It Doesn't Matter How Many Motors You Blow Up to Make It in Formula Drift

Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

Don’t let the chill and laid-back culture of drifting fool you: Getting in and staying in requires just as much focus and devotion as any other kind of motorsports. Just let professional drifter Chelsea DeNofa tell you.

Perhaps you know DeNofa from the grape-purple Ford Mustang he’s driving this season of Formula Drift. Or from even before then, when he was one of the great underdogs in American drifting, going toe-to-toe against drivers with more powerful and expensive cars in his BMW 3 Series.


Drifting, it seems, was part of DeNofa’s life as soon as he got his driver’s license. It’s been a lifelong love affair and he has no plans to give it up. He’s even started his own drifting school in Oregon.

There are ups and downs in everyone’s career. DeNofa’s include blowing up a lot of motors. Like six motors in eight events in 2015. And nine motors in eight events in 2016. And also clipping a wall.

Photo: Raphael Orlove (Jalopnik)

But then, when Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s team was looking for another driver, DeNofa asked to join and was accepted.


Check out more from DeNofa in this mini-documentary.

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About the author

Kristen Lee

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.