Justin Pawlak

2013 Formula Drift Irwindale Speedway – Tentative Drivers List

Here are the people who have paid and registered to drift next weekend at the House of Drift. The real strong title contenders are Mike Essa and Chris Forsberg and unless they drop the ball big time one of them is taking home a championship. If they both fail to advance a win could be taken by another driver to advance and win a championship as well. All eyes on Irwindale next weekend! Here is who is driving:
1 Essa, Mike 101
2 Forsberg, Chris 64
3 Aasbo, Fredric 151
4 Gittin, Vaughn Jr. 25
5 Saito, Daigo 1
6 Pawlak, Justin 13
7 Field, Matt 777
8 McNamara, Darren 8
9 Bakchis, Odi 723
10 Nishida, Robbie 31
11 Yoshihara, Daijiro 9
12 Grunewald, Conrad 79
13 Denofa, Chelsea 88
14 Moen, Kenneth 22
15 Powers, Matt 665
16 Tuerck, Ryan 62
17 George, Danny 7
18 McQuarrie, Tyler 17
19 Wang, Forrest 808
20 Kado, Ryan 614
21 Mordaunt, Patrick 90
22 Gushi, Ken 21
23 Yoshioka, Toshiki 104
24 Maeng, Joon 51
25 Aono, Taka 86
26 Ovcharik, Miroslav 235
27 Goodin, Patrick 46
28 Mohan, Kyle 99
29 Jones, Jeff 29
30 Angelo, Tony 96
31 Briggs, Dave 24
32 Baribeau, Mats* 30
33 Mertzanis, Dennis 323
34 Castro, Jhonnattan 717
35 Ward, Chris 23
36 Kearney, Dean 43
38 Wicknick, Brandon* 801
39 Parsons, Will* 48
40 Hamilton, Nate* 144
41 Hosford, Corey 232
42 Rydquist, Carl 300
44 Jeanneret, Chris* 111
45 Primozich, Rob* 3
46 Stone, Gabe 15
47 Mendoza Jr., Enrique 16
48 Wilkerson, Walker 95
49 Steele, Josh* 72
50 Moore, Victor 360
52 Hildebrand, J.R. 6
53 Pakula, Luke* 714
55 Lee, Alex 81
57 Osaki, Karl* 14
61 Cano Estrella, Carlos 10

Tyler McQuarrie Running Circuit of the Americas [VIDEO]

Here is a GoPro video of Tyler McQuarrie’s Chevrolet Camaro running the COTA track for the demo during last weeks ALMS weekend. While the video looks great the track looks like it would be tricky to run as a Formula Drift course with the section they used for demos.

2013 Formula Drift Round 6 at Texas Motor Speedway – Main Event [GALLERY]





This debut visit to Texas Motor Speedway came down to “inches” so to speak with two whole calls being overturned by the judges after the fact and cars running the perfect line right to dropping a tire off course just a few short inches from the perfect line. Pat Mordaunt drove his way to a first ever top 4 and Matt Field finished second for the first time ever. It was a pretty wild event and our photographer Jason Scott caught all the excitement and action.

 

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=368

 

2013 Formula Drift Round 6 at Texas Motor Speedway Qualifying [RESULTS]

In the 1st Formula Drift event at Texas Motor Speedway Vaughn Gittin Jr takes home the top qualifying spot. The rest of the qualifying results and Top 32 match ups are below.

1. V. Gittin
2. F. Aasbo
3. C. Forsberg
4. F. Wang
5. O. Bakchis
6. D. Yoshihara
7. M. Essa
8. P. Mordaunt
9. C. Denofa
10. T. Yoshioka
11. M. Powers
12. K. Gushi
13. M. Field
14. J. Pawlak
15. M. Baribeau
16. T. Aono
17. C. Grunewald
18. M. Ovcharik
19. P. Goodin
20. W. Parsons
21. D. George
22. D. Saito
23. R. Primozich
24. R. Kado
25. D. Kearney
26. J. Maeng
27. K. Moen
28. R. Nishida
29. T. Angelo
30. J. Lowe
31. C. Jeaneret
32. G. Stone

