July 5, 2020

Why Isn’t Drifting in the X Games?

Lexus SC430 Drift car

This weekend was full of motorsports fun.  We had F1 in Montreal, Indy at Texas Motor Speedway, Formula D in Orlando, the Isle of Man TT, and the grab bag of motorsports that is the X Games.  I watched the Formula 1 race, and I caught enough of the Formula D competition to enjoy it.  And I also watched a healthy chunk of the Super Trucks and what they call “RallyCar Racing” at the X Games, which was held at Circuit of the Americas near Austin, TX.  The trucks and the rally cars are cool, and I didn’t know this until I saw a In Review video, but they have flat track motorcycle racing now!  All awesome events, but I couldn’t help but ask myself one thing: why isn’t there drifting at the X Games?

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (39 of 56)Think about it, it’s a perfect fit for the X Games: it’s visually appealing, the drivers are approachable.  I’d bet you couldn’t distinguish between a crowd at a Formula D event and one at the X Games.  It would be a perfect fit, and the drift crowd would definitely stick around for a lot of the other events.  BMX, skateboarding, motocross are all part time hobbies for a lot of drift enthusiasts.  And this goes without saying: everyone loves seeing trucks jump around.  And yet here we are, no X Games drifting.  And I still don’t know why…

SaltCityDriftRD1MidwayMichaelChandlerCAM-27

It’s not like there’s a lack of talent, or spectators.  Specifically in Texas, the stop at Texas Motor Speedway packs them in.  Maybe Formula D has a hang up with it?  The X Games this year were on the same weekend as round 3 of the Formula D season, but what if one or the other moved?  Formula D could still have its stop, and the X Games could have one of the more visually enticing motorsports that’s right in their wheel house.  Demographically speaking of course. The X Games drifting doesn’t have to have the full complement of drivers a normal Formula D event has.  Instead of a qualifying field that has to be whittled down to 32, they could just invite 8 or 16 drivers, set up the matches in a random draw and have them go to town.

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 1 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (11 of 84)

The X Games would get another fantastic event to throw into their massive event, and drifting would be seen by a far larger audience.  Everybody wins!  Well, probably.  I’m sure the reasons are deeper than the few I’ve thrown out just now.  Do you have any ideas?

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Michael Chandler

Director of Photography, writer, man about town and owner of Big Ronda, the Mk3 Toyota Supra project

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