28th Sep2018

This is The End: A Farewell to RMR

by Michael Chandler

It’s always weird when an institution closes.  Be it the neighborhood restaurant, or a store you’ve been going to all your life, or the school you and your friends and all your older siblings went to, it never feels quite right when a place like that closes.  The same can be said for Rocky Mountain Raceways, which held its last Midnight Drags and Salt City Drift event last weekend.  What makes this weirder for me is I have a love/hate relationship with it.

Well… had.  I hated that it was always such a production to get in to.  Getting my wristband was never an issue.  Jordan or OP always made sure I was on the volunteer list for the drift events, and the ladies in the ticket office were always easy to work with.  It was everyone else that made it a pain.  Actually, it was pretty much just the people at the paddock gate.  It was always fun having them tell me to go to tech, even though I told them several times that I wasn’t drag racing.  Or them stopping me at the gate, and holding me there while other drivers went in, and keeping me there until they were good and ready to let me in.  Such good, infuriating times that made me wish for the coming destruction to come sooner.


But once I got in, it was a different story.  Inside is where all my friends would be.  Old friends, new friends, friends who don’t quite know my name but know who I am.  And they’d be everywhere: stands, drift paddock, and in the drag paddock.  I would see guys I haven’t seen since the Utah Hondas days.  It was great!  I loved seeing everyone, and RMR was the place.  But now it’s counting down its final days, and I’m getting sad thinking about it.

And it’s sad on a whole other level, because there is an epidemic of small ovals and drag strips across the country being torn down.  The reasons are many, but the result is the same: a link to a bygone era of racing heritage and history is being demolished.  Racing legends like Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Tony Stewart, Al Unser (Big and Little), Alan Kulwicki, and so many more got their starts on tracks like RMR.  With them still standing, we could get a glimpse into the early stages of the careers of these giants.  But now we’ve got stories told by the people themselves on another free podcast.  It’s like seeing your childhood home torn down, or the first place you ever worked becoming a parking lot: you’ll always have the memories, but something is still missing.

There’s a poem by Jim Harrison called “Larson’s Holstein Bull”.  It’s my favorite poem, but that’s not saying too much because I don’t know a lot of poetry.  I think it’s fitting in this instance.

Death waits inside us for a door to open.
Death is patient as a dead cat.
Death is a doorknob made of flesh.
Death is that angelic farm girl
gored by the bull on her way home
from school, crossing the pasture
for a shortcut. In the seventh grade
she couldn’t read or write. She wasn’t a virgin.
She was “simpleminded,” we all said.
It was May, a time of lilacs and shooting stars.
She’s lived in my memory for sixty years.
Death steals everything except our stories.

That last line has always stuck with me, because it’s one of the truest things I’ve ever heard.  Places will close, and become something else.  Buildings will be torn down, and new ones built in their place.  People will leave us, as quickly as they joined us sometimes.  Things will change, but we’ll always be able to look back on what was.  For better or worse, we’ll always have the memories and the stories.  And for the time being, we’ll have the people.

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18th May2018

And So It Began: Salt City Drift

by Michael Chandler

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It’s that glorious time of the year: the time where people are scrambling for cheap tires, random KA parts, and whatever else they need to get their buckets out for some legal drifting!  Yes, the Salt City Drift season is on!  And the first event, despite being kinda chilly and rather breezy, was pretty cool.  Let’s discuss why it was cool, and why you should’ve made it out to RMR.

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First, you got to see some stuff out ripping.  Live, and in person.  Stuff like Scott’s twin turbo, LS powered S13, David’s E36, and Josh’s LS E46.  Scott and David ended their days with issues, but Josh kept smoking the place out.

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HUGS!

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Sweet souvenirs for some lucky fans/media people.

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You could’ve seen friend of the program, partner in Vxii Lifestyle, driving coach, and racing driver James Burke try his hand at drifting!

