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Friday Night Lights Drift Event
Calendar: Events Calendar
June 11th 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM
*The times shown may change, depending on DST settings
Where: Holly Sprints Motorsports, 159 Old Highway 7 S, Holly Springs, MS 38635

From the flyer and web site:

Pre-registration for this event is $75 if registered by June 4th. Registration is $100 the day of the event. There is a limit of 35 drivers that can register. Ride-a-long passes are $5 and helmets are required but not provided.

Online registration and current list of registered drivers is available here:

A good sized group of local Huntsville Drifters are competing in this event. Huntsville Car Scene will be providing coverage for this event and traveling with the group. If you're interested in coming along, feel free to contact Samir at 615-512-5520. We plan to leave the Huntsville area around 8am and return the same day.

12:00 pm Gates Open
12-2:00 pm Registration, Driver Check In, and Technical Inspection
2:15 pm Drivers meeting
ASAP - 1st car on Track
11:00 pm - End event, Facility Closes/Secure Track

Click here to see the gallery. Buy photo prints and gifts!
All proceeds help pay Huntsville Car Scene bills.

A good-sized group of Huntsville drifters were attending this event, and since it was on a Friday where I could get back for Sunday events, I decided to tag along with the caravan.

A hot, sticky morning greeted us as we left out early Friday morning around 9am from the Shell in Decatur. We were taking the shorter route to the Muscle Shoals/Florence area via alternate 72 before heading beyond the border into Mississippi.

There were four black cars and two white trucks in the caravan, with one truck acting as a tow vehicle. The majority of them were Nissan products.

The tow truck went ahead while we fueled up, distributed two-way radios, and got ourselves situated with who was riding with who.

After an uneventful trip through Decatur to the Muscle Shoals area, we stopped at a Waffle House to pick up a friend and found the group in the tow truck across the street at McDonalds. So we quickly joined them and headed out from there as a group after filling one of the cars with water since it didn't have an overflow bottle.

The long drive gave plenty of time to shoot some great pictures and video clips. Conrad brought a Panasonic AG-HMC40 and donated several of his clips to Huntsville Car Scene. Thank you Conrad! The other clips may be found in an upcoming television show which he was shooting for.

We found an Autozone on our way just past the border, so we got an overflow bottle since it was a requirement to pass tech. Some of the others of the group didn't stop and had already went ahead. We met them at the event.

Holly Springs, Mississippi is a strange, old town. Several old college buildings were boarded up and closed. The only college that seemed to be open was 'Rust College'. We found ourselves very out of place and quickly passed through town to our destination. We arrived at around 1pm, hours behind our own schedule, but still an hour earlier than the official event start time of 2pm.

I want to thank the staff at the track and Traction Optional for their great cooperation in getting the Huntsville Car Scene crew inside as quickly as possible and getting us oriented on where we should be to be safe. The flexibility in movement allowed great shots and video clips from all angles and perspectives.

Holly Springs Motorsports is a drag strip with a lot of parking. In fact, the newly paved section of their parking lot served as the main drift area. Interestingly enough, the arm bands we received had "Huntsville Dragway" on them. Coincidence? Maybe. But I think that the two facilities are just owned by the same people. The facility and layout is quite nice, giving several vantage spots for all the action.

I attempted to get at least one picture of each car standing still and on course. And my lovely friend Melodee was gracious enough to take some pictures with the cars. Yes, she's taken guys, and is as much about drifting as anyone there. She is actually working on building her own high-compression ka s13 240, and her boyfriend Ryan was rocking the track at the event in his RB-powered s13. Yes, she is a dream girl. I want to thank her and Angelena for all their help.

As we set up, the DJ was still setting up, so we rigged our own little music system using Pandora and a toy megaphone. But once DJ Supra Sam got set up, the music was pumping and keeping us energized the whole day long. His music selection at the end of the driver's meeting had everyone from drivers to spectators pumped. And the video clips Conrad and I shot tried to capture that energy.

This was only my second drift event, and the first time I saw local Huntsville drifters at a real event. It was a bit nerve racking for them because there is that pressure to perform. But the Huntsville drifters did quite well in comparison to the field, most of whom had the luxury of trailering in their cars instead of driving them for 3 hours.

But with the risk of driving this far comes the risk of breaking your only means of returning home. And unfortunately one of ours suffered such a blow. After a mere 4 runs, a fuel pump went out. Leaving a car stuck in the paddock until almost closing time.

A fellow drifter pulled out their fuel pump and gave it to us so that we could return home. And Mike from the GET MONEY Drift Team stuck around for a few minutes and let us borrow some jumper cables to get the car started. These gestures were a perfect example of the friendliness and sportsmanship I saw here. It was the pinnacle of how people should be in motorsports, or even life for that matter. Everyone was helpful, fun, encouraging, and sympathetic. Truly there for each other like kindred. And people came from all over--Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama to name just a few states. All united by one pursuit, one love. The atmosphere made such a huge part of the event.

The course was fairly simple with only one tricky spot designed to scrub speed for the finish. Starting out was a big left sweeper that went into a small switchback and then flowed into a large right hand sweeper that ran almost the entire width of the parking lot and was the largest on the course. After that sweeper, things tightened up really quick with a series of left and right hand switchbacks right before the finish. This last series of switchbacks were the trickiest to navigate because of all the speed from the large sweeper. But when done right, there was a lot of angle right before the finish.

There were several run groups with each group getting five runs each time they were up. And run after run, all the drivers steadily improved throughout the day. There were several cars and drivers that were attempting drifting for the first time. And while it showed, they improved greatly many of them 'getting it' by the end of the day.

The Huntsville crew steadily rocked the course run after run, sometimes pushing it a bit too much and spinning, but always having fun.

As the night fell, the DJ lights came on and the drifting continued. I switched over to nightvision for videos as my equipment isn't good enough to shoot photos during the night. But I still managed to get a few good shots at dusk.

The day was extremely hot and humid, but still drew a steadily increasing crowd of spectators all the way until the evening hours. A drift competition was held all the way until closing. But since time run out, there were never any results announced.

While there is a tech inspection, it is definitely not as rigorous as SCCA events, and unfortunately it showed with a few small technical incidents. One hood flew open, one tire came off, and two barrels where shot into the paddock area.

No one was hurt, but there was that potential. As the saying goes, 'it's all fun until someone gets hurt.' I'd hate to see someone get hurt at one of these events. It would put a downer on the whole thing. But safety was definitely in mind, and ambulance and fire crews were standing by.

After fixing our one car with a problem, we left Holly Springs around midnight to start our drive home. We stopped at Huddle House there and didn't get any service, so we got some fuel across the street and hit the road until we came to another Huddle House. Strangely, the service wasn't too much better there.

I led a good portion of the drive back and at one point, two of our caravan sped by me and took off. I knew it was just a matter of time before they got stopped by the law, and I got a call when we were eating. But I know I'd rather speed while conscious and alert than drive the speed limit sleepy, so I can see their reasoning. They made it home much earlier than we did. I finally hit the bed at 5am. Thank you for the conversation on the way back Angelena. Not only was it great talking to you, but it kept me up and alert.

An excellent day at a great facility surrounded by great people, great driving, great music, and even some eye candy. What else could you ask for?

Enjoy the media, and be sure to click on the link for the gallery to see all the video clips! It was great meeting everyone, and I'll be back at another Friday event in the future.
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