One of the biggest drift events in the Midwest, No-Star Bash 2014 attracted over 50 drivers to Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis last weekend for two full days of drifting. There was a lot of rain, a lot of smoke and a few broken cars, but the spirit of drifting was on full display for everyone in attendance. More after the jump!
Foreboding skies had began spitting rain prior to the meeting of drivers Saturday morning, with the radar showing more green than clear for the track and surrounding areas.
Edgar Sarmiento, former head of Midwest Drift Union and Drift Indy, addressed the drivers and gave them the breakdown of what to expect and what was expected of them.
In 2012, rains stopped the first day of No-Star Bash (then held at USA International Raceway in Shawano, Wisconsin) early. This time, the rain didn’t stop anyone.
The track layout was almost identical to the one from when Midwest Drift Union held a competition on the Lucas Oil Raceway parking lot two years ago, which also marked Geoff Stoneback’s debut to the series.
The large puddles that accumulated at the horseshoe section of the course thanks to several holes and lack of uniformity in parking lot construction meant what drivers lacked in smoke production during the rainy sessions was made up with large splashes of water.
All of team Breaking was there, and often found in situations best described by the name of said team.
Bill Cook’s “drift taxi” GS300 was a huge hit, and Cook estimated he gave around 150 rides thanks to the ability to take three passengers at once.
“I love driving it,” Cook said. “Between screaming and laughing and giggling it was a quite ride range of reactions. I made about 50 runs and had three passengers every run, and I didn’t hit the track unless I had three other people in the car.”
By afternoon, the sun had burned through most of the clouds and dried everything out. The two run groups that had been established at the beginning of the day turned to just a steady flow of drivers lining up to make their runs.
Grid man George Hall kept the steady flow of cars going, and offered sound advice like “don’t be a bitch.”
Cook wasn’t the only one giving rides during the Bash. Nearly every car that lined up to the grid had a passenger, some seemingly less enthused than others.
Derek Bianski even took his grandma out for a run.
Jonathan Johnson’s FD RX-7 was a fantastic looking machine indeed.
The only car present that actually had an LS engine from the factory was this 4th-gen Camaro of Drew Meyer. It was also only his fourth drift event. Today is also July 4. That’s a lot of fours.
The beauty of an event like a bash is that it attract drivers from all skill levels, from inaugural Midwest Drift Union champion and former Formula D driver Mike Feiock…
…to guys like Jason Turner, who had never been to an event before No-Star. Like Cook, Turner and his 1UZ-powered Cressida is also a member of Team Oneway.
“It was awesome and I love it,” Turner said of his first event. “I had never driven the car before Wednesday. I screwed around all winter and never got it done. Iit fired for the first time less than a week ago. It was the only car of the team that still ran at the end. It’s a $500 car and $300 engine. I love it and drive it to work, fully insured and everything.”
By the time day two rolled around, the conditions were far more favorable for driving, as summed up by the look on the, uh, face of Smith’s Miata.
Jacob Vanderbilt’s AE86 was one of a handful of that platform which turned out for the event.
One of the others belonged to current Midwest Drift Union points leader, Brian Peter, who left his wickedly fast competition FC RX-7 at home in favor of a nearly stock Corolla.
Speaking of the FC, Dustin Siemaszek has had this FC for quite some time. If I’m not mistaken, Kris Hackenson used this car in competition for an MDU round in Nashville back in 2011 when his own car was down and out.
On the subject of competition, Cody Grim was an MDU regular for several years before disappearing from the circuit this year to take some time off.
“I spent a lot of money last year trying to drive competitions, and this year I want to get back into having fun with the guys,” Grim said. “I might throw in Road Atlanta because I’ve wanted to drive that for years, and Street Life Tour I have to drive because I’m a local. I really want to run Drifters of December if I can because it’s the best way to close out a season. I’m going to try my hardest but other than that you won’t see much of me this year.”
“(This was the) raddest weekend I’ve had yet, probably in the last two or three years,” Grim said. “Tons of drivers and a lot of new faces I’ve never seen before, and it seems that over the last couple years the driving has just escalated. The drivers are getting better and everybody’s building nicer cars and it’s ten times a better community than it used to be.”
There were three major accidents over the weekend, the most interesting of which happened Sunday when Kevin Szymanski parked his S14 on the k-rails.
I overheard him afterward saying that he knew he was headed straight for the wall and apologized for the impending impact to his passenger just before the collision.
But unlike the other two cars that crashed, Szymanski got the car patched up and headed back out on the track again, much to the applause of the crowd.
With that final crash taking a long time to rectify the k-rails due to the tow truck running over an electrical box on its way to the S14’s aid, a few more runs were completed and No-Star Bash 2014 drew to a close.
“I want to give thanks to all the staff that made it happen,” Sarmiento said. “Our partners at ClubFR, T.R. , Aaron, Jorge, all of the Drift Indy guys, George Hall, Mike Floyd our personal chef. Everything I wanted happened this weekend and I think everyone’s leaving with a smile. That was the most important thing. This is the first event for me I’ve really thrown this year. I wanted to bring the smiles and the real spirit of drifting into a lot of these guys and I think they’re leaving here remembering why they got into drifting in the first place. It was all out what drifting and our culture really is. We invited these spectators to come out and party with us and really see what this was about.”
As mentioned before, No-Star Bash was held in Wisconsin two years ago and last year was at Gateway in St. Louis, and Sarmiento said next year he’s not sure where it will be, but he wants to keep it a traveling show.
Wherever No-Star Bash is held next year, you can be certain we’ll be bringing you the coverage.