washington

EVD Open Drift April 4th, 2016

So it's been a while since I have been out to the track at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. But it was like visiting an old friend you hadn't seen in a long time. In a way many things had changed and yet it hadn't. Many familiar faces with a smattering of new ones come to try their chops at sliding a car and having some fun in a perfect pacific northwest spring (almost summer like) day. The smells of burnt rubber, high octane gasoline and screams of engines being flung to the ragged edge filled my senses. It was good to be back at the track. Oh yeah! You could feel it in the air. It was electric (and very smokey courtesy of drivers like Cameron Moore and Brandon Schmidt turning rubber into clouds). 

Being that this Open Drift was a week before the first official Pro Am competition of the season, many heavy hitters were out putting the final touches on their set ups. Cameron Moore, Dio Ortiz II, Tyler Grimsley, Travis Reeder, Matt VanKirk and Brandon Schmidt were a few of the top drivers putting on a good show on the huge 5/8ths bank. It was great to see these drivers pushing each other to go bigger and faster, pushing their skills and comfort zones in preparation for the upcoming competition. 

Adrenaline spiked, ears ringing, and sun shining. It's going to be a good season! Good luck to all the drivers. 

Take a look through the gallery and enjoy a video of Brandon Schmidt throwing it around the track!

DriftCon AfterDark 2015

When the sun goes down, the beasts come out to play.

DriftCon AfterDark is a special event. A night time a car show and drift event that feels more like a festival from DiRT 3 than your typical car event. The 'festival' started in the wanning hours the day, with a diversity of beautiful cars big enough to satisfy every type of fanboy rolling in under the warm golden sunlight. Every car show should start just before sundown. That golden sunlight and stunning automotive works of art made for a photographer's and carguy's paradise. There were vendors of all kinds selling many things I wish I could afford. There was music filling the atomsphere from cars parked in the show, vendor boths, and from the main stage with some beautiful dancers interprating the electronic rhythm and beats. As the night drew closer, the music was accompanied by the whistles of turbochargers and booming V8s from the track as the drift competion got under way. It all made for a pleasing cacophony of sounds baraging your ear drums.

Night fell. The stadium lights flickered and fizzed on. And now the party's main event began. Drift events during the day are impressive enough by themselves; but a drift event at night, that is like seeing a color image of the Orion Nebula for the first time. The track is alive with neon colors, flashes, flames, and clouds of colorful smoke. Many of the drift cars sported colorful neon glowing accents that looked as those the world of Tron was the event. Combine that with the occasional bright flashes from flaming backfires and you were treated with a very colorful and adrenaline pumping spectacle. The tire smoke takes on much more of a presence as the stadiums shine through it giving it weight and character. The drivers were on their game during the competition, putting on a spectacular show for the fans. Once the winners had been awarded, the drivers went out for more drifting games: Biggest Reverse Entry, Parallel Parking, and Tandems. The fun and games carried the festival and now fluorescent-lit car show late into the night. 

A big thank you to ImportMeet.com for hosting this spectacular event. I cannot wait for next years. 

Evergreen Drift Pro Am Round 1

It's spring time in the Northwest and the sweet smell of burnt rubber and tire slaying smoke is in the air. April 19th marked Round 1 of the Pro Am Drift series, which saw as drivers compete for points towards a coveted license into the Formula Drift Pro 2 series.

The final battle came down to grassroots driver, Tyler Campbell, and Pro Am driver, Brandon Schmidt. Tyler had been the favorite all day having placed 1st  in qualifying with his V8 powered Toyota Corolla AE86. Brandon's minor bobble in his V8 powered Nissan 240sx during qualifying landed him in 7th for the start of the competition. Undeterred, Brandon fought hard climbing the ranks back up to the final battle for 1st.

In the end, Tyler came out on top after laying down an impressive leading run. With his 2nd place podium at his first Pro Am Drift event, Brandon now sits as points leader in the chase for the Formula Drift Pro 2 license. 

I caught up with Brandon after the event. He had this to say about how Round 1 unfolded. 

"It was a great start to the season absolutely! I came into things hoping to go as far as I could in the competition with my sights set on a podium finish. And that ended up being exactly what I got. I finished second with a close battle keeping me from first. Overall, I am pleased with the day and the result. It was a fun day with a ton of great battles and great driving from all the drivers. It's a long season but it's definitely a great start to it. I'm excited to try to carry this momentum and see where it goes!" - Brandon

There was amazing talent on display for this sunny first round of the Pro Am season. Best of luck to Tyler, Brandon and  all the drivers!

Click through the gallery below for photos of all the action. Video coverage will be up shortly.