Round 2 – Top Drift ProAM

Knapik Racing

Round 2 of Top Drift was this past weekend and I am happy to say that the team and the car performed great with no major issues. We went into this event a little low on tires so we kept the practice to a minimum so that we would insure we would have enough tires to compete the following day.

The next day during qualifying would prove to be the most oil spills I’ve even seen at a day at the track. Before our qualifying, 2 cars would have issues and spilled oil on almost the entire judged section of Horse Thief Mile, and right after we finished our 2 qualifying runs, one more car would finish off the remainder of the track, laying down even more oil. The Just Drift crew did a great job cleaning it up to the best of their ability, but all that time spent cleaning would push the event schedule back about 2 and a half hours unfortunately.

For the first qualifying lap I went out and put down a good clean run that felt promising to put us into the show. With one under our belt I figured I could push a littler harder. Turned out I would push a little too hard and put two wheels off, zeroing out the second run.

The first run would put us in the 3rd qualifying spot and pair us up against Brian Page-Howell and his convertible E36. My lead run felt smooth and consistent and I was able to pull away from him as the course went on. I knew it would come down to the chase run, so I did my best to stick to his door the entire run. This all would play to our favor and we where awarded the win.

For the Great 8 we would be facing Alex Grimm in his clean LS powered Datsun s30. Alex had been consistent all weekend so I was confident we could have a good clean battle. After the smoke had settle the judges had awarded us the win and we would now move onto the top 4.

After the run I had noticed that my wheel would shake while going straight. Later we found out both inner tie rods had been worn out and each had about 1/4 of an inch play, and our off-set rack spacers where both loose.  For the Top 4 I was paired up against my very good friend Jason Kim. I love driving against friends in competitions because it just feels like 2 friends having a blast drifting.

On my lead run the worn/loose parts would rear their ugly head as it would cause the front wheels to wobble and over extend the rack when at full lock. This forced me to straighten the wheel while in drift, which is a major dejection in the Top Drift series. I knew I would basically have to rub Jason’s door the entire way to try and make up for the mistake. I did my best and kept good proximity but it was not enough to sway the judges or phase Jason.

With that lose we would now be paired up against Domenic Rotondo in his LS3 S13 for the 3rd place spot. We had a very close battle that I thought would result in a One More Time, but Dom would walk away with the victory this time.
We finished 4th overall, taking home great points for the series!

See you guys at Round 3 on July 16, 2016 at Willow Springs Oval!

Photo by David Karey @

Written by Adam Knapik

NewsColin McAlpine