Posts Tagged ‘Irwindale Speedway’

GALLERY> Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale

Even if they didn't attend the jam packed Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale Speedway, all drifting fans with an internet connection already know that Daigo Saito has been smashing the competition repeatedly all year, ascending the ranks of the Formula Drift Championship and ending his first year in Formula D in First Place as the Formula Drift Series Champion.

Here's a collection of some of our favorite images captured from the event!   Read more...

GALLERY> Fond Memories of Irwindale Speedway

I really don't have many details on this at all... but yesterday on Twitter, I heard someone saying that Irwindale Speedway was shutting down for racing this year. I posted up something about this on the MotorMavens Facebook, but didn't want to put anything up on our actual website until I verified this to be true.

Today, I received a single-sentence email from Doug Stokes, Irwindale Speedway's Communications/PR officer, and a friend I've known ever since drifting events started up at Irwindale. This is all the email said:   Read more...

COVERAGE> The 2011 Formula Drift Season Finale

It's hard to believe that the 2011 Formula Drift Championship season has already concluded for the year - the series went from start to finish in just six months! Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and the Drift Stream, everyone already knows that Discount Tire V8 S13 driver Daijiro Yoshihara was "Triple Crowned" as the 2011 Formula D Series Champion, marking the first time that a Japanese driver won a Formula D series championship. Even more relevant is the fact that this win marks the first time the popular Nissan S13 chassis has been used to win a Formula D championship season! S13 owners should rejoice - the iconic ichi-san is apparently still competitive against the newer technology drift cars.

For the season finale at Irwindale Speedway, Northern California based Tyler McQuarrie beat the competition to win First Place at the event in his Falken Tire V8 350Z, standing atop the podium with Rhys Millen (Second Place) and Chris Forsberg (Third place).   Read more...

COVERAGE> The 2011 Formula D Seattle Experience

Formula Drift in Seattle is definitely one of my favorite stops on the Formula D tour. It always happens in the middle of the summer, and summertime is the best time to visit Seattle anyway! The event planners at Formula Drift always seem to pick the FD Seattle weekend perfectly, when the rainy state of Washington is blessed with a little break from the gloomy rain, and the sun comes out to put everybody in a good mood!

Since most drift fans outside of Seattle were able to watch the event play-by-play on Justin.TV's Formula D Driftstream, Seattle-based MotorMavens sharpshooter Yoshi Shindo and I decided we'd post up photographic highlights from the event, based on our own experiences there!   Read more...

VIDEO> Hoshino Car Style at Ebisu Minami Course

Hoshino Car Style : Customer Drift Day お客様のドリフト日 from Luke Huxham on Vimeo.

I just got a link to this video from Facebook (Connect to MotorMavens on Facebook!), and it really got my attention for some reason. Why? While there’s certainly no shortage of drifting videos online (most of them are pretty bad), but this one was fun and refreshing! This video from Luke Huxham features my fun loving friends from Gunma, Japan tearing it up at Ebisu Circuit‘s South Course; they are a strong drifting family (I say family because the word ‘team‘ doesn’t accurately depict how close these guys are) called Geki Kassou Dan.

The members of the Geki family are certainly a popular bunch of misfits in the Gunma drifting scene. They are easy to spot, with bright orange paint adorning their cars as an homage to their revered friends, Ebisu Circuit’s own Team Orange. (more…)


VIDEO> Toshiki Yoshioka & S15 Silvia Gymkhana

All of my footage of the MotorMavens Mass Appeal | Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana event went to Joe Ayala for our video coverage of the show… or so I thought! I just found this ContourHD clip of Toshiki Yoshioka driving the Driftspeed S15 Silvia and a few more while reorganizing my external hard drive. (more…)


COVERAGE> More Mooneyes Lifestyle at Irwindale

It's no secret that one of my favorite car events to attend every year is the annual Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway. When I first began posting up stories and photos from Mooneyes and related hot rod events on MotorMavens in the past, and I think some of our readers were sort of confused. I know, I know... this isn't the sort of content that people might normally expect from a media outlet that normally covers things related to Japanese car culture and motorsports. However, we're making efforts to expand out of our normal comfort zones... because from drifting to road racing to hot rods to European cars to exotics... there's a common denominator that binds all of us as car guys together... we are passionate about cars!

