Round One. Midwest Drift Union. 2011 from Mark Lenardon on Vimeo.
Sunday April 3, 2011: Sportsdrome Speedway Clarksville, IN, a mile away from the great city of Louisville, KY, hosted the first round of the 2011 Midwest Drift Union Pro*Am Series sponsored by NOS Energy Drink. The day got off to a great start with some amazing spring weather and a long line of drifters ready to pit in for technical inspection. This would turn out to be the most uplifting event the Midwest Drift Union staff have ever put on with the help of NOS, Zerolift, and the Sportsdrome Speedway.
With ASD sponsored driver Brian Peter and Formula D licensed driver Mike Feiock staged right next to each other in the pits, it would’ve been easy to mistake this for the pro’s. The opening of the season started with 2010 MDU Champion Mike Feiock testing the track, laying down the first, flawless, smokey lap of the day.
Driving qualification took place during the second round of practice after taking couple of practice laps in order to maximize seat time and let drivers be in their comfort zone. Brian Peter would have the fastest entry speed of the day at 63mph, with most drivers averaging mid 50’s. Mike Pollard former D1GP Japan driver would register late for the event and qualify first having a by in the Top16 against Fort Wayne’s Derek Bianski in his FD3S.
For the first time in the Midwest, the crowd would see a top 16 take place at round one. The amount of talent that has been produced in the past two years really showed at Round 1. A perfect example would be Keith Carlos, second year driver from Chicago, who would eliminate first year Midwest Drift Union rookie Chris Gonzalez from Winnipeg, Canada. The Ryan Nalezyty versus Caleb Nichols battle would be pass for Ryan after a Nichols spin.
First time Midwest Drift Union driver Nick Thomas, out of Nashville, would knock veteran St. Louis driver Josh “Koopa” Clay from the competition after rocking his world with smoke in the Track One S14.5 Nissan 240sx. Bill “Highlife” Cook would have a by in the top16 round against Tom Blangiardo due to Tom not having a fully caged car and would meet Kris Hackenson in the great 8 after Kris knocked Jake Maturen of Michigan out after a well fought battle between both S14 240sx chassis.
Tom “Tdiddy” Lange would move on to the great 8 after a long OMT “one more time” call by the judges and crowd versus Juan Marquez, CMWERKS sponsored driver. Lange would move on to meet ASD driver Brian Peter in the great 8 after Brian took local driver Jason Schmidt out of the bracket laying down mad piles of rubber on the hood of the convertible 240sx.
The Peter and Lange runs would end very soon when the monstrous V8 powered FC RX7 pulls away on the lead run from Lange, making it very hard for Lange to make an impact on the judges to continue on to the semi finals of the days competition. The Highlife Bill Cook vs Kris Hackenson would be the talk of the day as both cars pushed to the limits. Kris Hackenson would advance to the top 4 after a close decision.
Mike Pollard would knock Keith Carlos out moving to the final four versus Nick Thomas. Kris Hackenson would knock Brian Peter out going to the finals after the battle of LS motors roared the Sportsdrome. The final battle, a first-time meeting of Kris Hackenson and Nick Thomas. In what would once again make the Sportsdrome scream with tires and V8 powered 240’s. After a hard-fought showdown, with great driving by both men, Hackenson would score the victory due to Thomas straightening, and win the first round of the Midwest Drift Union 2011 Pro*Am Series.
Round 2 of the Midwest Drift Union 2011 Pro*Am Series will be held in Clio, Michigan on May 15th at Autocity Speedway. Photos courtesy of Nick Quigley / OMGDrift.com