Ken Gushi

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 5 Seattle

10. Championship Dreams Shattered Left and Right!

This Seattle event marks the first time I watched so many big names and championship hopeful drivers go down for the count so early in the weekend. First, it was Ryan Tuerck going out to Stoneback in the Top 32 with a mechanical failure. Then Vaughn Gittin Jr. defeats Nitto teammate Odi Bakchis in the Top 32 putting the #1/#2 championship drivers out with 16 points + qualifying for the weekend. Then Top 16 swept up Chris Forsberg and Ken Gushi cleaning the slate of all the forward momentum from this season for those four drivers. Fredric Aasbo side stepped all the land mines and took home first place and built a huge gap in the championship for himself leaving the next two rounds a big mystery.

9. Forrest Wang Being Faulted for Inactive Chase, HUH?

Who knew that Mad Mike was that fast or Forrest Wang was that slow? The inactive chase penalty against Forrest Wang seemed beyond harsh to me. The judges need to wake up please! You cannot fault a guy for inactive chase when he is driving his ass off but his car is just beyond slower than another car (see Faruk Kugay vs. Alex Heilbrunn in Pro 2 for same stupid call). The inactive chase was made for the penalization of cupcaking when one driver has a dominant lead and then doesn’t chase. I always recall Jim Guthrie vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Wall Speedway as a perfect utilization for this. You cannot punish people for not building drag car/rocket ships or I guess now you can do just that…. I never got the impression Wang was cup caking around the course. I think it was a tough way to end a great Top 32 battle. Not sure if I have a better answer for this one but it just feels like a bad beat in my gut.

8. Yokoi Is the New Chelsea DeNofa

This guy has the most insane tandem follow runs of this season. I wish drivers would get out of his way so he could keep winning. His first battle with Pat Goodin was wild and I think he edged out Goodin in the end but judges went OMT. His chase on the OMT was just balls deep insane but sadly he made contact with Goodin and lost. Sound like someone else you know? Yes, Chelsea DeNofa who at times performs the best tandem follow runs the world has ever seen but mostly to a detriment in the end. Can Yokoi overcome that issue and continue to put on a show that is entertaining everyone while running clean? I guess time will tell us but he is looking more serious round by round in that chromed out 2JZ powered S15 Silvia.

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2015 Formula Drift Round 5 Qualifying [RESULTS]


Formula Drift qualifying at Evergreen Speedway was an interesting one. It went quickly but so many drivers scored a zero due to the rain and then transition to dry during the weekend. It was a tough one and we just wish that the weather would behave for a weekend already. Here is how they qualified-

1. Kenneth Moen 89
2. Ryan Tuerck 87
3. Fredric Aasbo 87
4. Ken Gushi 85
5. Kristaps Bluss 84
6. Forrest Wang 84
7. Matt Field 81
8. Chris Forsberg 80
9. Alec Hohnadell 79
10. Chelsea DeNofa 79
11. Odi Bakchis 78
12. Justin Pawlak 77
13. Pat Mordaunt 77
14. Michael Essa 77
15. Pat Goodin 76
16. Charles Ng 76
17. Daigo Saito 76
18. Masashi Yokoi 75
19. Dai Yoshihara 75
20. Tyler McQuarrie 75
21. Dean Kearney 74
22. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 74
23. Conrad Grunewald 74
24. Kyle Mohan 73
25. Nate Hamilton 72
26. Jhonnattan Castro 68
27. Mad Mike Whiddett 67
28. Matt Coffman 66
29. Brandon Wicknick 66
30. Dan Savage 64
31. Geoff Stoneback 62
32. Jeff Jones 61

Top 32 Tandem Battle
Left Bracket
Kenneth Moen vs. Jeff Jones
Charles Ng vs. Daigo Saito

Chris Forsberg vs. Nate Hamilton
Alec Hohnadell vs. Kyle Mohan

Ken Gushi vs. Brandon Wicknick
Pat Morduant vs. Tyler McQuarrie

Kristaps Bluss vs. Matt Coffman
Justin Pawlak vs. Dean Kearney

Right Bracket
Ryan Tuerck vs. Geoff Stoneback
Pat Goodin vs. Masahi Yokoi

Matt Field vs. Jhonnattan Castro
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Conrad Grunewald

Fredric Aasbo vs. Dan Savage
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara

Forrest Wang vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Odi Bakchivs vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr.