 

Top 32 Match Battles

V. Gittin vs G. Stone
T. Aono vs C. Grunewald
P. Mordaunt vs D. Kearney
C. Denofa vs R. Kado
F. Wang vs T. Angelo
M. Field vs W. Parsons
O. Bakchis vs R. Nishida
K. Gushi vs D. George
F. Aasbo vs C. Jeaneret
M. Baribeau vs M. Ovcharik
M. Essa vs J. Maeng
T. Yoshioka vs R. Promozich
C. Forsberg vs J. Lowe
J. Paklak vs P. Goodin
D. Yoshihara vs K. Moen
M. Powers vs D. Saito

Formula Drift Invades Circuit of The Americas for Demo During ALMS

Next weekend in Austin, Texas during the ALMS race some Formula Drift drivers will be doing a demo around the Observation Tower of turns 12-15. This is a first for Formula Drift at this gorgeous race track tucked just outside Austin, Texas. Here is what the PR mentions with drivers and events happening over the WES/ALMS weekend:

Tyler McQuarrie, Conrad Grunewald and Michael Essa are all crossover drivers with road racing background, while Justin Pawlak is part of Team Falken Tire that will also be fielding a team in ALMS’s GT Class over the weekend. The drift demonstration will take place during the race weekend for the ALMS and WEC Series.

“We are proud to showcase drifting to the ALMS and WEC fans at Circuit of The Americas and be part of a motorsport filled weekend,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “It is going to be a fantastic sight seeing the guys drift through turns 12-15 and around the iconic observation tower.”

Tony Cisneros Misses Top 16 at Top Drift After 4 Controversial Qualifying Runs

Tony Cisneros is a husband, a father of four, a youth pastor, and a self-employed entrepreneur. Cisneros also drove himself into earning a Formula Drift (FD) Pro License with his 700 hp LS2 s14 equipped with a 4-speed dog box transmission.

If you have been keeping up with the Top Drift series this year, you may have noticed that Cisneros was in first place after the first three rounds, with second place 17 points behind him. At the end of the series, Cisneros finished third overall and earned his pro FD license. Great news, right? Well, the way it went down wasn’t so great.

During qualifying, Cisneros put down two seemingly high qualifying runs that left the audience in awe. A while after he had pulled off the track, a Just Drift (JD) worker requested that Cisneros return to the grid. Upon arrival, they instructed him to go out for another run, but was told nothing else. On this run, Cisneros spun out (something he hadn’t done all weekend). At the end of the lap, a JD worker instructed him to take another lap. Cisneros spun again, on what he thought was a free run. Later, him and his team noticed that there was an oil spill on the part of the track in which he had spun both times. Extremely confused as to why he had been given four runs, Cisneros made his way over the the judges to inquire. The judges informed him that his initial runs were not counted because an inner cone was missing on the course when he had laid down the first two amazing runs. Only after he had earned zeros on the latter runs, he was told that his first two runs would not count, but his second two runs would be counted as his qualifying runs. Cisneros said, “This really took a lot out of me and saw all our hard work going down the drain fast for something I couldn’t control…” Unfortunately, Cisneros failed to qualify and spent the rest of the evening dealing with accusations of him cheating and simply sitting with his family and team looking somewhat defeated.

Watch the qualifying run that wasn’t counted, here:

Cisneros was not the only driver who experienced the short end of the stick. Ryan Litteral (placed 2nd at the event and 5th in the series) was also granted an additional qualifying run. Another source who was on track during the event claimed Justin Pawlak (who was a judge at the event) angrily made his way to to JD worker and expressed a significant amount of dismay because they had not set up the track correctly after a car had knocked down one of the cones. Pawlak, as an advocate for the drivers, was passionate about this issue because he thought it would mess up the odds; and he was right.

