Over the weekend, Team Need for Speed drifters Matt Powers and "Mad" Mike Whiddett took to the East Coast one more time for another round of Formula Drift at Wall Stadium in New Jersey.
Before the weekend's intense competition, the Team Need for Speed drifting duo, as well as DJ Miki Taka and NFS spokesmodel Courtney Day, participated in the annual "Throttle Thursday" hosted by Gary Gardella and X Games BMX Gold medalist Scotty Cranmer. Formula Drift drivers and teams were invited out to the Incline Club - a skate, bike, and scooter park owned by Cranmer - to have some fun and watch some professional BMX demos. The event was a great way to bring together different action sports communities and allow the Formula Drift drivers to have some fun before the weekend's competition. Team NFS's DJ Miki Taka hosted the 2010 Driftstream for the night; check out the awesome VIDEO coverage from the fun event. During Friday's pre-game-day event, Matt Powers scored a 76.2 on his second qualifying run, landing him in 17th place overall. He was matched with Dean Kearney in the top 32 battles that would take place on Saturday's main event competition.
Mad Mike qualified in 22nd place with a score of 73.9 points after laying down a solid run in which he was clocked at 50 MPH when entering the 30 degree banked oval turn of Wall Stadium. He was paired with Michihiro Takatori in the top thirty-two. Later in the day, Team Need for Speed took part in the Formula Drift autograph session, where excited fans lined up to snag some signatures and snap some photos of the drivers. After an hour-long night practice and prepping their vehicles for the next day, as well as some more mingling with fans, Mike and Matt were ready for Saturday's main event.
On game-day, the Need for Speed Electro Lounge proved the popular place to be. DJ Miki Taka was on the beats and the mic, keeping the crowds flowing over to check out all the action. NFS spokesmodel Courtney Day also kept the excitement going, whether it was taking pictures with fans or challenging them to try their skills at NFS SHIFT.
In the top 32 round, Matt was up against Dean Kearney in what turned out to be a battle of the S14's. Unfortunately during the runs, Matt had some transmission problems that would give Kearney the advantage and the advancement on to the top sixteen. Watch the VIDEO of NFS model Courtney Day interviewing Matt during Saturday's "half-time" break.
"I made more serious changes in new directions to the car for New Jersey and I felt the most competitive I have all year," says Matt. "This helped me to qualify the highest I have all season, despite mechanical damage on Thursday. Unfortunately, this momentum was cut short by my transmission breaking during the top thirty-two competition. For Round Four in Seattle, I will have a tranny solution and further improved suspension and more power; as well as I will know it is time to make some moves."
Mad Mike was paired with Takatori for his top 32 battle; a battle he was highly-anticipating and excited to take on. Unfortunately, Takatori was able to get an immediate advance into the top 16 due to mechanical issues with Mike's RX-8. This was a huge bummer for Mike, as he had been killing it in practice all weekend. Check out the VIDEO of Courtney interviewing Mike after the top 32 round.
The Team Need for Speed crew slides into Seattle July 9-10 for Formula Drift Round 4 where the Mad Powers duo will be pushing hard for some top 16 action. For more information on Team Need for Speed visit NeedForSpeed.com, become a fan at http://www.facebook.com/NeedForSpeed, or follow on Twitter @NeedforSpeed. Press can download assets at http://info.ea.com.
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About Team Need for Speed
Team Need for Speed consists of an all-star roster of drivers renowned for their skill on the track and passion for the automotive lifestyle including Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Drift/USA), Matt Powers (Drift/USA), Edward Sandstrom (GT Racing/Europe), Patrick Soderlund (GT Racing/Europe) and Mad Mike Whiddett (Drift/USA, New Zealand, Japan). With over 100 million units sold, Need for Speed is the best-selling racing game franchise in the world and is known for delivering unparalleled white-knuckle racing, creative customization and street style. Last fall EA published Need for Speed SHIFT, the highest rated Need for Speed game in years, featuring an intense first-person crash dynamic and a signature cockpit view that delivers a true driver's experience. Need for Speed World is a massive multiplayer online action racing game that is currently in the beta process and will be available this summer on the PC.