2015 Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey Qualifying [RESULTS]


So 37 drivers showed up for New Jersey which is one of the better driver counts for a Wall Speedway event that we can remember. I guess narrowing down the field just swept away the non-serious players. Two drivers (James Evans and Charles Ng) failed to get a score so only three drivers with a score didn’t qualify. 78 was the cutoff score which is pretty high compared to the average. Here is how they guys finished and who the tandem battles will be in the morning –

1. Ken Gushi 93 (46 Style)
2. Fredric Aasbo 93 (44 Style)
3. Justin Pawlak 92 (46 Style)
4. Pat Goodin 92 (45 Style)
5. Kenneth Moen 91 (43 Style)
6. Chris Forsberg 91 (43 Style)
7. Chelsea DeNofa 90
8. Robbie Nishida 89 (44 Style)
9. Ryan Tuerck 89 (44 Style)
10. Pat Mordaunt 89 (42 Style)
11. Odi Bakchis 88 (42 Style)
12. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 88 (41 Style)
13. Forrest Wang 87 (40 Style)
14. Rapper Dan Savage 87 (40 Style)
15. Jhonnattan Castro 85 (42 Style)
16. Matt Field 85 (41 Style)
17. Conrad Grunewald 85 (40 Style)
18. Kristaps Bluss 84 (42 Style)
19. Masashi Yokoi 84 (41 Style)
20. Dai Yoshihara 84 (39 Style)
21. Dean Kearney 83 (40 Style)
22. Jeff Jones 83 (40 Style)
23. Marc Landerville 83 (40 Style)
24. Brandon Wicknick 83 (39 Style)
25. Daigo Saito 83 (36 Style)
26. Geoff Stoneback 82 (39 Style)
27. Alec Hohnadell 82 (36 Style)
28. Kyle Mohan 81 (36 Style)
29. Michael Essa 81 (35 Style)
30. Tyler McQuarrie 80 (36 Style)
31. Mats Baribeau 80 (36 Style)
32. Nate Hamilton 78

Top 32 Tandem Bracket (Left)
Ken Gushi vs. Nate Hamilton
Matt Field vs. Conrad Grunewald

Robbie Nishida vs. Daigo Saito
Ryan Tuerck vs. Brandon Wicknick

Pat Goodin vs. Michael Essa
Forrest Wang vs. Dai Yoshihara

Kenneth Moen vs. Kyle Mohan
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Dean Kearney

Top 32 Tandem Bracket (Right)
Fredric Aasbo vs. Mats Baribeau
Jhonnattan Castro vs. Kristaps Bluss

Chelsea DeNofa vs. Geoff Stoneback
Pat Mordaunt vs. Marc Landerville

Justin Pawlak vs. Tyler McQuarrie
Rapper Dan Savage vs. Masashi Yokoi

Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Odi Bakchis vs. Jeff Jones

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 3 at Orlando Speed World


10. The Weekend Just Lacked Any Positive Narratives 

You know in sports when some miracle happens and they use that tacky cliche “you couldn’t even script this or write this…”? Well, I do hate that cliche because people can write about aliens, unicorns, and flying cars so putting together a compelling sports narrative with a shocking finish does’t seem that far fetched. This weekend of Formula Drift was the opposite of all that hype and lacked any real positive narratives.

The rain made drifting so slow and robbed us of smoke that we would of been just as entertained watching drivers draw straws to get a win. The home grown hero who cut his teeth at Orlando Speed World known as Pat Goodin couldn’t even qualify due to some car troubles giving this weekend the final nail in a miserable coffin.


9. Pro 2 Has Promise for 2015

Even with the bad weather conditions and a track that seemed hell bent on preventing good tandem drifting I saw that the Pro 2 ranks were far more entertaining than last season. I won’t make a bold proclamation about the Pro 2 season until I see them run at Seattle, but I do really like the builds and some drivers that have come out of the wood work for Pro 2 in 2015. The whole operation seems far more professional and relevant than its first season which I enjoy and shows potential for Pro 2 in the future.