We've lightly touched on the MotorMavens passion principle in previous stories, but we'll be seeing more of this in the future, as we spotlight cars that people are passionate about! I know I'm intensely passionate about the cars in my collection, and you are too. Although some of us might not come from hot rod or kustom car backgrounds, we can definitely appreciate and respect the automotive passion that the owners of these cars have put into their cars; it seeps into and affects every bit of a person's life. It really IS a lifestyle - a person's love for cars and the culture that surrounds them really does affect every bit of their lives, if they do it right. This goes out to the real gearheads! This goes out to the people that live this stuff day in and day out, because THAT is what it's all about. This isn't just a hobby for us - this is what we build our lives around, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Anyway, enough of my rambling... on to the photos!   Read more...

COVERAGE> The 2010 Mooneyes Christmas Party

One of my favorite Southern California-based automotive events to attend every year is definitely the Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale. Most of the people in my demographic only think of drifting when they hear about Irwindale Speedway, but in fact, the track is a pretty versatile venue that attracts all sorts of automotive walks of life.

Last weekend, the MotorMavens Crew traveled to Irwindale to hold our first-ever MotorMavens Mass Appeal Car Show and the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational. During Mass Appeal and the Ken Block Invitational, Irwindale was filled with a mixture of professional drivers, action sports athletes, and owners of modified streetcars. This weekend's festivities at Mooneyes were very different. Several of the people in attendance at Mooneyes were of roughly the same age as most of the drifting/gymkhana fans, but the cars, culture, and people that the Mooneyes Christmas Party attracted definitely were of a different style altogether.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know as much about traditional hot rods and lead sleds as I'd like to, so I'll keep my captions very short, so I don't embarrass myself too much!   Read more...

COVERAGE> More MotorMavens Mass Appeal Show!

Here are some more overdue photos from MotorMavens Mass Appeal show... As everyone knows, our first Mass Appeal was part of the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational event. Unfortunately for the MotorMavens Crew, we were extremely busy and understaffed during the event - we weren't able to spend a whole lot of time on the gymkhana side, because we were busy handling things on our side of the event - the Mass Appeal! We did notice that there were lots of people walking around Irwindale, dressed head-to-toe in DC/Ken Block clothing. We were pretty surprised; we know that Ken Block's YouTube videos get millions of views, but to see all the fans rocking Block gear from top-to-bottom was pretty crazy.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> We’re Back From Being Hacked!

Yuta Akaishi Shakotan slammed S30 Datsun 240Z 240 Alex Zhao AP1 S2000

MotorMavens readers (aka: our worldwide automotive family, supporters, and friends)! We’re back from being hacked! This malware attack on our website was crazy, and we’re still working to restore photos and functionality on the website. We apologize for the inconvenience – trust us, we’re just as pissed about it as you are! It screwed lots of things up on the website, and really screwed up the quick and easy carshow registration forms that we set up. It couldn’t have come at a worse time… right before our first car showMASS APPEAL at Irwindale Speedway this Saturday, December 4th!

A LOT of people have been asking questions about the Mass Appeal show. A lot of people have told us they have been registering their cars just because they don’t want to miss our very first show, and we love you guys for it!

Since Ken Block and Gymkhana Grid partnered with MotorMavens to find and showcase the west coast’s most stylish cars for the special project that Ken Block’s crew will be filming at Irwindale, we have invited some of the best looking street cars that have been featured (and not yet featured) on our website to this show! Mass Appeal is going to be an awesome gathering of friends and like-minded car owners. We can’t wait! We have LOTS of friends driving their cars from all over for this event, but we need to emphasize one point… The Mass Appeal Show is focused on QUALITY. The point of our show was to attract the dopest cars – not necessarily the shiny, high budget builds you see at SEMA (although we have quite a few SEMA demo vehicles registered). (more…)


NEWSWORTHY> MotorMavens Mass Appeal Show!

Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational December 4 2010 Irwindale Speedway MotorMavens Mass Appeal Car Show

YES!!! Are you excited?! I know I’M excited!

The MotorMavens Crew is finally doing its very own car show! MotorMavens was approached by the good people that are organizing The Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid event to bring the most stylish street cars and show cars to Irwindale Speedway on Saturday, December 4, 2010.

For this event, we plan to showcase the freshest cars that our friends and readers own for a massive MotorMavens streetcar party at Irwindale! Come out and chill with the MotorMavens Crew (and the MotorMavenettes), as we’ll be shooting an HD video of the car show to profile all the freshest street cars at the event! We will also have all the top automotive media outlets in attendance as well, scouting the best cars for magazine features. We’ve even received confirmations from overseas media – I’m talking the UK, Europe, Australia and even Japan!  This is so exciting!!!

If you own a super fresh, super stylish street car and/or show car, and would like to be included as part of the show, please make sure to pre-register your car at http://www.motormavens.com/massappeal/ to receive a limited edition MotorMavens x KenBlock Gymkhana Grid shirt and other gifts from our sponsors – DC Shoes, Monster Energy Drink, Discount Tire, Castrol Edge.

    The $40 Pre-Registration fee includes:

- TWO (2) tickets to watch the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid event itself (Valued at $50 ($25 x 2 tickets)
- Pre-registered car owners receive ONE (1) limited edition MotorMavens x KenBlock Gymkhana Grid tshirt. ($20 value) (more…)


PERSPECTIVE> Formula Drift Irwindale 2010 Finale

This past weekend, the Formula Drift Season Finale at Irwindale Speedway went by quicker than I could ever have planned. Whether it was the severe lack of sleep, being on the move at all times, nonstop action, or the three hour time difference, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It all started at 5am EST in Atlanta when I woke up to head to the airport in hopes that I could catch a flight to LA.

Flying standby, which may be cheap, is very risky and can be stressful when flights that were empty the night before, are full in the morning. Luckily, only the first flight out of Atlanta that morning was full and I could hop on the second flight to John Wayne at Santa Ana. If time had not been an issue, I could have arrived much later and taken an easier flight, but since I had to be there by 1:30pm PST to make it to the (all-caps) MANDATORY media meeting, I was starting to stress when I noticed the flights starting to fill up. I’m no stranger to the pre-Formula D stress syndrome though. I almost didn’t make it to this point after all.

Media passes are a hot commodity, and the MotorMavens Crew rolls pretty deep, so actually getting a pass to cover the event for the site was an episode in itself. Even though we're an official Formula D Media Partner, and we have a legitimate high traffic automotive site, Formula D's PR agency didn't want to approve all our media pass requests. I didn't really understand the thinking behind that, but I suppose we did have a lot of photo and video shooters asking for passes!

This being the last round of the year for Formula D, and me traveling all the way out to Irwindale CA from Atlanta GA, I had to do it big. I always like to say ‘go big or go home.’ It’s corny but it’s a great way of seeing things - try it and see where it gets you.   Read more...

COVERAGE> FD Irwindale Title Fight Weigh-In

25 hours and 2,200 miles later, I am still awake and in California for Formula Drift at Irwindale Speedway -the final installment for the 2010 Formula D season. I woke up at 5am EST to head to the airport in Atlanta, Georgia for my flight out to LA earlier today - Friday, the 8th of October. Right now it is nearing 3am on the 9th; I just might be tired. It's all for a good cause, though. The weather is fantastic this weekend, and the drifting is even better. Everyone came out to play, and I'm sure it's going to be quite the battle to win the championship.

This post is definitely going to be a short one but it will not lack in content. Below you'll find some selected images from the day of qualifying just to whet your appetite for the main event.   Read more...

LIKE THIS> Meet the MotorMavenettes!

