LS Fest Texas 2024: Drift Challenge

05/18/2024

LS Fest Texas 2024: Drift Challenge

05/18/2024

At the heart of Texas Motor Speedway, amid the thunderous roar of engines and the smell of burning rubber, the LS Fest Texas Drift Challenge takes center stage as the only engine-specific drift competition in the world. Drawing talented drivers from far and wide, this adrenaline-fueled event is a highlight of the Holley LS Fest Texas weekend. The top three finishers of the LS Fest Texas Drift Challenge are awarded over $2,500 in cash, along with exclusive Grip Royal Trophy Steering Wheels and a host of other prizes. Additionally, judges select two Spirit of Drift winners, recognizing drivers who embody the spirit of the sport with additional prizes.

Tight Competition and Thrilling Laps

The Drift Challenge at LS Fest Texas fielded close to 30 cars, all hungry for the weekend’s top spot. Some of the area’s best and most talented drivers showed up and really showed off. Friday afternoon practice went off without a hitch as drivers got to know the course and familiarized themselves with the criteria set by Drift Challenge judges Pat Goodin, Zach Polof, and Dustin Millard. The road course at Texas Motor Speedway yields some of the nation’s highest sustained speeds in Drifting, so there was plenty of excitement in store to match the close competition.


As the sun set Friday night, drivers prepared for qualifying. Each competitor was given two consecutive solo laps to score as many points as possible. The top three spots were locked in by Texas locals Jake Wise (1st place) and Josh McGuire (2nd place) followed closely by Jack Davis in 3rd place. The stage was set for Saturday’s main competition. The drivers were given one more practice session to dial in their tandem strategies before that evening’s competition. Some were testing changes made to their cars in an attempt to get an edge on their opponents, while others took the time to improve areas they lacked in the night before.


The Drift Challenge Top 32 Competition started off with a parade lap around the road course as drivers put some heat in their tires and engines. The first battle lined up immediately and we were off. Competition really heated up in the Top 8, starting with an S-chassis showdown between Texas locals Jake Wise and Max Fuerst. Both drivers and cars were dialed-in, but it was Wise who showed dominance and was awarded the win. Florida native Ryan Acevedo in his 350Z and Bowling Green’s own Scott Davis in his New Edge Mustang faced off in the second battle of the Top 8. After some contact in the first battle and a One More Time, Acevedo got the win.


Jack Davis defeated Luis Lanz, and Derek Carter defeated Mike Phillips to secure their spots in the Final 4. But Final 4 was no light work for any of the remaining competitors. Jake Wise’s repeated near-perfect laps were just a little too consistent for Ryan Acevedo, sending Jake to the Finals and Ryan to fight for 3rd place against Derek Carter who was defeated by Jack Davis. Both competing at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time, Ryan Acevedo was able to edge out Derek Carter, securing 3rd place.


The Finals were nothing short of jaw-dropping. First-place qualifier Jake Wise has done more laps at Texas Motor Speedway than probably anyone else there that weekend, but Jack Davis has the machine and the mentality sharpened by his time in Formula D. While both drivers showed a lot of similarities in their laps, their setups and driving styles were very different.


As he’d done all weekend, Jake Wise checked every box the judges required and even sprinkled on a healthy dose of style. But even with the speed and aggression shown in Wise’s laps, Jack Davis couldn’t be shaken. After initiation, Jack regained ground on Jake’s rear bumper and stayed there to the finish line. Once the drivers swapped positions, it was Jake Wise’s turn to follow Jack Davis. Both drivers knew how hard they had to drive and neither of them left an ounce on the track.


After much careful deliberation, Jake Wise’s insane proximity and consistency was undeniable, and he was awarded the win. The entire Holley Drift Team agreed this was one of the best and most exciting Finals in LS Fest history.


The Holley Drift Team thanks Michigan Motorsports, Kansei Wheels, Grip Royal, Fortune Auto, and Simpson Race Products for supporting the Drift Challenge at LS Fest Texas.

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