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Street Driven Tour x SouthrnFresh | Atlanta Motor Speedway

A decade and a half after import enthusiasm's West Coast pop-culture explosion, it seems as if its re-emergence in the Southeast is continuing to gain traction. Sure, NOPI Nationals’ East Coast events drew record crowds during those golden years, but with the exception of a few of today’s big California events (Wekfest, Spocom, etc.), the South’s Import Alliance, Mystery Meat, Simply Clean, Formula D’s continually sold-out Road Atlanta round, and more are iron-clad proof of the paradigm shift. So much so that some might say it’s difficult to throw an unsuccessful event in the South. Within just three years since launching a humble WordPress blog, SouthrnFresh has grown to be a genuine authority figure in the import show scene, and coupled with the Street Driven Tour -- in only the third event of its first year -- on a recent weekend, managed to pack Atlanta Motor Speedway full of imports in a way reminiscent of that number-one parts retailer’s earlier days at the same venue… minus the foam pits and trance DJs, of course. Enter the Street Driven Tour x SouthrnFresh mashup event: First, the drifting. There was a lot of it. A “bash-style” event, Street Driven Tour invites drivers with nearly any car/experience level to spend the day drifting among top FD pros in a laid-back, unjudged (officially, at least) environment. In Atlanta, those top pros included Chris Forsberg, in his personal VK56DE V8-swapped Infiniti M45 sedan; Ryan Tuerck, drifting his 2JZ-GTE-swapped Scion FR-S “street car;” and Patrick Goodin, behind the wheel of his twin-turbo, LSX V8-swapped Nissan S13 240SX Formula D competition car. Attendees who purchased ride-alongs were given the ability to take as many selfies as possible during their three-car tandem drifts that flowed the entire course clockwise and counterclockwise in unbroken, smokey drifts. And this being the South, and thus ripe with its own home-brewed talent, locals Tommy Van Cleef (TRD-themed JZA70 Toyota Supra from Greenville, SC), Alex Youe (Atlanta, KG Made Nissan S14 240SX), Michael Lindsey in a white Pontiac GTO, Brandon Bass in a red JZA70 Supra, and a grip of talented drivers in S13 and S14 240SXs, gave impressive chase of their own. Even drivers in atypical machines like a Porsche 944 and F20C-swapped Datsun attacked the Atlanta Motor Speedway drift course, and looked good doing it. The paddock served not only as these drift soldiers’ pit area for the weekend, but as the vendor corral and site of SouthrnFresh 5, which brought out over 400 of the South’s most prolific show machines. Highlights include some of the cleanest (and lowest) Hondas to be found outside Cali, marked by a matching Midori-green RSX and turbocharged, single-cam EK Civic; a surprisingly mean/clean turbocharged Hyundai Tiburon; Zen Motors’ two bright, heavily modded S2000s; Stunnaben’s newly turbocharged RSX; some ridiculous (unfortunately?) flared/cambered/slammed fitment on a variety of makes/models; a grip of Mustangs; and a ton of equally impressive street cars in the parking lot. As daylight waned and Atlanta Motor Speedway made its last call, drifting gave way to Street Driven Tour’s much-anticipated Hoonigan Tire Massacre burnout contest. In contrast to standing-room-only iterations in St. Louis and Virginia, the recipe in Atlanta changed a bit: competitors were given as much free roam needed for their gross displays of horsepower. Patrick Goodin took full advantage of this by spinning enough “Aussie-style” third/fourth-gear smokey donuts and figure-eights to completely engulf the observation area in roasted radial. Tuerck and Forsberg joined tow hooks for simultaneous tug-of-war meltdowns. The “Boss Roadster” V8 Miata hot-rod killed a set of its own tires, as did many of the local drifters and even an attendee in a rented M3. But in the end, it was hometown hoon Joey Whitaker who crushed the competition in his black/yellow V8 S13 with a creeping, fourth-gear, man-sized burnout that transformed a brand-new set of rubber into dual blowouts and a small engine fire. Proper. DSC_9052 (2) Street Driven Tour invites Southwest enthusiasts to close out their inaugural year with one final bout of drift bashing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 26, in conjunction with StanceWars, and drivers Chris Forsberg and Matt Powers (among others to be named). For more, visit/follow Street Driven Tour:

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