Some people may not find this to be a big issues because Cisneros ultimately earned his FD license. However, when you factor in performance requirements and awards with sponsors, it can be a big deal. Those who compete, usually go in with the full intention of winning, not settling with second or third. Although there is no way to know for sure if Cisneros would have ended up in first place even if his initial qualifying runs were considered, he was nonetheless robbed of the opportunity to win. Perhaps if there was better communication at the event (between the judges and the JD workers), or even if Cisneros knew what the situations was before his second set of qualifying runs, this could have been avoided. It is just unfortunate the most of the spectators were extremely confused because there was no PA system at the event that announced scores or judging calls.

I had the opportunity to chat with Cisneros over the past few days and he has gone through an incredible journey. Check out some parts of our conversation:

Q: Formula D next year? What should we expect?

A: “Yes, we are gonna enter Formula D next year. Our plan as of right now is to run the entire season. You can expect us to charge hard, do things professionally, taking this opportunity very seriously, realizing not everyone gets to be able to have this chance to do something you dream about doing.”

Q: Any changes to the car for next year?

A: “The car right now will get new aero kit, colors will most likely change depending on sponsors/partners. Motor and power should stay the same. We are looking into options for more forward grip, but other than that just refreshed inside and out. Looking ready to rumble in FD.”

Q: What has been the biggest struggle getting to this point?

A: “Our biggest struggle has been working out the little bugs that really killed our season last year. This year everything was great, but it almost didn’t happen. I was extremely frustrated and wasn’t sure this was meant to be for me. But as it would happen, we started this season well and the rest is history now. Learning a new car was very hard, also to break old habits from our previous build in the GTO, which was a lot heavier and harder to drive. Trust that this car was gonna do everything I wanted it to took a little time for me.”

Q: Describe your journey in becoming a licensed FD driver in three words.

A: “A dream, exciting, reality.”

Q: Who is your drift idol/hero? Why?

A: “Really the person I look up to is a guy I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for a [while now] is Odi [Backchis]. What he has done in Formula D in 3 years is awesome. He’s in the top 10 in standings right now and charging to the top. He’s super down-to-earth and is down to give anyone a hand and share his knowledge with you if you ask. I [couldn’t] be happier for him and am honored to call him a friend.”

Q: What advice do you have to offer for for all the aspiring drifters out there?

A: “Car commitment!!!! Start off small…Get your car control down. To jump into a v8 right away will give [you] bad habits and as you go on in competitions you need to have the basics and car control down. Keep it simple and keep drifting fun!!!! If you decide to go for the next level, commit to it and practice practice!!”

Q: You have a wife, kids, and a full-time job. How did you manage to balance it all?

A: “Don’t forget youth pastor…Lol..Yeah with all we have gone through this last year also, I believe that if you keep the important things first that all the other things fall into place. And that is exactly what happened this year. Everything fell right into place. And if Formula D is in my future, I believe that will fall into place also.”

Cisneros’ Sponsors: DMA Performance, Godspeed Project, Feal Suspension, Dailey Visuals, Reef Fire Systems, FR Sports, Drive Energy, Dry Down.

Darren McNamara is the best qualifying driver through 5 rounds of 2013 [STANDINGS]

With the long layoff between Seattle and Texas, we have to do something to keep us entertained. After last week’s look at the rookie standings, we decided to dive into the qualifying points as we did last year around this time.

For the first time in years, Darren McNamara is atop the charts. McNamara has been known as a driver who tends to drive better in tandem than in qualifying, but this year seems to be quite different. As the only driver who has been one of the top two qualifiers in three of the five rounds (1st in Seattle, 2nd in Long Beach and New Jersey), McNamara has stood out in the new qualifying format. His Falken Tire teammate Justin Pawlak is 2nd with two top qualifier awards (Palm Beach and New Jersey), while Aasbo has a top qualifier position (Atlanta), 2nd qualifier (Seattle) and a 3rd qualifier (New Jersey) that put him in third in the overall qualifying standings.