8. Yokoi and his Car Are Growing into Formula Drift

Yokoi and his S15 Silvia look like night and day compared from his driving in Long Beach to Orlando. If it wasn’t for the wild fire coming out of his fuel system (more on that down at  #4) in a battle versus Ryan Tuerck I think he could of won that battle and possibly became the event winner.  Before going out in the Great 8 he managed to beat #1 in points Odi Bakchis in a Road Atlanta rematch. He also made pretty easy work of potential champion Fredric Aasbo in Top 32.

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2015 Formula D Championship Standings – Round 3 Orlando [STANDINGS]


Despite an early Top 16 exit, Odi Bakchis maintains the lead in the Formula Drift championship due to his two podiums in the first two events. The gap has closed, and Ryan Tuerck now sits second in the championship for the first time since the 2009 season when he ended in second position, with Chris Forsberg close behind in third. Aasbo dropped from second down to fifth due to his top 32 exit, just behind Ken Gushi who has moved up from fifth after back-to-back podiums. All drivers in the top five have two Final Four finishes to their name, showing that consistency will be required to win the championship.

Here’s a look at the top 20 in the points standings so far:

1 Odi Bakchis 223 points
2 Ryan Tuerck 208 points
3 Chris Forsberg 189 points
4 Ken Gushi 173 points
5 Fredric Aasbo 162 points
6 Matt Field 156 points
7 Vaughn Gittin Jr. 139 points
8 Pat Mordaunt 120 points
9 Forrest Wang 108 points
10 Tyler McQuarrie 106 points
11 Alec Hohnadell 105 points
12 Kenny Moen 104 points
T13 Geoff Stoneback 103 points
T13 Masashi Yokoi 103 points
15 Justin Pawlak 95 points
16 Robbie Nishida 87 points
17 Charles Ng 86 points
18 Conrad Grunewald 73 points
T19 Dan Savage 71 points
T19 “Mad” Mike Whiddett 71 points

2015 Formula Drift Round 3 Orlando Speed World [RESULTS]


I am 100% embarrassed that people out their in the world watched Formula Drift for the first time today. I will try and save my ranting and raving for the 10 Things post Monday but Tuerck won the event having actually won one tandem battle (others won by mechanical failure/rule violation/driver spinning). The rain, the inability for everyone to tandem, ick. Please let’s never go back to Orlando Speed World. Here is how they finished:

1. Ryan Tuerck
2. Chris Forsberg
3. Ken Gushi
4. Matt Field

2015 Formula Drift Round 3 Orlando Speedworld Qualifying [RESULTS]


Ken Gushi continued his stellar run from Atlanta with a top qualifying spot, his first top qualifying effort since New Jersey 2009. Although qualifying has slightly reduced importance this season compared to last season, the top spot is still very valuable for the season championship points chase.

Here’s how the full qualifying bracket shook out in Orlando:

1. Ken Gushi
2. Matt Field
3. Ryan Tuerck
4. Justin Pawlak
5. Tyler McQuarrie
6. Odi Bakchis
7. Patrick Mordaunt
8. Dai Yoshihara
9. “Mad” Mike Whiddett
10. Robbie Nishida
11. Fredric Aasbo
12. Chris Forsberg
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr
14. Brandon Wicknick
15. James Evans
16. Kenny Moen
17. Michael Essa
18. Forrest Wang
19. Dean Kearney
20. Conrad Grunewald
21. Geoff Stoneback
22. Masashi Yokoi
23. Chelsea Denofa
24. Dan Savage
25. Alec Hohnadell
26. Marc Landreville
27. Daigo Saito
28. Jeff Jones
29. Jhonnattan Castro
30. Kristaps Bluss
31. Matt Coffman
32. Kyle Mohan

Here’s how the tandem bracket shapes up –

Left Side:

Ken Gushi vs. Kyle Mohan
Kenny Moen vs. Michael Essa
Dai Yoshihara vs. Alec Hohnadell
Mike Whiddet vs. Dan Savage

Justin Pawlak vs. Jhonnattan Castro
Vaughn Gittin Jr vs. Conrad Grunewald
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Jeff Jones
Chris Forsberg vs. Geoff Stoneback