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Unsurprisingly, he’s not half bad at it.  And that’s just some of what you missed!  Check out the gallery to see the rest of the stuff you missed.  

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08th Jun2017

Back in the Bowl: Salt City Drift Round 2

by Michael Chandler

I went and did some drifty stuff in the middle of the Porsche GT3 Cup madness.  Friday night the Salt City Drift folks got together at RMR, and slid the bowl with varying levels of success.  There was a competition, but I bailed long before that went down.  Anyway, here’s a gallery

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11th Aug2016

Salt City Drift Round 5: Where The Cool Kids Were

by Michael Chandler

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With the Take Luck guys in Reno for Bash To The Future Hot August Nights, the event seemed to be light on excitement.  That was wrong, it turned out to be a killer event!

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As is tradition, there was a contest.  Coming in third was Hayden Cambell in his E30.  Not a bad outing.

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Derrick Lopez, who needs a nickname, slid into second place.  Seriously, I’m tempted to call him The House Cat because most of the time he’s just hanging out and being chill, but when he gets on track he goes nuts.

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And taking home the win, looking like Formula D a few years ago with all them GoPros on his car, was Nick Nengas!  Despite being on his last set of tires for hours, he drove his ass off and got the win.

Enough talk!  Gall

Well, before we get to the gallery I have to tell you about a spooky moment that happened during the competition.  There aren’t a lot of hard barriers to hide behind in the infield of RMR, but there are a ton of hold Hoosiers.  Those Hoosiers came into play…

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Joshten Teuscher came in a little too hot, scared the crap out of me, and got high centered on some of the afore mentioned tires.  This is where things got interesting.

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He was really on there, with most of the tires stuck under the rear half of the car.  So guess which end the safety crew lifted?

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Shocking…

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Chase Garrett hopped in to help try and pull the tires out, but they weren’t coming out that way.

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Hope was fleeting, but then: AN IDEA!

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SUCCESS!!!

Ok, now it’s gallery time:

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08th Aug2016

Coming This Week: Actual Content!

by Michael Chandler

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YES!  After… However long it has been, there will be some new content!  Specifically coverage of some killer events.  On Saturday we had NASA Utah racing, where we saw Tom Kaminski debut his new, HKS inspired livery.

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On Friday night the Salt City Drift season soldiered on, and we saw David Curtis break out his Corolla.

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And on Saturday night we had the Utah 6 Hour, a Western Endurance Racing Championship race that ran deep into the night.  Makes & Models pitted their Super Trofeo Huracan, a car that normally runs sprint races, against the field and the clock.

We’ve got a ton of coverage of all of those events coming up this week!  KEEP YOUR INTERNET BOX POINTED IN OUR DIRECTION!

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06th Jun2016

Salt City Drift Round 1: It Didn’t Rain!

by Michael Chandler

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Yes!  It actually happened!  There was an organized, legal drift event that went off without fear of rain!  And it was a solid six-ish hours (drivers meetings, loading and unloading of cars, and so forth) of driving!  Of course local hero Brandon Wicknick was there!  And so was Nick Stucky!  Although his banana mobile decided it wanted to plantain.  And Derrick Lopez came out, in an SR20 powered S13 hatchback, that was a lot like Brandon’s.  Just more pedestrian in the looks department.

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Scott Bradshaw and Dane Seering were out in LS powered S13 coupes.  Scott went with a bass boat theme, while Dane went with a general death and destruction vibe.

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We had some friends come up from Southern Utah, and they taught us some valuable lessons: You can link the whole track if you have a twin cam KA in your 240 and have enough lights, and a stock E46 M3 is ready to party as soon as you pull the right fuses.  It wasn’t just a drift event, it was a learning experience.

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Speaking of learning, there were a lot of new faces out there!  It was good to see some guys who weren’t afraid to go out, suck out loud, and seek out answers as to why they suck, from people who don’t.  That’s how you learn kiddies: go, do, suck,, figure out why you sucked, go again, do again, suck a little less.  I hope we see these guys out again, because by the end of the night they made some progress in the right direction!

