Author Archive: Nicole Ellan James

Author Archives for Nicole Ellan James

About Nicole Ellan James

Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Ford Mustang which she bought as her first car at the age of 16. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn, and uses the car to participate in track events. Nicole is Editor-in-Chief of Car Street Journal, an online publication catering to the car enthusiast community, as well as an Editor and writer for, Fox Sports, and Autofluence. Follow Nicole on Instagram (@Nicole_ellan), Twitter (@nicoleeellan), and Facebook. Use her hashtags: #highheelsandhorsepower #V6withsomebite

[dropcap style=”style1″]T[/dropcap]he final round of the 2016 Southwest Drift series hosted by Vegas Drift granted Blake Olsen, Bear Rzesnowiecky, and Andy Hateley with podium finishes for the event and secured their spots as the 2016 series champions. Olsen took both the events top qualifier position and the overall event win in the final battle against Rzesnowiecky, both Olsen and Rzesnowiecky earned their Pro 2 licenses by finishing in the series top three with points. Hateley earned third place at the event but took home the series championship and will make his return to the Formula Drift Pro2 class for the 2017 season.

Top 16 Drivers – Top 16 Battles – 2016 Southwest Drift Round Four winners –


2016 Southwest drift series champions –


[dropcap style=”style1″]T[/dropcap]he final round of the 2016 Southwest Drift Series takes place alongside the final round of Formula Drifts Pro2 series in Phoenix, Arizona, at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. September 30 marked the first day in the two day drift event, and saw drivers competing against themselves to qualify in the Top 16.

The following ProAM drivers will battle in the Top 16:

  • Blake Olsen – 85 points
  • Bear Rzesnowiecky – 84 points
  • Kasey Kohl – 83 points
  • Mark Sanchez – 80 points
  • Traverse Hilsabeck – 79 points
  • Andy Hateley – 75 points
  • Austin Kregle – 70 points
  • Tony Chard – 66 points
  • Seth Wright – 64 points
  • Preston Watson – 63 points
  • George Kiriakopoulos – 61 points
  • Andrew Schulte – 56 points

Editorial Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles following Austin Kregle through the multi-state Formula Drift sanctioned 2016 Southwest Drift series hosted by VegasDrift. Photography by Hans Marquez.

[dropcap style=”style1″]B[/dropcap]ehind the wheel of his 1995 Nissan 240SX, Austin Kregle displayed style and a competitive commitment to the desired drift line during Round Three of the 2016 Southwest ProAm series hosted by VegasDrift, in Tucson, Arizona.

During Round Two of the series Kregle had pushed his car to new limits and displayed a more confident and aggressive driving style than seen in Round One, however he suffered a crash and sustained minimal damage during his last practice run prior to qualifying runs. Not letting the crash set him back, Kregle participated in Round Two qualifying but endured a second crash which rendered Kregle unable to qualify in the top 16.


[dropcap style=”style1″]T[/dropcap]he first Arizona event in the 2016 Southwest Drift series, hosted by VegasDrift, took place in Tucson at the Musselman Honda Circuit – a track made for go-kart racing. The Tucson track, like others used in the series, was chosen to help competitors develop their skills on a variety of course configurations in an effort to earn a Formula Drift Pro 2 license.

_DSC6280Local up-and-coming drifters and aspiring Formula Drift drivers earn points put towards their overall standings by qualifying for each round’s Top 16 battles and awarded based on their performance in the Top 16. At the conclusion of the series, the license is awarded to the top three drivers with the most overall points.

“The Southwest Drift series is the best Formula D Pro-AM series in the United States” said Matt Haugen, who emerged victorious [...]

[dropcap style=”style1″]M[/dropcap]att Haugen emerged victorious in his thousand-horsepower Hyundai Genesis, securing first place in Round Three of the 2016 Southwest Drift series hosted by VegasDrift after a head-to-head battle with the days’ number one qualifier, Andy Hateley, in his supercharged LS3 BMW E30.

_DSC8156“It was awesome winning in my home state,” Haugen told Car Street Journal, adding the win “couldn’t have been more perfect because more of my friends and family were able to make it and it was fun to really put a show on for them.”

Having lost to Haugen, Hateley secured a second place podium finish while Arizona driver, Andrew Schulte, earned the final podium position in his LS2 powered 1993 Nissan 240SX after a battle with Mike Burns.

“We needed to hold it down for the Arizona drift scene and that’s exactly what [...]

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