Outside the gates of NAPA Speedway was a line of drifters that were up with the sun and ready to get rowdy Saturday morning. The New Mexico locals were out in force as their home track was hosting drivers from all over the region in what has become the largest annual drift event in the state.
At 8 a.m. the pits are usually serene, but not this weekend. The busy shuffle of drivers preparing for an afternoon of sliding practice breathed life in to the cool desert morning. Friendships made through drifting with people from other states were rekindled. The camaraderie synonymous with drifting is what makes this sport special.
After a quick drivers meeting the practice sessions got underway. Groups were split between caged cars and those without for safety.
Local driver Trevor Koontz went on to have a great weekend. Check out the video Trevor put together of his experience.
Kasey King of Triple Crown Drift was one of many Colorado drivers that made the trip down to Albuquerque.
ProAm driver Brandon Wicknick and the D-Spare crew represented Utah.
And what would drifting at NAPA Speedway be without Jim Guthrie?
The afternoon went smoothly and stayed relatively carnage-free, except when I stepped in. During the lunch break Frank Cundari hit the skidpad to practice his proximity with the fence. Time after time he got within inches of the fence and then I told him to do it one more time for a photo.
Frank got a little too close and smashed up his rear quarter panel, which is a surprisingly easy fix on the Lexus'. Frank told me he was able to climb in the trunk, kick the panel out, and the taillight went back on with some tape; nothing that would slow him down.
Being the enabler I assisted with the cleanup. Photo: Matthew Gonzales
Full coverage of day 2 is on the way and the ever-growing full album can be found on Facebook.