Sliding upward: Formula Drift’s season opener runs Friday and Saturday on the streets of Long Beach, and Team Falken returns as a four-car juggernaut that has been called the sport’s version of Penske Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.
Similar to those NASCAR powerhouses, Falken is housed primarily in the Charlotte area at Autosport Dynamics.
“It’s been very flattering to draw those comparisons,” says Nick Fousekis, the senior manager of consumer marketing for Falken Tire, which also is fielding two cars in the American Le Mans Series. “The easy way out is to write a check. We’re aggressive about sending our message properly.”
Falken recently tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway with drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Ford Mustang) and Tyler McQuarrie (Nissan 350Z convertible). Gittin says Charlotte’s rich talent pool and access to parts was a major reason he was able to persuade Falken to base its team there a few years ago.
“It makes a lot of sense to be here (in Charlotte),” says Gittin, who unveiled Monster Energy drink as his new sponsor this week.
Contributing: Nate Ryan
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