win,kirstaps did not win against gushi in my opinion at all. The judges went a little overboard with the whole be aggressive thing and overlooked every single error.

  13. echology says:

    Mad mike should considering brought HUMBUL from japan to compete in US..at least for irwindale’16. He seems right on the money when he drove the HUMBUL..the car perfectly suits his style

  14. Doof says:

    Agree with Htfbs above. Way too much leniency with Odi and his driving. No angle, doesnt fill zones, sandbags off the line until the last second, and the list goes on.

    Second note: it seemed like some of the judges were a bit scared to make a decision and kept resorting to one more time, when some of them really didn’t quite need it.

    All in all though, good event. A lot of the matchups were really good, and the layout was the best it’s been since FD started using it. So much better when FD uses more fluid and natural driving lines instead of just sticking 50ft long outer zones on every corner. Also agree that it’s much better having Ryan on explaining the reasoning for calls while everything is happening; even if I still think a few of the explanations are BS.

    FD is on the right track though with this event.

  15. super nerd says:

    Faruk winning roty would be such a travesty. If there were more than 32 drivers at each round he would never even qualify

  16. Steven B. says:

    I have yet to see all that hype Wrecked Magazine layed out about Kelsey Rowlings.

    Beechum got that Forza angle in that Mustang.

  17. Annomynous says:

    I think Chris’s forsberg needs to retire.