A sold-out field of 40 drivers took to the Sportsdrome Speedway in Clarksville, Indiana last weekend to set the initial points bracket for the 2012 season of Formula D’s regional pro-am feeder series, the Midwest Drift Union.
Last year’s season opener winner and overall fourth place points finisher last year, Kris Hackenson, was unable to drive the event due to his car not being ready in time.
Bringing home third place and securing his first MDU podium was Jake Maturen.
“Today was just a whole bunch of fun,” Maturen said. “I have no idea how else to explain it. I worked out problems with the car over the past winter, and have been building it for the last six months.”
Netting second place was “Magic” Mike Pollard, who had also placed third in last year’s season opener driving Chris Naujokas’ car. This time though, Pollard was piloting his own 180SX.
“Everyone’s been out here stepping it up,” Pollard said. “That’s kind of the theme I want to bring back to the grassroots is stepping up the tandems, because everyone tries to play it safe. I think it’s better to lose while going hard than just spinning out on your own.”
In only his second time driving an MDU event, and also securing his second first place finish with the organization, was Missourian Tyson Schmidt. Having driven round four in Nashville last year as his only time with MDU prior to the 2012 season, he will be running a full season with the organization this year.
“This was my first time at this track and it was awesome,” Schmidt said. “All I wanted to do was come here and do good and I ended up winning. The car did great and didn’t break”
Head of MDU, Edgar Sarmiento, said the tandem was some of the best he’s seen, especially being so early on in the season.
“We’re going to see a lot better competitors coming out of the Midwest, especially at events like Street Life Tour and other pro-am events,” Sarmiento said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the rest of the U.S. won’t see drivers coming out of the Midwest that aren’t awesome.”
Sarmiento added that No-Star Bash, held at USAIR in May, will be put on by the same Drift Indy staff that operates MDU, in conjunction with Club FR. While not an official stop on the MDU tour, he emphasized that it’s an event not to be missed.
The next round of Midwest Drift Union will be on July 7 at Lake County Speedway in Cleveland….