It was Team Falken’s veteran driver Darren McNamara’s night as he qualified first and then stood atop the podium as the winner of Formula Drift’s “Throwdown” at Evergreen Speedway, the legendary track outside Seattle.
Driving his Falken Tire Nissan 240SX, McNamara – “DMac” – knew he had the edge among the 53 entrants who gathered for Round Five. Teammates Justin Pawlak, in his Falken Tire Ford Mustang, qualified 7th, while Daijiro Yoshihara, in his Falken Tire/Discount Tire Subaru BRZ, sat in 16th. All three drivers advanced through the Top 32, and during the Top 16 Round, DMac was forced to defeat teammate Yoshihara, while Pawlak also moved ahead only to go down in the Top 8 at the hands of Dean Kearney. DMac continued onward, avenging Pawlak by defeating Kearney in the Finals.
It was the second overall win for DMac in Formula D and a welcome victory for both the driver and Team Falken, its first top place podium of the season.
“This is just an incredible win,” declared McNamara. “I’m so happy for the team and for Falken. It was just a perfect combination of tire, track and team tonight and that translated to just a tremendous amount of self-confidence. I really knew early on tonight was my night.”
Falken Tire has tasted victory at Evergreen Speedway previously, with Yoshihara taking the overall win in 2011 on his way to the Formula D championship that year. The AZENIS RT615K tires were up to the assignment again this year, providing DMac with the ultimate responsiveness he needed to record his victory, a role the tires also perform for their customers on the street.
With the win at Evergreen, DMac moves into 5th place in the 2014 Formula D Championship rankings, while Pawlak sits in 7th and Dai in 20th. Team Falken’s marketing operations hosted 84 dealer guests at the track.
The Formula Drift Championship will descend upon Ft. Worth, Texas, for Round 6: Showdown at Texas Motor Speedway on September 12-13. In 2013, the new track proved to be one of the fastest drift tracks on the circuit and technically demanding for tandem drifting.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.