My weekend was a bit out of the ordinary as I spent the majority of Saturday traveling around sharp turns in a sideways car. I met up with some relatives in Nashville expecting to watch my cousin’s drifting event, but never expecting to spend all day in a passenger seat on the track!
The event was held at Nashville Superspeedway. It’s a beautiful track, but unfortunately it has closed down and is now being sold. Here’s a view of the bleachers from victory lane in the center of the track.
It was pretty awesome attending a “private” event at the track because spectators were free to roam around anywhere. I could’ve waltzed right onto the track if I had a death wish, but I stayed in the center and around the pits like the responsible photographer I am. I thought this view in particular was pretty unique.
My cousin started the day with 14 tires. They were used tires, but that’s still a shit ton of tires. By the afternoon, this is what was left of them.
My first ride with my cousin lasted about 6 laps, aka the number of laps that the rear tires can survive. I wore a super stylish helmet and was so thankful as it banged against the roll cage repeatedly. While spinning out is not a good thing in drifting, it happens relatively frequently and was one of my favorite parts. I think the extra notch of adrenaline is what does it.
A bit later I rode with his friend who was driving a convertible Mazda Miata. We followed closely behind my cousin and grandma in front of us, and after a few laps we had rubber from their tires flying into our convertible. I rode with him 2 more times throughout the day and loved every minute of it. I suppose the smoke from burning rubber, the dirt from catching the edge of the grass, and the smell of burnt rubber that permeated every article of clothing wasn’t exactly my favorite, but it was still worth it.
I have decided that drifting is better than any rollercoaster I’ve been on. It’s a similar rush of adrenaline without the stomach dropping plummets or hours of waiting in line. The suspense of “are we about to spin into that wall” or “did we just shoot gravel onto the entire crowd?” or “will this tire actually get us back to the pits?” was absolutely thrilling. I mean, just look at this tire.
There was a wide variety of cars at the event. Some drivers seemed like amateurs, while others you could tell were experienced. Some cars had wraps and sponsors, while others looked like my cousin’s pile of junk.
There was time allotted for a scored competition, where drivers are scored on how closely they follow the car in front of them, the length of their drifts, the line they take around the corners, their style and a few other points. Other than the competition the day was just a free-for-all.
I guess the moral of this story is that if you ever have the opportunity to go drifting, please take it. If my 81 year old grandma can do it, then so can you! Here’s a video of the event with some great aerial footage (including a clip of grandma’s ride at 2:54).
Photos taken at Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tennessee
Please contact vbrayer12[at]gmail.com for permission to use photos