MotorMavenettes Tailyr Monette Motor Mavens umbrella girl girls model models import race queen

Meet Tailyr, Lauren, the other Lauren, Joanna, and Michelle… The MotorMavenettes! Like the MotorMavenettes on Facebook to check out their exclusive photos and videos ONLY found on (more…)


COVERAGE> Xtreme Drift Circuit at Irwindale

Most people that are familiar with drifting in the United States have heard of Irwindale, California. After all, Irwindale's most famous attraction, Irwindale Speedway has been home to many major "firsts" in the drifting community. Irwindale Speedway was the venue for numerous early Drift Day events; the Video Option Ikaten on January 17th, 2003; the first Drift Showoff on March 3rd 2003; the RS-R Drift Festival on April 6, 2003; the first D1 Grand Prix event in the USA on August 31, 2003; and the first Formula D homecoming at Irwindale on August 29, 2004.

I mention these particular events because they were all milestone events for the grassroots drifting community. Since then, Irwindale has become a recognized name and a home for grassroots drifting in the West Coast. This past weekend marked the first ever XDC (Xtreme Drift Circuit) event at Irwindale. Whether or not this XDC event (or the series in general) will turn out to be a major milestone in the minds of drifters in the United States remains to be seen. However, I can tell you that I observed some re-invigoration and renewed interest in high level grassroots drifting competition from some of the drivers. Hell, if having high-skill-level grassroots drivers spend the time and effort in making the journey from most major regions of the United States (and Canada too) just to compete in this event doesn't indicate what kind of hype this new series is generating, then I don't know what will. It looks as if XDC is heading towards becoming a major force in the grassroots drifting arena.

I'll be honest - when I first heard about yet another drifting series launching this year, I kind of rolled my eyes, just like everyone else did. "Oh jeez," I thought. "Another drifting series is trying to come up and compete with Formula D again?" Well, if you observed how the whole "Nopi Drift Series" turned out, you might understand where some of the drifting community's skepticism comes from. However, when I found out that this new XDC Series was actually slated as a "feeder series" which would sharpen up the skill levels of grassroots drifters across the country and allow them to graduate into Formula D competition, I thought, "hmmm... I think this might actually work out."

The Motor Mavens Movement is all about supporting grassroots drivers and local street teams and crews from all over the world. Formula D did a good thing by empowering the local drifting organizers in different regions to hold Pro Am "driver search" events (like Vegas Pro Am and Evergreen Pro Am, etc), but what I think really boosts the level of drivers that want to graduate into the Formula D series is having the ability to compete regularly on different tracks, against different drivers from different geographical regions.

This "nationalization" and/or "globalization" of competition between the drifting community's hometown heroes is the only way grassroots drivers can really prove how good they are. However, with the level of drift car builds and big money that's required to actually run an entire Formula D season nowadays, it's nearly impossible for REAL grassroots drivers with REAL grassroots style drift cars to actually compete against the Formula D series' hundred-thousand-dollar engine builds, Nascar V8s and full race cars with silhouettes of their OEM bodies dzus-fastened onto tube frames. It saddens some people to see drifting turning into a major pro motorsport like Nascar, but it's all a natural progression, I suppose.   Read more...

VIDEO> Triumph at the Mooneyes Christmas Party


Mooneyes+Christmas+Party+2009

Even though we don’t cover motorcycles too often on the Motor Mavens site, sometimes we come across bikes that are just so cool looking, we gotta put em on the site! We were walking around at the 2009 Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway, drenched in rain when we spotted this particular Triumph motorcycle getting rained on.

All our DSLRs were covered up and protected, but luckily we had a Canon S90 on hand, which is definitely one of the top two Canon pocket cameras (the S90 and the G11 are the best in our opinions) out right now. The S90 was able to shoot a quick video in the rain, just so we could show the details of the bike before trying to shelter our camera gear underneath a tent.

This Triumph makes us want to build a bike… so cool.

:: Travis Hodges

More Mooneyes Christmas Party stories on MOTORMAVENS


COVERAGE> Rainy Day Rodding at Mooneyes

With December in full swing and Christmas-time near, tis the season for parties and holiday cheer. With hot rods on the freeway, plus an onslaught of rain, I had to yell at times, "stupid ass, stay in your lane!!!"