Right Side:

Matt Field vs. Matt Coffman
James Evans vs. Forrest Wang
Pat Mordaunt vs. Marc Landreville
Robbie Nishida vs. Chelsea Denofa

Ryan Tuerck vs. Kristaps Bluss
Brandon Wicknick vs. Dean Kearney
Odi Bakchis vs. Daigo Saito
Fredric Aasbo vs. Masashi Yokoi

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Road Atlanta

10. The fans at Road Atlanta Are Still Ridiculous
The fans and atmosphere seem to be one of the most entertaining parts of Road Atlanta each year. Fans bring posters, beer, EZ-Ups, and loud voices making it by far 100% the best atmosphere on the Formula Drift circuit. Something about sitting in clay on a big hill makes your experience so much more intimate than big concrete and steel bleachers.


9. Tanner Foust is Gone Until Irwindale
Tanner Foust had a lackluster return to Formula Drift in the VW Passat which kind of has left me disappointed. The fact he won’t return to the car until Irwindale makes me even sadder. This Euro/Chevy fusion project I felt was going to turn a corner any minute now and start dominating our sport. We can thank Geoff Stoneback for crushing our dreams of VW domination over the Road Atlanta weekend but more on that later. If Tanner Foust needs more seat time before Irwindale he is openly invited to attend any of the three remaining Street Driven Tour events this season!


8. Odi Bakchis – The 2015 Champion Contendor No One Is Talking About
Odi Bakchis just took the championship lead from Fredric Aasbo this weekend by a solid 44 points. Is anyone even talking about Odi Bakchis winning a championship before this weekend? My guess is probably not but he managed to score BIG points in two consecutive rounds with two different cars. At some point we need to stand by and acknowledge that he could win this thing in 2015 leaving the big funded teams in the dust. Not to mention he could also win the World Championship since he has a car ready for Asia.

7. Justin Pawlak Drove the Best This Weekend
JTP really showed me his most talented driving this weekend throwing that Ford Mustang around a course that left me speechless. I actually think his second qualifying run earned him somewhere in the 95+ column on his qualifying run. He really should of landed on the podium but that is racing for you. If he can keep up this progression in the new Ford Mustang he will land several podiums before the season was over. If you missed his second qualifying run, do yourself a favor, and dig it up from DailyMotion and give it a watch.
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2015 Formula Drift Round 2 at Road Atlanta [RESULTS]


Odi Bakchis used his aggressive driving and consistency to perform at a high level over the weekend and take home his first career victory. It was pretty wild considering that last round he drove a Hyundai Genesis and swapped back to his Nissan 240sx this weekend without skipping a beat. Ken Gushi was just inches away from taking him out in the finals but should be happy with his first return to a podium in 6 years. Here is how they finished up –

1. Odi Bakchis
2. Ken Gushi
3. Chris Forsberg
4. Forrest Wang

2015 Formula Drift Road Atlanta Round 2 [RESULTS]


Road Atlanta is always a fun battle ground for the top drifting drivers in the world. Robbie Nishida made a lackluster debut in his Infiniti G37 failing to make a qualifying pass and Dai Yoshihara had issues in his Subaru BRZ and didn’t make a pass either. The bottom of the group was quite close and Matt Field even had to drift his way out of 33rd place on his second pass to stay in the show. Here is how the tandem battles look for today –

Left Bracket
Justin Pawlak vs. Chelsea DeNofa (In Loaner MK3 Supra)
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Pat Goodin
Mad Mike Whiddett vs. Rapper Dan Savage
Forrest Wang vs. Marc Landerville
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Jeff Jones
Kenneth Moen vs. Michael Essa
Odi Bakchis vs. Jhonnattan Castro
Masahi Yokoi vs. Matt Coffman

Right Bracket
Fredric Aasbo vs. Daigo Saito
Tanner Foust vs. Geoff Stoneback
Chris Forsberg vs. Kyle Mohan
Ryan Tuerck vs. Pat Mordaunt
Conrad Grunewald vs. Dean Kearney
Charles Ng vs. Matt Field
Ken Gushi vs. Mats Barbieau
Alec Hohnadell vs. Nate Hamilton