- - words // annika perry | photos // logan reaves, emilio rocha & james sanny
There are many sanctioned drifting events in Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri, all throughout the Midwest, everywhere that is, except for Kansas.
In April of 2017 that finally changed. In the midst of an Import Face-Off event, the Kansas City Drift Association (KCDA) returned to the spotlight with an amazing event at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas. This was the first Import Face-Off event held in Topeka since 2013.
The desire for legal drifting has been growing stronger and stronger in the hearts and cars of Kansas drifters as more events continued to pop up in surrounding states. Ideas started flowing through the ever creative, drift ready minds of Dan Moore, Tyrei (Tokyo) Woodbury, and Rob Sheperd. With Tokyo as the public face of the brand, there was no stopping the KCDA team. There were, of course, speedbumps along the way and it was a long process. Cliff Wallace, owner and creator of Import Face-Off collaborated with the KCDA crew along with the managers of Heartland Park and together they decided the best next step was to have KCDA sponsor a drift event at Import Face-Off.
Bringing the event into Import Face-Off was a fantastic idea. There was no lack of drivers, but it was the amount of spectators present that truly blew everyone away. At any point in time after the drivers took to the track, there were no less than 100 people lining both the walls and the bleachers. There was an estimated 2,000 spectators throughout the entire day. An advantage of having the event within the Import Face-Off event was that it allowed people to go from the car show to drag racing to drifting and back as much as they chose. The audience had the opportunity to watch the driving styles of 62 different drivers from all across the Midwest.
Omaha Drift Collective, Dream Style Drifting, Block Party, No Coast Racing, KC Drift, Kame Trick and Air Capitol Drift were some of the drift teams in attendance. Drivers came from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas and more. Air Capital Drift was the team representing the local Wichita . The Wichita drivers have been competing together for the past year in Stroud, Oklahoma at the events hosted by Friction Motorsports. Drivers from Wichita in attendance included Jacob Perry with his black rose LS swapped ICT Billet Nissan 240sx S14, Dakota Wulf with his color shift Subaru BRZ, Damon Kaska with his whiteNissan 240sx S13, Beau Desmarteau with his black BMW E36, and Tyler Pace with his sr20det purple Nissan 240sx S13.
There were cars and swaps of every kind showing off their stuff and enjoying the Meihan style course. Meihan is a fast, lap-able style of drifting. With this style, there was someone at the entrance to send it, then the drivers used their own judgement as to when to exit and when to get back on course if they went spun out or someone near them spun. It was a left tire leaning track with two walls and a triangular wall for media acting as clipping points. The walls provided drama with most of the drivers tapping or running into them as they passed by trying to get as close as possible. Tire pieces were flung everywhere!
The only major mishap was with a silver Nissan 350Z drivers running into the tires right before the wall barricade and a photographer who was leaning out past the barricade was struck in the face by the Big Country Labs wing the event was a huge success. The KCDA team has already released new and updated rules and regulations and there are talks of getting more barricades. All in all, this event was a very good sign for the drifters of Kansas. Heartland Park will soon be home to frequent drift events as well as the autocross, drag, and motocross they already play host to.
Sunday, April 9th 2017 was a historical day for the car scene in Kansas and hopefully the beginning of something that will become an ongoing event. Now is a great time to ask questions, get involved and just start driving! Many thanks to the KCDA team, if it were not for your initiation, this would not have happened and you are applauded. Expect more smoke screens in the future, Topeka!