A Mexican standoff is a slang term defined as a stalemate or impasse, a confrontation that neither side can forseeably win. In popular culture, the Mexican standoff is usually portrayed as three or more opponents with guns drawn and ready, creating a tense situation. Neither side is willing to shoot for fear of being shot in return, yet neither side wants to relinquish its weapons for fear that its opponents will shoot them. This situation forces the participants to resolve the situation either by diplomacy, surrender, or a pre-emptive strike.
That’s a pretty good definition of the term found on Wikipedia.
This past Sunday, myself and a few fellow photographers (J.Evins, Venn, Cutiepie and DFan) all rolled out to Mineral Wells, TX about 5 hours away from Houston for the Fabricated Motorsports‘ Mexican Standoff held at Mineral Wells Airport. Fabricated Motorsports is known for their dedication in serving the drift community here in Texas and is spearheaded by local drift hero Aaron Losey in an effort to raise both skill levels and awareness to others seeking the art of sliding.
If you’ve never seen drifting at an airport, let me be the first to tell you that it’s big. Just like all things in Texas, the bigger the lot, the faster you can go. The faster you can go, the more exciting it becomes. While there was a good amount of drifters having fun on track, there was even more people in the spectating crowds that were having even more fun as they cheered on their favorite hometown hero while grilling up some hot dogs and downing some adult beverages.
NOS Energy drinks also came out to show their support, which was appreciated by the many enthusiasts attending the event. Ice cold drinks were a plenty, and that was a good thing because while everyone watching was under the shade of a nice pop up tent, I was out on track working to even up my farmer’s tan (which got worse). The good news to this was everyone seemed to be prepared, as everyone took cover under the tents and covered themselves good with some good ol’ fashioned sunscreen and kept hydrated. A 120 degree heat index can get dangerous.
Mineral Wells, TX is just west of Dallas/Ft. Worth, and is considered to be a centralized location of Texas. This makes for a well diverse crowd, with people coming in from different parts of Texas. The usual suspects were in attendance, Stewart Leask, Chelsea DeNofa, Fielding Shredder, Joshua Steele and others you may have seen from Import Reactor Drift were out in force. But that’s not to say they were the only good drifters there as the results of the competition proved.
Stew Leask suffered a few blows to his car in the form of a hood flying up and smashing the shit out of his windshield and even a busted axle. He was able to compete again thanks to another enthusiast (don’t know the name) lending an axle, and the busted windshield wasn’t enough to keep Stew down.
Another interesting story here was the tale of Robert Lee, a drifter from Team Silhouette. Team Silhouette was well represented at Mexican Standoff, with all team drivers qualifying in the Top16. Justin, Brad, Nacho and Robert all drive what is considered “low horsepower” cars and are a good representation of balls to the wall, door to door street style. What’s interesting here is they did pretty well against their higher horsepower brethren, be it a fully tuned SR20DET or an LS2 powered 240sx, they held their ground.
Robert basically came out of nowhere and dominated his opponents using a borrowed car from teammate Nacho in a turbocharged KA24DE powered S13 hatchback. Nobody saw Robert coming and as a result, finished 2nd place, being edged out by veteran drifter, Chelsea DeNofa. Kudos, Robert! I love rooting for the underdog, and it seemed a lot of others agreed with me as well!
At the end of the day, as the crowd joined in around the back of the “awards pedestal”, everyone at the event was all smiles. And even the little kid that busted the pinata (this IS a mexican standoff by the way) had a huge grin on his face, a reminder that drift events are fun for not only the drivers, but the attendees as well. We hope to cover more of these kind of events, and by the look of things, that seems like a really good chance as Aaron Losey and the rest of the Fabricated Motorsports crew are already planning out the next drift event for us all to look forward to!
All photos were taken by Danh Phan and David Do exclusively for MaydayGarage.