• Aug 30, 2006
NASCAR drivers don't usually like to experience extreme oversteer in their racecars because it usually means they're spinning out of control and about to hit the wall. Tomorrow, however, a brave group of NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers will fight their instincts in a drift battle against some of the top D1 drifters at Irwindale Speedway, the site of this country's very first professional drift event in 2003. All of the proceeds from the event, called the Mopar D1 All-Star Duel presented by ShiftIntoGear, will go to the Kasey Kahne Foundation.

Kasey Kahne himself will be among the eight NASCAR drivers drifting it out at Irwindale, along with Bill Elliot, Robby Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Chris Cook, Greg Biffle and Casey Mears. The professional drifters, meanwhile, will be lead by none other than Samuel Hubinette, a.k.a. the Crazy Swede, and also include Ken Nomura, Toshiki Yoshioka, Voughn Gittin, Rhys Millen, Tanner Foust, Hideo Hiraoka, Takahiro Ueno and Tatsuya Sakuma.

Chris Cook, professional racer and part owner of the ShiftIntoGear professional driving school, will be responsible for educating the NASCAR drivers in the fine art of drifting before flying off to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway this weekend.

We sure hope ESPN or some show is on hand to capture this event. Regardless of whether or not you're a fan of drifting, it's going to be fun to watch.

[Source: Irwindale Speedway]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      They drift so they don't need to slow down in the corners. And the better your style in the drift, the faster you can go. its graded on speed and angle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Drifting is extremely difficult which is why they are 'professionals'. By the same token, you could say that NASCAR is a "contrived effort at taking mediocre talent and giving them a spotlight". Hell, all they do is turn left. Anyone can do that... and they don't even have to control a slide!

      Seriously though, don't knock it until you've tried it. I bet you couldn't make it halfway through a 90 degree turn.

      And by the way, I'm not a 'fan' of drifting as I much prefer time spent on a road course, but I do know to respect it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Exactly. No sport where you need to be judged on your "style" is actually a sport. Period.

      I'd have to agree on this. I've watched drifting and besides spending most of the time choking on tire smoke, I just couldn't get into it.
      I'm a true enthusiast, so I love all forms of racing. In my view, the point is to get through the course as quickly as possible. For example, dirt track racing, awful lot of drifting there, but you're doing it to get around the track.
      The skill level is a moot point, it takes skill to be the best at anything, it's not about the skill level of drifters, it's about the point of drifting, what are you doing it for? Like some others have posted is this racing or some sort of "style" contest.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dynamica Darift!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't know what all the fuss is about on NASCAR drivers drifting. Drifting is nothing new, it is done every Saturday night (and some week nights) at small dirt tracks all across this great land. Try watching a late model, modified or sprint car race and you'll get the idea. Those drivers they choose are all past dirt trackers and should have no trouble with drifting.
      As far as NASCAR's slide down hill with the addition of the Toyota, I don't care for it but you have to remember Toyota is now really not an import it's made mainly here in the good ol' USA with a foreign name. What's all wrong with NASCAR is another story and would take to long here, wrong crowd any how.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd rather see Junior Johnson at this event. You know he's gone opposite lock on that old Ford getting chased by the law. There's alot of dirt roads in North Carolina.

      I'd pay to see that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ["Dynamica Darift!"]

      Wow, you should be banned from Autoblog for that...

      ["Drifting is a contrived effort at taking mediocre talent and giving them a spotlight. It is a shame that NASCAR drivers will stoop to this level. I guess with the advent of Ricer Burner admission into NASCAR, there really isn't any low NASCAR or its drivers will do."]

      Too be honest, I can't decide who's actually stooping.

      ["Drifting is pretty lame in my book. It's along the same lines of figure skating and gymnastics. Not to say that it's easy...I think all these activities are extremely demanding and difficult. But any sport that has such a heavy basis on showmanship and allow judges to determine the outcome shouldn't be called a "sport"...maybe "judged competition"]

      Exactly. No sport where you need to be judged on your "style" is actually a sport. Period.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Whats with the whole 'ricer' 'rice burner' hate? Just because you're not into japanese cars, or modified japanese cars, you shouldn't try to talk it down.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is fantastic. I think that more "motorsports" should challenge NASCRAP drivers to their sport. Dont get me wrong, NASCAR drives really fast and in alot of traffic which is no easy task but I think this is very smart of the promoter to involve a big name like NASCAR into a slightly lesser know sport. I see NASCAR v. Rally Drivers or NASCAR v. World Challenge Drivers...I like the idea of cross-sport competition to see who can really drive and who just has a big R&D budget.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I tried watching drifting on the tube. I get the whole style thing, but still can't figure out if it is racing or not. If it is for style points, then jolly! I'll watch them burn up tires with really high hp and bald tires for a few minutes, but that gets old pretty quick for me, unfortunately. If it is racing, then the first person across the line wins, right? So the racers should take the fastest line, stop spinning tires, and get there.

      If it is not racing, but a style contest, then how come (at least when I was watching) the first person across the line was the winner each time?

      So is it a(n extended) burnout contest like I see at the local car shows, or a race? Don't try to tell me it is both, because minimum slippage wins races, not max burnage...yeah, burnage works...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, #2- and if street ball players were good basketball players, they all would play for NBA teams.

      What is a "Ricer Burner"? Dumbass.
      Michael Kilpatrick
      • 8 Years Ago
      While I agree that drifiting is a bit silly, your quote that "If drifters were good drivers, they'd have been hired by real race teams." is a bit off base.

      While I don't know of most of the drifters, Tanner Foust is a professional rally driver as well as a professional stunt driver. He is currently leading the Rally America championship in his class. Him and Rhys Millen, are in fact both accomplished rally drivers, and they both did the stunt driving for The Dukes of Hazzard, and F&F:Tokyo Drift. You may recognize the name Millen as being quite a famous family racing name. In fact, Rhy's father, Rod Millen, still holds the record for the fastest run ever up Pikes Peak. If you had tuned into the X-Games a few weeks ago, you would have seen Rhys and Tanner competing. So, I think you should perhaps do a little research before you make comments like that.
    • Load More Comments