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We also had our first contest!  Blaize Potts, in his KA24DE powered S13 coupe, finished in first.  Nick Nengas in a virtually stock 350Z finished in second.  Third place was occupied by Hayden Campbell in his E30 BMW.  This wasn’t just a contest for the sake of having a contest.  There are season long stakes on the line!  Whoever has the most points at the end of the season wins a roll cage, or possibly a set of wheels.  Not bad for coming out and sliding with your buddies!

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The next event is June 18th, out at Utah Motorsports Campus.  This is a daytime event, running from 9am until 5pm.  There’s a mandatory lunch break, so you won’t miss out on any driving because you want a burger.  We hope to see all of these (mostly) smiling faces, along with yours out there!

YOU THINK YOU WOULDN’T GET SOME BONUSES?

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03rd Jun2016

We’re Drifting TONIGHT!!!

by Michael Chandler

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YYYEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!  It’s finally happening!  From 5pm until midnight, see local heroes, Scoundrels, some Not Very Good guys, and whoever else shows up slide around the bowl at Rocky Mountain Raceways.  It’s gonna be a hell of a time, and you should come out to it.

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Originally I had planned on writing a long post about how you can’t set out to create an underground scene, and that something can’t be underground if you create a public Facebook event for it, then invite a ton of people to said “underground” event.  And I was going to say something about how the street scene, for better or worse, will never die.  And in a way, it shouldn’t.  I was also going to throw out a “Golden Ticket”, but I didn’t work out the logistics and I have a sneaking suspicion that whoever’s car wouldn’t pass tech.  Such is life in the mean streets.  But instead of an 800+ word column, you get this sub 300 word invite to come join us tonight!

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Who knows?  You might come away with an awesome prize!*  To review: Tonight, Rocky Mountain Raceways, 5PM until Midnight, in the oval.  Be there, you babies.

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*You’re not getting a damn bumper, or any big car parts.

11th May2016

Looking Forward To The Next One

by Michael Chandler

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Well, there WAS supposed to be drifting on May 6th, but Mother Nature had different plans.  The event WAS going to be rescheduled, but there were scheduling conflicts.  So, if you want to get your drift fix, plan on coming to Rocky Mountain Raceways on June 3rd!

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04th May2016

We’re Drifting This Friday!

by Michael Chandler

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DRIFTING IN A LEGAL* SENSE IS BACK THIS FRIDAY!!!  From 5PM to Midnight (gasp!) the Salt City Drift guys and girls and other pronouns will be kicking off their season in the bowl at Rocky Mountain Raceways!  There will be solo runs, and tandem!  And a competition!  Yes, I said competition.

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See local heroes take solo and tandem runs, all while trying to get their hands on that sweet sponsor money.  Who is that sponsor?  O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.  How much money?  A $100 gift card.  When is this happening?  Around 10pm.

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That’s not a bad way to start a season.  Come on out, enjoy some drifting!  It’ll be fun!

 

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**I say legal, because I know what kind of hooligans some of you are.  Just a friendly reminder: being a renegade in the streets is acceptable for skateboarding, but not for drifting.  Don’t street drift, and we won’t make fun of you when you mess up your car after learning a valuable, albeit hard, lesson.
04th Apr2016

Salt City Drift Schedule

by Michael Chandler

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We’re about a month away from the first Salt City Drift event of the series.  AREN’T YOU EXCITED?!?!?!?!?  Here’s the full schedule, and pricing.  The events at UMC run 9AM until 5PM, with a mandatory lunch break.  The Rocky Mountain Raceway events are running 5pm until MIDNIGHT!  That’s not a bad gig.  Need more info?  Go check out their Facebook page, that’s where all the relevant information gets posted.  We hope to see you out at some of these events!

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