No Coast Drift Party: Day 2

With a day of practice under their belts drivers hit the track one more time Sunday afternoon to prepare for qualifying. Again, practice sessions were run in two groups giving everyone an equal amount of seat time. The field of competitors thinned itself out due to mechanical malfunctions but ultimately a Top 20 was formed.

Sandia Drift Series leader Jeff Osborne exiting the bank.

Joseph Ocampo cleanly making his way through the transition.

Local Tony Acker spreading the sedan love in his Cressida. 

Youngster Riley Fremont lost his driver's permit faster than he got it, but that didn't stop him from sliding.

Vince Herrera of Team 187 exiting the choking point.

Even with gearbox trouble Brandon Hack of Colorado was able to utilize the low end torque of V8 swapped S chassis and hold a drift on the big oval.

The sun began to dip westward as the tandem battles got underway. Some match ups ended uneventfully due to driver error, however some were thrilling like local Trevor Koontz versus Utah's Brandon Wicknick in two very different 240s. 

It would be the fierce battle for 2nd place that was the spectacle of the evening. The two local V8s of Bubba Price and Jim Guthrie would go round after round with no clearly defined victor. 

Bubba and Jim would go "one more time" again and again, taking breaks to switch tires. Run after run they refused to let up.

In the end it would be Jim Guthrie that advanced and faced Brandon Wicknick for the top spot on the podium.

Brandon's consistent performance would be the deciding factor with two flawless runs.

Left-to-right: Bubba Price (3rd), Brandon Wicknick (1st), Jim Guthrie (2nd)

Team D-Spare left NAPA Speedway with cash and prizes, but that's never what drifting has been about. The memories made by drivers and spectators alike is what will stick with us, and make next year's Party that much better. 

Special thanks to Dan Brockett for organizing this fantastic event. If you see him, give him a hug.

No Coast Drift Party: Day 1

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.

Despite their short wheel base the Legends came out to play.

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.