2013 NST Anniversary Car Show & Drift Competition Recap
Brendan Hunyadi says he wasn’t screaming while experiencing his first ride-a-long in Ross Le’s Army green 280Z at the 2013 NST Anniversary drift event held at Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Texas, Sunday, March 24.
“He is calm and I’m not screaming, but I’m like ‘we’re going really quick and completely sideways’,” he said. “When we were done he asked me what I thought and I was like, ‘that was amazing.’”
Hunyadi is a prime example of what this event is really all about.
“It gives us something to do not on the streets to have fun, and something that we want to do and just not hurt anyone else on the road, but it’s fun they open it up to us and let us all out.”
After learning on figure eights and circles, Hunyadi said this was his favorite part of the event to actually be able to go drift at high speed. It’s his first NST event and it won’t be his last.
“I love it. I’m coming to round two,” he said. “My dad and I are already looking for a drift car.”
A little cold weather couldn’t scare off the dedicated crowd celebrating 8 years of nonstop support for people like Hunyadi and Le from the Non Stop Tuning Drift team that has traveled nationwide and invested both time and money into the grassroots sport.
“We’ve hosted several large grassroots events over the past few years and our drift team has competed in many others,” NST President Mike Rahimi said.“This event set all sorts of records; online RSVPs, spectator turnout, vendor support, drifter and car show registration, even media groups/personnel,” Rahimi said.
Fabricated Motor Sports owner Aaron Losey said from the turnout to the competition the event was a success.
“The event went amazing,” Losey said. “I had a great time. It was probably our largest turnout ever. Everyone had a great time. The competition was awesome. We had a lot of people come from out of town.”
To reward the drivers, the top four drift participants received cash prizes from NST.
Those winners included: Alex Riser, Nissan 240SX, $400; Nacho Mendoza, Nissan 240SX, $300; Dewayne Ramsey, Toyota Cressida, $200; and Tim Koenning, Lexus SC300, $100.
“I can’t believe I just won cash for drifting, “ Alex Riser said upon receiving his award.
But the drivers weren’t the only one’s receiving attention from the sponsors and crowd.
Creative owners and participants of the Anniversary event’s car show were also recognized in as many as 25 classes with raffles and certificates, such as Best in Show winner Bryan Bui for his Turbo Honda CR-Z and Staff Favorite, Thai Ngo with his Infiniti G20.
“The Car Show turnout was the largest we’ve ever had at an NST event,” Rahimi said. “This is a reflection of all the hard work our staff has put in over the years, the unique way we go about administering these shows which keeps people coming back, and the fun energy and atmosphere at these events. It was amazing to see so many people being so excited about our event.”
However, the success of the anniversary event did not come without challenges.
“Competitions sometimes become really stressful,” Losey said. “I like these events to be as fun as possible, so I feel bad for the judges and everybody else that has to work in a stressful position, but everybody did an amazing job and we had a blast.”
With NST drivers having moved to the pro ranks of Formula Drift (Chelsea DeNofa 2012, Will Parsons & Joshua Steele 2013) NST has no drivers competing in the local series at the start of this season. However, Rahimi said NST will continue to support the local series because of their longtime commitment to grassroots drivers and the local community.
“We will continue to host and promote events because we want to see the next crop of local talent grow and emerge,” Rahimi said. These younger drivers are advancing at an amazingly fast rate and we want to be involved with their efforts moving forward. We will continue to promote the local series, host events, and offer prize money for these drivers.”
It is a bitter sweet reality for the local series.
“Each year the circuit loses a few good drivers, but we keep replacing them with new people which is really fun,” Losey said. “That means we constantly have to train a new crop of drivers which is really difficult because as our drivers finally get really good—they move on.”
NST has its roots in import drag racing, in the late 90s and early 2000s, and has been involved with organized drifting in Texas since the sport surfaced in the early 2000s.
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in the last ten years or so,” Rahimi said. “Since 2005, NST has dedicated more money towards the promotion and support of local drivers than all other TX companies combined, and has supported more drivers transitions to the pro ranks, than any other team or company.
NST is the only company to have had driver representation in FD Pro-AM, D1GP USA, XDC, and Formula Drift, and we are very proud of that accomplishment.”
While NST has provided support over the years, they have not set the foundation alone. Sponsors of this event included: NonStopTuning, Gasoline Energy Drink, 86motoring, Mona Tshirt, Underground GRFX, Happy Teahouse, SSA Race Technologies, CMS Performance, Premium Car Wraps, DJ MIK ONE, Fabricated Motorsports, and Lone Star Drift.
Houston local speed shop CMS Performance shared their insight on the event.
“Glad to see everyone out here supporting the cause,” Leo Cruz, CMS Owner, said. “That’s what we are out here to do so that the drivers can keep doing what they do. It’s basically a lifestyle so keep going with it.”
While CMS has a team the owner says the shop is all about the customer and supporting the scene from discounted parts to freebies.
“These guys work on these cars, we help them, they help themselves, get out and do it here on a controlled course,” Cruz said.
Having been more heavily involved in the last couple years, Cruz has witnessed the purpose, investment and progress in the sport.
“You just got to come out,” he said. “You either like the sport, you like to support the cause, or you’re actually going to be in the sport.”
“It’s going to keep growing and it’s growing immensely, it’s not going to go anywhere, it is going to stay here and it keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Cruz said.
Words & Photos – Guest Blogger – Meagan Ellsworth
NST – NonStopTuning
Posted on April 1, 2013, in Guest Blogger, Motorsports, NonStopTuning, NonStopTuning Media and tagged 2013 NST Anniversary, Alexander Riser S13, BMW Drift, Brad Burnett, Dewayne Ramsey Cressida, Joshua Steele S13, Lexus Drift, Lone Star Drift 2013, Mario Gomez 350Z, Meagan Ellsworth, NST Car Show, NST Drift Team, Texas Drifting, Tim Koenning, Toyota Drift, Will Parsons AE86. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.