These days, it’s not hard to find a track day or HPDE in almost any area of the country. And don’t worry — it’s not the “grip guys” who get to have all the fun. If sliding sideways is your style, look no further. We’ve put together a group of some of the many grassroots drift track day organizers from across the U.S. No matter where you’re at, there’s no longer an excuse to slide your car around a freeway onramp. Take it to the track where it belongs! In such a limited space, it’s impossible to share each and every drift day organizer out there, so don’t be afraid to do a little searching online if you don’t see something in your exact area.
In the beautiful and scenic Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., there are a few good options for people looking to get on track and do some drifting in a safe and legal environment. If you’re just starting out, there’s a great little kart track in Canby, Oregon, called Pat’s Acres. This track is designed for small karts, so it’s a good place to learn techniques and begin honing your skills on a track that doesn’t have a lot of spots to wreck your car. Make sure to check the event calendar on the track website before planning a trip.
If you’ve already been drifting for a while and have been thinking about taking the next step, look into Evergreen Drift (held at a familiar venue of Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA). Evergreen Drift plays host to the Northwest Grassroots Championship series, and they are the only Formula DRIFT Pro-Am affiliate in the Northwest region. This is a great venue for drivers looking to move forward and earn a license to drift in organized racing series. Evergreen Drift also offers events for drivers of all levels, including beginners and first-timers, so don’t be shy!
California and Southwest
If you’re located in the Southern California area, Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside is one of the better-known places where drift enthusiasts of all levels converge to enjoy a little tire smoke. Every Thursday night, Adams hosts a drift event where you can bring out your ride and drift the course, or if you don’t have a car suitable for drifting just yet, you can ride along to experience the thrill firsthand. With loose tech requirements, nearly any RWD car in proper functioning condition is allowed to partake at Adams Motorsports Park. Don’t forget to bring your helmet!
Drifting is sweet, so take it off the streets and hit a track day!
Willow Springs International Raceway (located about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles) is a diverse racing complex, and the guys who organize JustDrift do a great job of utilizing the many courses available at the facility. JustDrift caters to each level of driving experience, from the super advanced all the way to beginners. The group’s DriftClinic driving school is a great way to get your feet wet if you’re new to drifting, or if you just want some tips from a more experienced driver than yourself. With roughly one event held each month, you’ll never have to wait too long to get out there and burn some rubber.
In the hot and dry desert heat of Las Vegas, there’s plenty of drift action to be had with the Vegas Drift organization. Held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (a familiar venue for Formula DRIFT followers), Vegas Drift offers events about once a month throughout the year, catering to all levels of drivers. The Formula DRIFT Pro-Am circuit also has a stop in Vegas, so that’s worth mentioning for the more serious drifting prospects in the crowd.
Texas and Southeast
The Lone Star State is home to a massive drift following, so naturally it’s not too difficult to find a good drift day in any of the major cities. Fabricated Motorsports is one of the larger grassroots drift organizing bodies, and they offer events in each of the major Texas cities at various times throughout the year. This group also caters to new drifters, so don’t be afraid to show up and give it a go. There are instructors on hand to help!
If you’re close to the Houston area, make sure to check out houston240sx.com for more info about the local drift scene and specific events, and for a close look at the Texas motorsports and car culture in general, head over to the maydaygarage.com website and poke around for a while. John and his guys have a close ear to the Houston scene (and all things automotive), and plenty of good information can be found on their site about upcoming drift events.
Florida and Georgia play host to many excellent drift days as well. Each year since its inception, Formula DRIFT makes a stop at the famed Road Atlanta racetrack, and this year the series added Palm Springs International Raceway to the schedule. Each of these venues hosts a Pro-Am competition, which is a great way to get some exposure and experience driving against a bit of a more competitive crowd. Central Florida Racing Complex (CFRC) in Orlando is also well known for the drift days held at this track, which are geared more toward the HPDE type of driver than a competitive racing environment.
Mid-Atlantic and East Coast
In West Virginia, Drift Nirvana hosts a series of great track days at Summit Point Motorsports Park. With several track configurations and a schedule of roughly four events per year, this is a good series for the drifter who isn’t a novice but may not be in the position to fully dedicate an entire year to competing professionally across the country.
Drift Indy is a group that has been putting on drift events since 2005, and the caliber of drivers just keeps going higher and higher with the recent addition of several
The tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania has a very large drift community, so naturally there are track days aplenty. Club Loose is one of the larger organizers on the East Coast, with its schedule in 2012 expected to cover more than 20 chances to test the limits of grip at either Englishtown Raceway Park in New Jersey or Beaverun Motorsports Complex in Pennsylvania. Make sure your car is up to a proper reasonable condition, bring a helmet and make sure your onboard humor sensor is functioning properly before heading out to a Club Loose event. Drifting is serious business!
For a more serious Pro-Am competition experience, Hold The Line is an organization that offers a great way to enter the realm of serious drift racing. With events scheduled throughout the season at both Englishtown Raceway in Old Bride, NJ, and Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, NY, drivers in the HTL series can expect to be up against some of the best amateur drifters in the Northeast. HTL is also authorized to hand out Formula DRIFT licenses to the series’ top finishing drivers, step your game up and see if you can make the cut!
Message forums play a huge part in the role of automotive enthusiasts these days, and drifting fans are lucky because there’s no shortage of online resources for local drift events. Check out slideny.com and lookoutdrift.com for a chance to see upcoming events in your area, and chat with other drift fans about technique, style, technical discussions and whatever else tickles your fancy.
For drifters in the Midwest region of the U.S., there are a number of ways to get out there and have some fun on track. Drift Indy is a group that has been putting on drift events since 2005, and the caliber of drivers just keeps going higher and higher with the recent addition of several licensed Formula DRIFT drivers to the ranks. In 2011, the group hosted a season of six events at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in conjunction with Midwest Drift Union. These events are geared toward intermediate to advanced drivers, but ride-alongs are allowed for those thrill seekers who aren’t quite up to the task of competing themselves.
So there you have it, a short list that merely scratches the surface of the drift day possibilities that exist across the U.S. Don’t be afraid to log on and email the guys who run any of these organizations — they’re all drift lovers and want to help get as many people excited about drifting as they are. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and stay sideways!