FANS CAN WITNESS THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRIFTING THROUGHOUT THE SEASON — ALL THE WAY FROM BATTLES FOR TROPHY GLORY VIA JUDGING DOWN TO BEGINNER CLINICS
By: Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – With fans and competitors of all ages in mind, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is introducing competitive drifting to the Connecticut facility on a regular basis in 2019, adding another dimension to a long list of entertainment options already in place for the new season.
Through a partnership with Lock City Drift, Thompson will offer fans three different types of drifting over nine months and a total of 19 events – headlined by the first time a New England-based drifting organization competes for glory in a competitive manner.
Through their New England Top Drift Series and the Street Series, Lock City Drift will introduce two competitive drifting options for fans — where drivers will put their cars on edge looking to win. Both of these divisions will offer awards for each round via a three-judge panel and an overall championship winner. Qualifying takes place with a 32-driver elimination bracket, where two drivers then go head-to-head. It becomes the lead drivers responsibility to make the best run they can, and the second car in line has to mimic the lead car as close, and clean, as possible. Once the first round is over, the two drivers switch places and go for it a second time.
The three judges will then choose which driver they felt did better, on a point system, and at the end of each round, the driver with the most points proceeds. At the conclusion, an overall champion is crowned.
The planned 2019 events will also include grassroots style drifting on 10 occasions – beginning with March 16 and ending with the Fall Finale on November 9. Grassroots drifting is more of the beginner class, where drivers of any skill level and with any car meeting the rulebook can compete. Drivers in the grassroots class are separated by skill level, giving everyone an equal chance to showcase talent.
The Top Drift Series is based for drivers who are planning to make the move to the Pro-Am Series, giving them crucial experience in a place where they can test the waters in a more controlled and competitive environment. In the Street Series, fans will be able to see a street style of drifting taken to the next level where drivers will have line and style choice to showcase their driving skills.
The Street Series is one of the most popular for Lock City Drift, as it truly showcases intense competition where drivers are pushing it to the edge looking for the victory. Although it’s more of a competitive class, there are restrictions to the rules for this division as well – but skill behind the wheel comes at a premium. Both of these divisions are going to put drivers on the edge of control as they find themselves vying to be the victor, which should create an environment where fans will want to stick around until the final round.
Inside this new deal, Lock City Drift will be part of five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series shows at Thompson. At these five events, which will showcase the Street Series specifically, fans will be able to catch both the drifting and the Whelen All-American Series action in the same Sunday afternoon.
The first of the five events is scheduled for May 19, followed by June 30, July 28 and August 4. On September 8, the Street Series concludes as part of the 6th annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 sprint and the 4thannual “For The Fans Night” at Thompson.
“We are happy to be bringing fans a competitive drifting series based in New England right here to Thompson Speedway,” Terry Eames, the General Manager of Thompson, said.
Lock City Drift, an organization that has been drifting in New England since 2012, is also excited to showcase the variety of options for fans.
“Thompson definitely sees the future of drifting as a motorsport, and I’m really excited to mingle the crowds between the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and drifting together into one,” Michael Lynch, the Director of Lock City Drift, said. “Drifting is a spectator sport and I think people are really going to appreciate what we have to offer this season at Thompson.”
With the addition of the five Lock City Drift events to the Whelen All-American Series schedule, a slight adjustment has been made to the 10-race oval track campaign. The sixth event of the season, originally scheduled for July 21, has been pushed back one week to July 28. The day will see racing for the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, Lite Modifieds, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks, along with the Lock City Drift action.
The events at Thompson for Lock City Drift this season include:
• March 16 – Season Opener
• April 13 – Grassroots Day 1
• May 4 – Cinco De Clinica
• May 18 – Grassroots Day 2
• July 26 – Grassroots Day 3
• August 23 – August Nights
• September 7 – Grassroots Day 4
• September 21 – Grassroots Day 5
• October 19 – Grassroots Day 6
• November 9 – Fall Finale
New England Top Drift:
• May 18
• August 18
• September 15
• September 29
• November 10
Street Series (Joining NWAAS Divisons):
• May 19
• June 30
• July 28
• August 4
• September 8
Any drivers interested in registering for the drifting events should visit www.lockcitydrift.com to fill out the appropriate forms. Lock City Drift is also extremely active on social media, so those interested in more information can follow them on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Thompson’s 45thannual Icebreaker begins in just under one month, but race fans have the chance to see some of the latest information from Thompson Speedway this coming weekend. The Connecticut oval will be part of ‘The Biggest Car Show in New England’, Mark’s Northeast Motorsports Expo, an event that will take place from Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 10. Fans are welcome to attend and see the Thompson booth and meet some of the staff.
In the meantime, track preparations are well underway for the Icebreaker, which runs April 5-7. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Pro All Star Series and more will all compete across one of the most prestigious weekends in all of short-track racing. Fans will once again be able to camp on the property for the duration of the weekend, and reservations for a camping spot are now open via the track website under the reservations tab. Fans can see social media for the direct links to the camping registration.
For more information on the oval track, and the road course, fans are encouraged to visit www.thompsonspeedway.com, and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.