This past weekend, I attended the Annual Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway. I can't believe it's already been a full year since the last time I visited the show. I have to admit... cold, rainy weather makes me feel pretty lazy. Living in Southern Cali, I think I've gotten used to the weather being 73 degrees all year round, so when it dips below 55 degrees outside, it's pretty hard for me to convince myself to leave the comfort of my baffled goose down comforter behind and trudge through the rain with 30+lbs of camera gear and flyers on my back. This Saturday, it was especially difficult because I was out with my friends at a house party and didn't get back until 4:30am on the day of the show.

However, I'm really glad I did make it to Mooneyes this year. Speaking to my friend Shige (the man behind Mooneyes and Crown Classics in Yokohama Japan), we both agreed that the rain did put a bit of a damper on the event's attendance, but it was good in a way. It weeded out most of the "trying to be down" scenesters and showed everyone who the real hardcore hot rodders were. Most of the guys who came to this year's Mooneyes Christmas Party actually drove their period correct traditional hot rods with vintage whitewall tires on the 605 freeway IN THE RAIN to and from the show. Now that's dedication! Much respect!   Read more...

VIDEO> AW Films Does Pro Am

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t seem to get enough Pro Am action. AW Films just released their take on the day’s events. Abbitt says he struggled with this edit, but after watching it several times, I never would have guessed! There is a ton of great footage and an equal amount of great driving in this video. Take a look!

:: Andy Sapp


COVERAGE> More Scenes From Irwindale Pro Am

Continuing our coverage of the Formula D Pro Am Finals...I thought I'd do a little name dropping, since that's apparently what I specialize in over here. Haha... click through to the story and see if you can recognize some of the faces and the cars they belong to...   Read more...

VIDEO> Heavy Metal Pro Am

PRO AM Finals from Ross Fairfield on Vimeo.

Well… I’m not quite sure about the heavy metal headband wearing headbanger “rock onnnnn” long hair tight pants faded black Ozzy Osbourne t-shirt wallet chain black fingernails music, as it’s not my personal style (sorry if I offend those schooled in metal)… but here’s what our boy Ross Fairfield’s eye captured at the Irwindale Pro Am. Check it out!

And Ross… party on bro. I’m just scared to hear what your video might say when you play it backwards, LOL.

:: Antonio Alvendia

More Irwindale Pro Am photos, stories, and videos on MOTOR MAVENS


COVERAGE> Irwindale Pro Am, Part 1

It's true. I'm overdue again on posting my event coverage. This time, the coverage is from the Formula D Pro Am that took place at Irwindale Speedway this past weekend. However, I don't think it's a bad thing necessarily.

While all the other media people that attended the event (let's be honest; there weren't that many) rushed home to be the first to post photos on their websites, blogs, Twitters, and whatnot... I decided to spend time hanging out with my friends instead. I love that I was able to do this and not feel bad (this would be absolutely unacceptable behaviour if I was writing for a different website). But everyone in the Motor Mavens Crew understands. Hell, some of them were even there with me for all the non-car related stuff we did that weekend... like rolling 30+ heads deep to Dino's in Covina for some spicy grilled chicken; or taking Yoshi on a wild goose chase to meet up with some import models at a cafe in OC; or using trucks and trailers with drift cars loaded onto them to make parking difficult in the small parking lot of Flappy Jacks on Route 66, just so that Ray from Garage Autohero could get his traditional American style Sunday breakfast and complain that coffee in California sucks compared to Seattle's. LOL. Oh yeah, but somehow in between all the chillin we did with all our out of town friends that came to Pro Am, we did somehow manage to squeeze in a little bit of time to take some photos.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Jtuned Meet at Irwindale ProAm Tomorrow!

