IRWINDALE, Calif. (Aug. 31, 2006) — Competitive drifting will get a high-profile boost tonight when a handful of top NASCAR drivers takes on eight elite drifting regulars at the Mopar D1 All-Star Duel at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California.
The charity event, which will pit NASCAR regulars like Kasey Kahne, Bill Elliott, Greg Biffle, Robby Gordon and Casey Mears against top-line Formula Drift competitors, is organized by ShiftIntoGear Inc., a Mooresville, N.C.-based motorsports industry training institute. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Kasey Kahne Foundation, which donates funds to charitable organizations that care for chronically ill children and their families.
“I grew up racing sideways around dirt tracks in an 800 horsepower sprint car,” said Mr. Kahne, who has four victories this year in NASCAR Nextel Cup competition driving for Evernham Motorpsorts.
“This is going to be a lot different, but I am excited and ready for the challenge. Drifting looks like so much fun and my NASCAR buddies are jumping at the opportunity to whip some of these cars around.”
Among the drifting regulars competing will be 2005 Formula Drift Champion and 2006 series' point leader Rhys Millen, who is sponsored by Bridgestone/Firestone, and 2005 D1 Grand Prix Champion Yasuyuki Kazama, who competes on Bridgestones.
The events scheduled include a D1 All-Star match race, a NASCAR vs. D1 tire-smoking competition, and a D1 tandem drift, with all eight participating D1 drivers drifting simultaneously on the Irwindale course, the organizers said.
The NASCAR drivers will compete in cars supplied by D1.