The other driver to earn a top qualifier position is Dai Yoshihara, who hit the top spot in Long Beach but has struggled since, qualifying 6th in Palm Beach but outside of the top 10 in all other rounds. Last year’s leader at this time was Vaughn Gittin Jr, who has dropped to 9th in this year’s standings. Comparing this list to the overall points standings after 5 rounds, there’s quite a substantial difference, showing that qualifying is less important than in years past. Forsberg, who is currently leading the championship race, is only the ninth-best qualifier.

Here’s a look at the top 20 of the qualifying standings according to our points table. NOTE: This is based on the number of qualifying points earned, not the average qualifying position.

UPDATED on August 21st to reflect qualifying penalties for Tuerck and Saito

LB Qual ATL Qual PB Qual NJ Qual SEA Qual Total
1 McNamara 10 4 0.5 10 12 36.5
2 Pawlak 0.5 8 12 12 2 34.5
3 Aasbo 2 12 0.5 8 10 32.5
4 Essa 8 10 0.5 1 2 21.5
5 Saito 3 4 8 4 0 19
6 Yoshihara 12 1 4 0.25 1 18.25
7 Moen 4 1 10 2 0.5 17.5
8 Forsberg 1 2 6 6 2 17
8 Gittin 4 2 3 2 6 17
10 DeNofa 6 6 1 2 0.5 15.5
11 Field 0.5 3 2 0.5 8 14
12 Bakchis 2 2 0.5 0.5 4 9
13 Powers 1 3 0 0.5 4 8.5
14 Grunewald 0 0.5 2 3 2 7.5
15 McQuarrie 0.25 0 0.25 4 1 5.5
16 Aono 2 0.5 2 0.25 0.5
5.25
18 Tuerck 3 0.5 1 0.5 0 5
18 Nishida 0.5 0.5 0.5 3 0.5 5
19 Kado 1 0 0.25 0.5 3 4.75
20 Wang 2 2 0.5 0 0 4.5

A Look at Justin Pawlak from Formula Drift Seattle [VIDEO]

LORENinHD produced one awesome video following around Justin Pawlak in his 2014 Ford Mustang. It is one awesome video piece showing off Justin Pawlak and his battle to finally capture a championship with this 2013 season. His new program has been steaming along pretty well as the lone Ford Mustang under the Falken Tire umbrella.

2013 Formula Drift Round 5 – Seattle – Manufacturers Championship [STANDINGS]

With a pair of top 8 finishes for Justin Pawlak and Vaughn Gittin Jr, Ford takes over sole control of first place in the OEM Manufacturer’s standings, with Lexus dropping to third. Nissan moved into second thanks to the win from Forsberg and a top-16 showing from Kado. Scion and BMW round out the top five, with Chevy, Toyota, and Mazda maintaining their position. Subaru and Hyundai both jumped ahead of Dodge thanks to the first top-16 appearances of the season from both brands behind Yoshioka (Subaru) and Mertzanis (Hyundai).

Here’s the current standings after 5 rounds:

1. Ford – 712.5 points
2. Nissan – 683.5 points
3. Lexus – 668.25 points
4. Scion – 645.5 points
5. BMW – 597 points
6. Chevy – 429 points
7. Toyota – 201.75 points
8. Mazda – 160.5 points
9. Subaru – 106 points
10. Hyundai – 79.25 points
11. Dodge – 49.25 points

2013 Formula Drift Round 5 – Seattle – Tire Manufacturer Championship [STANDINGS]

Despite a big crash from Justin Pawlak in the Top 8 and a similar exit in the top 8 from Darren McNamara, Falken Tire remains in the lead of the tire championship although their lead has decreased substantially. Hankook has jumped into second place behind a double-podium finish, while Achilles falls to third place behind Saito’s unexpected top-32 exit. Yokohama has jumped into fifth place, while Maxxis falls to seventh.

Here are the standings after five events:

1. Falken – 776
2. Hankook  – 742.5
3. Achilles– 671.25
4. Nitto – 645
5. Yokohama – 522.5
6. Nexen – 517.75
7. Maxxis – 490.5
8. Kenda – 79.25

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