SABADO SABADO SABADO!!! Sabado Gigante! Super Meet de Jtuned! By now, I’m sure almost everyone knows that the Formula D PRO AM event is happening TOMORROW at Irwindale Speedway. The best grassroots drifters from all over the nation have made their way to Southern Cali’s 626 area for tomorrow’s big event. Come to Irwindale on Saturday and show your support the grassroots drifters – these guys will become the Formula D stars of tomorrow. Sponsors, this is a good opportunity to scout potential new members for your team! And hey ladies, this is a good opportunity to hook up before these drivers get too famous to acknowledge you! JK.

If you don’t drift, you should still come out to the event. On Saturday, the Irwindale Pro Am will be the location of another Jtuned Super Meet, so make sure to sign up right away! Spots are still available, and you can sign up right here.

The West Coast arm of the Motor Mavens Family will be in attendance also, so you should definitely check the site after the event for our photos and insight into what went on at Pro Am. Our good friends from MotoIQ will also be in attendance shooting photos, so make sure to check their site after the meet too!

:: Motor Mavens

Jtuned Super Meet

MotoIQ (The best site with technical info about cars that we’ve ever seen)

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GALLERY> The Irwindale Experience

Since I'm new to MotorMavens, most people don't know much background info on me. I was born and raised in the Northwest, so every time I visit California, it becomes a great adventure. The final round in the Formula Drift series was my very first visit to Irwindale. From the hot weather and good looking girls, I could tell I was in for a real treat! Not to mention all the sick cars that California has!

When I arrived at LAX on Thursday, I got my rental car and drove straight into L.A. traffic to get to Irwindale Speedway, working my way though all that traffic while trying to find a good radio station to listen to. I finally arrived at the Speedway about 45 minutes later.

Walking though the pits, watching all the vendors getting set up for the event, I noticed the pit area is so much bigger than the one we have at Evergreen Speedway where Round 5 was held . This was a subtle hint that more vendors and drivers would be attending this event than the one at Evergreen.

Another thing that I noticed was the weather. Seattle summer includes two months of decent heat and sun after which it's back to the infamous rain season that happens to have started a couple of weeks ago. So, even though I caught myself wiping sweat off my forehead every few minutes, I was enjoying every minute of the sun. I wish it was like this in the Northwest.

Fast forward to the opening day of the Final round of Formula Drift. I got there bright and early to start taking photos and meet lots of new people. Since I'm pretty new to MotorMavens, a lot of people didn't know my name or my face. I took that as the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to the locals. The attitude that California people have is really great! Everyone was friendly and awesome to hang out with!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Slide Assassins Sunday Session

This has been an extremely busy weekend for the Motor Mavens crew in Southern Cali. Travis Hodges and I went out to bake in the sun at the IDRC Season Finale at Fontucky Dragway (aka Auto Club Dragway/California Speedway) all day Saturday. We'll show you some of what we captured at IDRC soon enough, but first I wanted to shine a light on a special event that took place today (Sunday) at Irwindale Speedway.

Even though I was still exhausted and burnt from our skin cancerous Saturday in Fontana, I somehow dragged myself out of bed and prepared my camera gear for yet another day at the track. While I found it extremely hard to pry myself from the ice cold air conditioning blasting throughout my house, I reminded myself that I made a commitment to show up. My friend Luke Pakula kept dropping me friendly reminders about the event the Slide Assassins guys were throwing at Irwindale Speedway, so I wanted to come through and show support of their event, on behalf of the Motor Mavens crew.

After all, the Motor Mavens movement is all about supporting grassroots drifting! Everyone on our team does their best to show how much we genuinely care about the scene by being out there as much as we possibly can. Actions speak louder than words, so hopefully people will notice that our site doesn't only cover the big events like Formula D and All Star Bash... Motor Mavens shows love by shining a light on some of the smaller events as well. And luckily for us, some of the grassroots drifters have been showing us love back!

We just can't tell you enough how much it means to us when we see people showing their support of the site by rocking our stickers on their cars, by leaving comments on our blog posts, by reposting our links onto different forums, blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages! It is especially means a lot to us when people voice their support when they see us at events. We love that people appreciate our site, because we put a whole lot of heart and hard work into it!   Read more...