Fredric Aasbo Wins Third Formula DRIFT Driver’s Title
Papadakis Racing Toyota teammates Fredric Aasbo (left) and Ryan Tuerck. Aasbo won the 2022 Formula Drift championship title Saturday, while Tuerck scored third. The duo also celebrated a win for Toyota in the Manufacturer's Cup and Nitto Tire won the Tire Cup. (Image: Larry Chen Photo)
The Papadakis Racing Toyota team earned a one–two finish at the Irwindale Speedway season finale to lock in the 2022 Formula DRIFT Championship title for Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra and third in the points for Ryan Tuerck in the Rain-X/Nitto Tire Toyota GR Corolla. The team also celebrated a Manufacturer’s Cup victory for Toyota and a win for Nitto Tire in the Tire Cup.
Aasbo ran a perfect weekend, earning the top spot on Friday’s qualifying ladder and a critical three points to enter Saturday’s main event just 11 points off the lead. To win the title, Aasbo needed to finish one competition round ahead of rival Matt Field.
The pressure was on as a downpour swept through the area immediately before competition began, putting Aasbo in the difficult position of being first to test the wet track in the Round of 16. A sighting lap revealed patchy grip and puddles of standing water. Aasbo and the team opted to take a conservative strategy and run a lower line, which paid off when championship leader Field crashed out of the competition with a spin on the slick high line and opened the door for Aasbo to win the 2022 crown.
Aasbo’s top 16 opponent Kyle Mohan also got caught out in the slick conditions and Aasbo advanced to the Great 8 to lock in his third career Formula DRIFT title. The Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra driver joins an elite pair to have earned three titles in the series. Chris Forsberg and James Deane have also earned three championships each.
With the championship title secure in the Round of 16, the night became a victory run for Aasbo, who climbed the competition ladder to defeat Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis, then Adam LZ and join his Papadakis Racing Toyota teammate Tuerck in the Finals.
Tuerck qualified seventh on Friday and advanced past Alec Robbins in the Top 16 to vault from fifth to third in the championship points standings. Then, he won a one-more-time match-up with Branden Sorensen in the Great 8 and faced down Jeff Jones in the Final 4. From there, it was a guaranteed Papadakis Racing Toyota team 1–2 result as teammates squared off at the House of Drift. Aasbo took the event win to cap his championship winning season, while Tuerck earned second and locked in third place in the driver’s championship.
Between them, teammates Aasbo and Tuerck achieved seven podium results in eight rounds of competition, with Tuerck winning the season opener in Long Beach and Aasbo topping the podium at Round 2 in Atlanta and again at the Irwindale finale.
Ashley, Capps, Enders and Arana Jr. Pick Up Huge Playoff Wins at Texas NHRA FallNationals
Top Fuel’s Justin Ashley extended his points lead last Sunday, rolling to an impressive win at the Texas Motorplex for the second straight year at the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals. Ron Capps (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the 20th event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
After struggling in qualifying, Ashley more than made up for it on Sunday, going 3.688 seconds at 329.24 mph in his 11,000hp Phillips Connect Toyota dragster to defeat Austin Prock in the championship round, extending his lead to 82 points over Brittany Force in the process. Prock moved to seventh in points.
In Funny Car, Capps also won for the second straight year in Dallas, also inching closer to the points lead after defeating Matt Hagan in the final round with his run of 3.911 at 327.18 in his 11,000hp NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra, bringing him to within 10 points of leader Robert Hight with two races remaining. Hagan trails Hight by 78 points heading to Vegas.
Enders had one of her finest showings this weekend in Dallas, capping it off with a victory on the strength of a 6.537 at 209.63 in the finals in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. It gave her the win over rival Greg Anderson, extending an already huge points lead and putting her in position to clinch her fifth world title in Las Vegas. Enders will take a 166-point lead to Vegas.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana Jr. grabbed his first victory since 2019 with a run of 6.822 at 196.35 on his Team Arana Buell to beat Jerry Savoie in the final round. With two races remaining, Matt Smith now holds a 51-point lead over Joey Gladstone.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action on October 27–30 with the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.