Northwest’s Top Performance Builds Come Together at Formula DRIFT Seattle

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • Branded as the Performance Car Invitational, Pit+Paddock organizes its first-ever car show at a Formula DRIFT event with presenting partner Radium Engineering.
  • Taking place on the grounds of Evergreen Speedway, the show field was limited to 45 performance-focused builds invited by Pit+Paddock staff.
  • Standouts included Thomas Hatcher’s turbo LS-swapped Chevy Trailblazer SS and Brandon Henness’ LS-swapped Datsun 240Z.

I’ve been going to my fair share of car shows at Formula DRIFT events over the last decade, and one thing I can remember is that they can often be inconsistent. Certain shows lack cool cars, while others feel a bit on the empty side. It’s something that has bugged me as a fan of the Formula DRIFT series, but it wasn’t a big deal at the end of the day. Most people aren’t there to stroll around and take photos of shiny parked cars. No, they’re there to watch the world’s best drivers compete at the highest level of pro drifting. But that was about to change in 2022.

When Pit+Paddock announced earlier this year that we would be expanding our business model to include event production, FD presented us with an opportunity to take over their car show segment and give it a fresh look and feel. We didn’t have the manpower to do every round; however, we felt we could make a positive difference if we focused on one. The result was last weekend at Pit+Paddock’s inaugural Performance Car Invitational presented by Radium Engineering at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington.

With Seattle being my birthplace and hometown, I could flip through my Rolodex and reach out to local enthusiasts who knew a thing or two about putting together high-quality performance-focused builds. With the footprint of our Northwest show being quite limited in space, we narrowed the field to 45 diverse vehicles, which included a stunning array of Hondas, grassroots drift cars, and other JDM flavors.

The staff’s favorite standouts included Thomas Hatcher’s turbo LS-swapped Chevy Trailblazer SS (Dai Yoshihara’s top pick), Brendan Taylor of Canada’s Nissan Stagea Autech 260RS wagon (Radium Engineering’s top pick), and Brandon Henness’ Datsun 240Z (a former SEMA Young Guns competitor). We must also acknowledge the awesome teams that represented strong, including GOONSquadNW (a drift team that we’ve grown to love after seeing them at last year’s Final Bout) and the Honda gang from Hiro’s Hotrods.

This event is just the beginning of our coverage from the Performance Car Invitational and Pit+Paddock’s first-ever partnership with Formula DRIFT, so stay tuned for more!