Posts Tagged "Irwindale Speedway"

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Irwindale

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10. Mad Mike Should Be Furious
The deal with Mad Mike was a mess. Ken Gushi was at fault for an accident and Mad Mike was limited to a ridiculous 10 minutes to fix his car and then a competition timeout to have his car running. I think the series needs to push for a “10 minute minimum time to fix car” this way we aren’t holding up the show for a final battle but if we have a 90 minute break. Let the damn guy fix his car, run, and entertain the fans paying a ridiculous amount of cash to watch drifting. Poor Ryan Tuerck fans got to see him run ONE tandem battle all weekend and he landed on the podium (more on that later). Anyway, Mad Mike threw his steering wheel out of his car on the Livestream and fair play to the guy. He should be beyond pissed off that the series made this ridiculous rule preventing him from running in the first place. A terrible way for him to wrap up a season of bad luck. He did release an awesome video of him drifting in South Africa today which seems much better than the fact that someone also stole his HARO BMX bike.

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9. Odi Bakchis Makes the Stand Up Move
Odi Bakchis finished this season in fourth place which was one better place than 2015 when he finished in fifth. During his battle with Forrest Wang his 240sx broke on entry on what was sent to be one of the best battles of the night. In fact, Odi Bakchis asked his spotter to tell the judges/FD staff that the contact was his fault because his car broke. An interesting and respectable move considering he could of finished third for the season by beating Forrest Wang in that battle.

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8. The Occassion Finally Got to Aasbo
Fredric Aasbo drifts lap after lap at track after track all year round at such a consistent level you could probably put a baby to sleep in his passenger seat. However, at Irwindale Speedway he made a huge error battling Matt Field that I cannot remember ever seeing before. He surged into Matt Field in tandem resulting in them having an accident that Aasbo was at fault for. This just shows how hard a back to back championship run can be.

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7. Tyler McQuarrie Hit More
Tyler McQuarrie was hit more this weekend in his poor Camaro but he didn’t have the Irwindale podium performance I hoped was coming. He has done a ton of driving this year in various motorsports and maybe it has hurt him more than helped him? I wonder if he has started to develop a little of a unique drifting style from his other driving skills that has resulted in him being hit over and over and over again. Not really sure but I want to see Tyler McQuarrie back in his super focused form next season with the Camaro. Did anybody count how many times this car got hit this season? Geez

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2016 Formula Drift Round 8 at Irwindale Speedway [RESULTS]

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The 2016 Formula Drift season is done after a long night at Irwindale Speedway. Matt Field pulled off the double at the House of Drift after dominating that track over the past years. Here is how they finished up:

1. Matt Field
2. Dai Yoshihara
3. Ryan Tuerck
4. Pat Mordaunt

 

Photo Cred: thekhoma

6 Places That Could Replace Irwindale Speedway Once it Shuts Down

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I wrote an article last week about the future of Irwindale Speedway which you can read here if you want to know what the facts I was able to gather from various sources on what the future holds for the House of Drift. For the time being, the track is standing and operational but the future is not promising for this icon of American drifting. I put some serious thought into what Formula Drift will do once the track turns into a shopping mall and came up with these six realistic options.

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1. California Speedway in Fontana, California
The reality is that California Speedway is the only other large racing venue in Southern California that can house 20,000 people and provide a track event. California Speedway has been host to a D1GP Drivers Search back in 2004 and a JGTC weekend drift event on the infield. I think this is the most likely alternative for Formula Drift but it will be far from a turn key operation for them. The place needs grandstands moved onto the infield regardless of where they want to drift and the walk from the parking lot will be a HIKE. Let’s also not forget about how much hotter the weather can get in Fontana even though the tracks are 35 miles apart. My guess is they would setup a course on the infield (hopefully not the old JGTC course because it sucked) and build the event around whatever area they want to use.

