I recently had the pleasure of attending Summer Jam put on by Sonoma Drift out at Sonoma Raceway. It was a great weekend and with a full field, there was plenty of action. I was a guest of Nick Napala and Team Yeeee, who are one of the promoters of the event. Here’s the full re-cap from Nick Napala.
This is one for the record books, for sure. The drivers, sponsors, vendors, NOS Energy Drink and Race Sonoma put on one heck of a show. We had an amazing Pro-FD show including Matt Field, Ryan Bell, Josh Kravitz, Luke Longberger, and Current Pro-Am 3rd place overall in points, Lexis King, in his absolutely stunning Fc3s. These guys put on a great show in between run groups and the fans definitely appreciated it. I want to personally thank all of the pros who came out and did this for the fans. Thank you for breaking away from your very busy race season, to come out to a growing grassroots event and support the local scene.
Saturday was a hard day on many drivers unfamiliar with the course and even some Sonoma Drift veterans. Tons of parts, and many fenders and quarter panels were completely destroyed by the end of team tandem and qualifying. With the sun in their eyes and the nasty uphill, off-camber blind right-turn they were sliding into, it was not surprising to see the amount of dirt drops and wall kisses we saw all day. The top 5 drivers qualified from Saturday were really getting aggressive with their lines. The top qualifier was Josh Sher, followed closely by Marcus Fry in his LS1 powered Datsun 510. Coming in third was Josh McGuire in the pro-charged, 5.0 swapped S14. Josh and his car have come very far since last year when the build began.
All that hard work definitely paid off, as Josh took the overall win for the 2012 Sonoma Drift Summer JAM. Big ups to you! You’re a thousand bucks richer and have another trophy to add to your 2012 collection. Robin Webber, who qualified 4th on Saturday, had some awesome tandems on Sunday and captured 2nd place overall. Congrats on the $400 in your pocket for your effort. Third overall, and $200 richer, is one of Vallejo’s finest and a personal friend, Elijah Wright (Team Burn the MOST). Elijah was up against another Vallejo Native, Henry Van (TEAM YEEEE), in his 1uzfe powered AE86 coupe. The battle was close, even going one more time, but Elijah was able to put it down clean, while Henry dropped 4 tires. Henry still managed to keep his line, however Elijah was the obvious victor of the battle. You both had the hometown crowd going crazy.
All in all, the entire top 32 really impressed, and some of my other favorites were Sean Hoover, Daren Crockett, Adam Swan and Koji Rodriguez. All sr20 powered, these guys are really showing some talent in a field where nearly all S-Chassis have a V8 swap. Nick Mauri and Austin Byma did very good for their first ever full track drifting event. Nick, in the LS1 powered s14, saw the wall late Saturday, and had to replace a complete steering rack overnight. Austin folded his rear quarter Sunday afternoon, bad enough that it’s time for a new shell. However, up until then, he was looking very promising. Both drivers had great entry speeds and put on a great show, for sure. Jon Corvinus would definitely have been the winner of the backwards award had there been one.
Shout out to Team Mint for showing up with fresh vinyl jobs and some awesome aero parts. Sherry Kamiya was definitely out for gold, qualifying 10th overall Saturday. Also very impressed with Virgil Brosseau. After a year not being on track, or at any event for that matter, Virgil came out and well did well, destroying every inch of the track with nasty angle and flawless dirt drops. Big, big shout out to every AE86 driver our there, especially the 16v motors. Clutch kicking the whole course, the crowd loved it. Another crowd favorite was Palmer Sanderson and his newly caged and SR swapped coupe. There will be more to come from the Low budget crew, I’m sure. Joe McGuigan in the Fatlace, Toyotav8.com Lexus IS300, powered by a 1uZFE, Always a blast watching Joe. Travis Roush definitely was doing work, both on and off the track. Saturday night he had a 120 mile road trip to grab parts and then back to the track for some late night engine work. Aaron Conklin and his LT1 swapped red fc3s was also fun to watch.
Julian DuMay was out there screaming his VG30 powered S12, no hood and no trunk showing the crowd the cage all day, the definition of a drift missile, no doubt. Eugene Kretchmer and Daniel Chow are always a fun site to see, absolutely killing it in there s13 hatchbacks, very clean lines all day from the both of you and definitely barely any lift occurring. Grant Hendricks was another of my favorite ae86 drivers of the weekend, coming in hot with a 66mph qualifying speed. 2mph faster then Grant, was definite local crowd favorite in his newly tubbed, S13 coupe 5.0L powerhouse, grabbing the max angle and a 68mph qualifying speed was Vallejo’s own Crick Fillipi car and driving done right. Awesome event and you had the crowd going wild! Shout out to Cortex, watch out for there complete line of s-chassis and FT-86 suspension parts. Michael Nguyen and his Ae86 red hatch was definitely the loudest 4cl. 86 of the event. What an epic event for you as well! Sonoma Drift track staff Kieth Gevas and his 5.0L s14 also was singing the V-8 around the track. I personally have seen this car transform into its current state. Wow some awesome hoonage from you….
And to those that didn’t qualify, you definitely put it down out there for sure, and I have no doubt that you will be back for much much more. Shout out to Chaz Galvez and the badly, battle-damaged, notorious blue dolphin. She will see better days. Fighting your completely smoked suspension is definitely no fun, but in a bone stock KA you definitley clocked some heat coming it at 61mph. Also big ups to Brandon Edwards, who absolutely destroyed his entire car this weekend. Better luck next time, but was still showing some promise with a 69mph speed. And my apologies if I did not mention you personally in this recap. I was very busy with my booth and barely caught any action all day… Thanks for everyone who came out and put it down for the crowd at V2.0 of Sonoma Drift Summer JAM.
Thanks to all the media who definitely gained some skin color on this sunny weekend. Standing out there with no shade, in the dusty, windy conditions to get great footage of an all-around great drifting event.
Special thanks and greatest respect for all of those that helped make this event possible. Lino Ramos and Brook Shaw, we couldn’t have had an event with out you. Thank you so much, we greatly appreciate your efforts. Javi, Jose and Frank Franco, thanks for setting up tech inspection and keeping the track clean. Brandon, Will and Tim; without these amazing NOS Energy Drink Representatives, and their crew, there would be no NOS. And how can you even think about drifting without NOS Energy Drink! And finally, a special huge thank you to RACE SONOMA for bringing drifting back to the bay area; and, for letting us hold this event at your historic venue. Literally, without your help none of this would have been possible, and we would all still be traveling great distances to do what we love. Thank you for being our home and putting up with us for the weekend and for every Wednesday night drift. The drifting community, as a whole, thanks you very, very much.
That’s it from me. Hope to see you all at the next Sonoma Drift. It was an epic weekend. I loved every second of it. Thanks everyone for stopping by our booth and being there with us. Thanks, also to the entire TEAM YEEEE. ALSO, don’t miss Sonoma Drift, WINTER Jam on December 22nd!
For more info and a schedule of drifting events in Northern California, please go to www.facebook.com/TEAM.YEEEE. Make sure to ‘like’ the page while you’re there!
Sonoma Drift’s 2nd Annual Summer Jam Drift Competition! This is Northern California’s once a year big drift comp, where drivers come from all over the Bay area to compete in single elimination and team tandem battle! We also host a car show on the 2nd day of this eventful 2 day event. This event takes place on a weekend, so that the drivers can pit and camp over night! For those of you that missed it or simply did not know about it. Here is the footage we captured. Enjoy!
Edit- Joe Tardiff
Film- JoeTardiff, Mike Vik, Joey Colombo