Every year, Xenia, OH's Kil-kare Raceway becomes home to 150 plus drift cars, some crazy-good food trucks, a super wholesome hot dog eating contest (100% free of any innuendos) and a couple thousand folks paying to watch some cool-looking cars drive sideways around the track.
It's always tricky explaining the appeal of drifting to people unfamiliar with the motorsport. Sometimes the ol' skateboarding comparison does the trick. Sure, some people skate to compete and have the end goal of doing so professionally, but the vast majority of skateboarders do it because it's cool as hell to throw yourself down a set of stairs with your friends.
Shredding tires, making smoke and banging doors with your buddies is, at the end of the day, what drifting is about for most people.
No Star Bash embraces those vibes and turns them up to 11.
Getting to watch trains of 15 or 16 cars ripping through the inner section of the track from the comfort of a camping chair under the media tent is a pretty special experience. It's pretty damn hard to fit that many cars in a photo, so after I've snagged some pics of the closest cars of the trains a few times, it's nice to just relax and absorb the waves of tire smoke and dust. It'll be really interesting to see what the medical implications of inhaling bits of rubber for 8 hours a day, 8 or 9 times a year for several years in a row are.
Anyways, it's worth it to see some of the best drifting in the midwest.
I can say with confidence that each of the three driver groups had some absolute rippers. Plenty of C group dudes got bumped up to B, and I reckon even the ones that didn't still got to turn enough laps to improve.
Coming off Street League Volume 7 and the introduction of the Teams competition, it was dope to see a couple teams of matching cars throwing down trains. Watching Team Smooth Brain chasing the members of Bobby's Crew that made it out with Clint Stotts' backie-scarred Miata mixed in just got me that much more excited for the next DISL volume.
Looks bonked, still rips.
NSB has the unique ability to draw back some Drift Indy OGs, both on the driver list and the media list. Watching CMJ putting it on Mike Feiock's E60 through the whole track was cool as hell, and having photographers like Nick Quigley, Jason Carroll and Mario Johnston out in the infield is always a good time. Listening to them and some of the Drift Indy staff reminiscing about the old days is a damn good lesson in the history of drifting.
OGs doing OG things
Kole Grove's 86 is always a fun spot.
I was a little disappointed not to see that Volvo wagon out there for longer, but it was super dope while it lasted. The grid really ran the gambit from absolutely clapped s-chassis to an E90 M3 and about every color of Miata you can imagine.
Of course, I can't not mention Matt Haugen at least briefly. It's admittedly a lot of fun to clown on Youtube dudes, but Matt was an all-around really chill, nice guy. His R34 ripped, even tuned down to about two-thirds' power. He mentioned he might bring something a little more missile-y next year so he can spend more time out turning laps.
Have you ever had a pupusa? It's like a cornmeal pancake full of cheese and veggies and meat and stuff and they SLAP. It's also the national dish of El Salvador, so stick that in your random trivia brain folder.
I wish I'd taken a picture of mine but I ate them too fast and forgot to take one. Pupusas and the mac and cheese from Bullard's Badass BBQ were easily the highlights of the food trucks for me. They surround the party tent and are just another part of what makes NSB so damn special every year. If I wasn't so full of El Salvadorian food and mac and cheese all the time I would've gotten some funnel cake, too. It smelled bomb.
Finally, what can I say about the Roller Dog Championship? Supposedly the final RDC, this year's competition did not disappoint. Reportedly the 'dogs were exceptionally big this year and that threw a couple of the competitors off their game.
Equal parts nauseating and enthralling, the first round felt pretty tight. Strong performances of 5 whole hotdogs eaten from both perennial RDC competitor Alex Dane and young newcomer Seth St. Myers resulted in a tie breaker. First to down two more 'dogs got to take home the belt and $500 of cold, hard cash.
Seeing Alex Dane mini puke, catch it in his hand and throw said puke on the ground was rough. Seth managed to power through for the win, even with a human meat fountain a foot or two away from him.