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2. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Arizona
If I made this list before the 2015 SEMA Show I wouldn’t of had this track on my 12 Places to replace Irwindale Speedway list. However, Formula Drift added the Pro 2 finals here for 2016 and you have to consider they are test piloting this race facility for future expansion. Why else would they be rolling into Arizona and splitting off Pro 2 to have its own final? I have the least amount of personal knowledge with this venue but it seems like successful events have happened here such as the Turbo by Garrett event called Boostfest. Not sure how setup and layout would work but I imagine this venue is near the top of the list regardless of these issues. Saying this venue has proximity to Southern California is a stretch at a solid 6 hour drive for most fans in the area.

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3. Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada
A grand return to the City of Sin seems like a natural fit for the series. By their own records, they pulled in around 16,000 fans to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the past before leaving the venue and region for Texas. The event took place at night during August and still maintained a heat index of well over 100 degrees. I was always a voice shouting for an earlier in the year Las Vegas drift event but who knows what the cards would hold if they return. The Vegas scene is a strong one with frequent events hosted by Vegas Drift and now Street Driven Tour is throwing down every September at LVMS. I can see fans traveling to this one with the couple hour drive from SoCal along with the added bonus of a fun weekend in Vegas.

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The Truth Behind the Closing of Irwindale Speedway

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I keep reading a ton of incorrect information online about the impending doom of Irwindale Speedway so I talked to several people close to the situation and built this story. The rumors of it all being a fancy ploy to sell tickets is flat out not true sadly and soon our beloved Irwindale Speedway will come crashing down from the Los Angeles County map. Here is a timeline of what happened and why the structure is still standing to this day. In fact, last season at Irwindale I helped produce an awesome tribute video to Irwindale Speedway with Mobil 1 that should be released shortly.

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This first blip of news came to my attention in October 2013 just days after Michael Essa narrowly won his first championship in a BMW E46 chassis. A friend of mine sent me a link from CurbedLA indicating that a real estate group in Pasadena called Lindom Company purchased the 63.47-acre site of the San Gabriel Valley with plans to repurpose it. The company Nu-Way Industries sold the land to them who purchased it in 1966 and built the very racetrack that stands before us today.

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Scion Racing recaps from Irwindale [VIDEO]

Fredric Aasbo:

Ken Gushi:

Entering Saturday’s Top 32 tandem day at Irwindale, it was known that one of the two Scion Racing cars would take home the championship. Aasbo went on to take home both the event win and the championship win, but not without Ken Gushi putting up a big fight. After the event, it became known that Gushi went through several engines during the weekend. These videos from Scion Racing are a great documentation of what went on in both pits.

2015 Formula Drift Championship [RESULTS]

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The 2015 championship is a wrap! Fredric Aasbo followed up his second place finish last year with a championship in 2015. Ken Gushi was right on his heels the whole way in what wound up a Scion dominated season. The Scion brand finished 1,2, and 4 during this Formula Drift season which is unparalleled by any OEM in this sports history. Chris Forsberg took his Nissan 370z with a respectable 3rd place season finish to follow up with his 14 championship run. Here is how the Top 20 finished up for 2015 –

1. Fredric Aasbo – 530
2. Ken Gushi – 431
3. Chris Forsberg – 382
4. Ryan Tuerck – 367
5. Odi Bakchis – 363
6. Masashi Yokoi – 324
7. Justin Pawlak – 287
8. Forrest Wang – 285
9. Matt Field – 282
10. Alec Hohnadell – 272
11. Kenneth Moen – 247
12. Daigo Saito – 238
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr – 226
14. Dean Kearney – 220
15. Chelsea DeNofa – 212
15. Tyler McQuarrie – 212
17. Pat Mordaunt – 211
18. Pat Goodin – 207
19. Mad Mike Whiddett – 192
20. Charles Ng – 191

2015 Formula Drift Pro 2 Championship [RESULTS]

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After last night we now have 8 newly licensed Formula Drift Pro drivers for 2016. Here are the new drivers you can expect to see at all the rounds of Formula drift next year:

1. Alex Heilbrunn
2. James Evans
3. Juha Rintanen
4. Andrew Gray
5. Cameron Moore
6. Faruk Kugay
7. Jeff Jones
8. Brody Goble

To retain a Pro 2 you needed 64 points in the season. 11 drivers managed to do this for the 2015 season and you can expect to see them in Pro 2 next season. Here is that list of drivers:

