Formula Drift Round Six – Las Vegas Motor Speedway

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Jeff Jones crash, Matt Powers wins

The first pair for eliminations was Matt Powers, in the Need for Speed Nissan S14 240SX and Jeff Jones, in the 1JZ-powered CX Racing Nissan S13 240SX. On both runs Jeff got too aggressive and tapped the wall, but finally wrecked the car on his lead run. This gave Matt the win and a ton of work for Jeff to complete – on top of getting married in September! “I have maybe two or three weeks,” said Jones during Break, “… the (front) strut tower is bent up, the back is not that big of a deal, just needs to be pulled, it’s definitely a lot of work, it will have to go to a frame shop. There was no real suspension damage, just broke a tie rod… The motor is actually tweaked to one side right now, so that was surprising. It was definitely the hardest hit I’ve ever been in.” We’ll see if the CX Racing S13 will be back at Irwindale this year or if a new chassis will debut for Jeff Jones.

Jeff Jones crash
This bad impact may have Jeff Jones wondering if he will be able to make it for Formula Drift Round 7 in Irwindale.

 

The next pair up were Fredric Aasbo in the Need for Speed Scion tC and Matt Field in the Fatlace highlighter yellow Nissan S14 240SX. Matt was also over-aggressive on his follow run and while he did not severely damage his car, it did give Aasbo the win so the Need for Speed teammates would meet in the next round!

Conrad “Burger” Grunewald, in the Hankook Tire Chevrolet Camaro faced off with Virginia born, but now Pennsylvania native, Matt Waldin, in the Helix Energy Drink Nissan 350Z. In an effort to keep up with the faster Camaro Matt spun in his follow run and without being able to take away the advantage from him, Grunewald moved on to the Top 16.

Ken Gushi in the Scion Racing Scion tC took on Tyler McQuarrie in his substitute Falken S15 Silvia. McQuarrie’s minimal time in the car did show and if it was better setup, Tyler could have given Ken a run for his money, but Ken was on a mission too and performed well, so it would have still been a tough fight. In the end, the understeering S15 was eliminated and Ken Gushi moved on to the Top 16.

Tyler McQuarrie
A great effort by Tyler McQuarrie, but working with a chassis with little setup time and being unfamiliar with the chassis are hard pills to swallow and work around.

Next, a very strange start as Alex Lee in his “Four Door Drift Limo,” the Toyota Cresta that was now on Falken Tires, and Chris Forsberg, in his NOS Energy Nissan 370Z. Lee had started first, but since he was lower qualified, he was supposed to follow first. The run was reset and Forsberg started as he was supposed to. The mistake seemed to rattle Lee as he clipped the tire barrier and gave the advantage to Forsberg. Without a great lead run, Forsberg was given the nod into the 16.

Ryan Tuerck and the Gardella Racing Redbull Chevrolet Camaro brought their A game against Charles Ng in the lit up Evasive Motorsports Mazda RX7 who wasn’t slouching against the better Gardella car! Both drivers poured on the talent with Tuerck performing with angle and Ng staying tucked in behind the Camaro. However, Charles spun the car at the end and Tuerck was able to move on.

Alex Lee
Alex Lee suffered a little bit of Rookie Blues with a mis-start.  After that, he just wasn’t able to overcome veteran Chris Forsberg.

 

Vaughn Gittin, Jr. vs. Cyrus Martineze
Vaughn Gittin, Jr. showcasing the power of the Monster Energy Ford Mustang!

Cyrus Martinez in the Nexen Tire/Megan Racing Nissan S13 240SX went up against the Monster Energy Ford Mustang of Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Cyrus could not repeat his Seattle performance and Vaughn Gittin, Jr. moved on, but Cyrus continues to impress the more he does battle with these faster cars! I foresee a podium for him if he can find a way to not only improve his speed, but also continue his amazing performances!

Next was Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Saturn Sky and Kyle Pollard in the PSI Nissan S13 240SX. With Pollard not only facing off against a faster car, but struggling with his own that didn’t run well, D-Mac took the win with ease. Sam Hubinette in the Dodge/BF Goodrich Dodge Challenger faced the ever smooth drifting of Rhys Millen in the Red Bull Hyundai Genesis. Clearly one of the best battles of the night as both drivers pulled off great runs and having an One More Time called, but in the end Rhys Millen took the win.

Rhys Millen vs Sam Hubinette
One of the best battling pairs in Formula Drift, Rhys Millen and Sam Hubinette!

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