1. Brandon Wicknick
2. Taylor Hull
3. Kevin Lawrence
4. Ryan Litteral
5. Dave Briggs
6. Jeff Wolfson
7. Josh McGuire
8. Brandon Patterson
9. Hiro Sumida
10. Tommy Van Cleef
11. Kenji Yamanaka

2015 Formula Drift Round 7 Pro Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Forrest Wang topped all qualifiers today with a score of 89, his second top qualifier award of the season (previously in Long Beach). Matt Field and Ken Gushi tied for second overall with a score of 86, Field earning the second tiebreaker due to a higher style judge score as they were tied in total style points. Gushi still has a chance to win the championship pending the top 32 tandem battles.

Here’s a look at the qualifying results as well as the tandem brackets:

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

Tandem Brackets:
Left Bracket

Forrest Wang vs Geoff Stoneback
Masashi Yokoi vs Marc Landreville
Tanner Foust vs Robbie Nishida
Chris Forsberg vs Dan Savage
Mike Whiddett vs James Evans
Ryan Tuerck vs Conrad Grunewald
Fredric Aasbo vs Kristaps Bluss
Pat Goodin vs Daigo Saito

Right Bracket

Matt Field vs Dean Kearney
Odi Bakchis vs Kyle Mohan
Justin Pawlak vs Brandon Wicknick
Alec Hohnadell vs Patrick Mordaunt
Ken Gushi vs Jhonnattan Castro
Daijiro Yoshihara vs Michael Essa
Chelsea Denofa vs Kenny Moen
Tyler McQuarrie vs Charles Ng

The New Formula Drift Irwindale Speedway Layout

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The Formula Drift House of Drift carries a large and famous name around drifting in America. It was the birthplace of professional drifting in America and has produced so many significant moments in drifting history. In recent years, we have seen Daigo Saito go undefeated at this track and we wonder if he will ever lose.

For the first time with the track change above, it appears Formula Drift will be running the complete inner bank for a competition lap. This will kill the media pocket that has been sitting here in years past which might hurt picture/video opportunities coming out of the event. However, the high crash impact zone of Outside Zone 2 over the past years is always the most exciting area of the track which seems to make or break a drivers performance. Now, this section is long and dragged out producing higher quality tandem runs from years past.

Personally, I go back in time to my favorite Irwindale Speedway battle in history between Matt Field vs. Daigo Saito and practically salivate at how good those guys would of been in tandem under this new track layout. Fredric Aasbo basically has the championship in the bag so a track change will at least give us something to chat about over the next two weeks. What do you think of the new setup?

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is D1 Grand Prix Bound

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It was almost 10 years ago when Vaughn Gittin Jr. defeated all the D1GP comers in the D1 Vs. the World event at Irwindale Speedway back in 2005. Vaughn was kind enough to upload his road to victory on YouTube (you can watch below if you can stomach 10 year old crappy drifting).

This sheds quite a bit of light on his announcement where he hints he will be missing Irwindale Speedway which we broke earlier this week. The backup car he would normally use to replace his 2014 Formula Drift competition car is on its way to Japan for D1GP! He will be attending the final round in Tokyo on October 24th/25th. Here are the details from his PR –

“Since winning the D1GP USA vs. Japan in 2005, I have wanted to take my Ford Mustang RTR and my team to compete in Japan where drifting started,” says Champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. “I am pumped that ten years later, the dream has become reality and I will be joining the Monster Energy Japan crew in downtown Tokyo for the final round October 24-25th. I am very excited to meet a lot of my Japanese fans for the first time, and I look forward to some epic battles with the great drivers in Japan’s D1GP series.”

Ten years ago at Irwindale Speedway, Vaughn battled the best-of-the-best Japanese drivers in order to win the D1GP USA vs. Japan event, becoming not only the first American to win a D1GP event, but by piloting his Ford Mustang, this was the first time in the series that an American car dominated against drifting’s traditional Japanese vehicles. This monumental win of Vaughn’s was heard around the world and undoubtedly put American drifting on the map, in a Japanese-originated and dominated sport. Here is a VIDEO summary of Vaughn’s 2005 D1GP win.

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