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Gridlife: The best thing yet

Gridlife: The best thing yet

By Trevor Glenn, Contributor

This was the first time I’d touched my camera in months. Between school and work, times have been hectic. But it didn’t stop me from attending the Gridlife Midwest Festival, now in its fourth year. Having attended the event each year, it had become a routine trip accompanied by the familiar sense of impending excitement. However, this year’s event was like no other. According to Gridlife’s event page, “2017 saw GRIDLIFE attendance soar to all new heights with a record setting 8000+ attendees over the weekend, along with over 350 grassroots and pro drivers across the Time Attack, Drift and HPDE fields.” Due to the crazy number of media sources interested in covering the event, those that had done it in previous years had first dibs on positions, and the total number had to be limited this year.

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Gridlife has revolutionized the format of automotive events in North America. They were the first to properly cross an automotive event with a music festival, and the result is like nothing else happening in the U.S. right now. Gridlife brings all different types of car enthusiasts together under one mantra of entertainment. Every year is a celebration of friends, community, amazing machines and great live music!

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IMG_8373With an impressive professional driver line-up, the event brought one heck of a show for the fans who had traveled from far and wide to be there! The line-up included drivers such as…

Ryan Litteral

IMG_8484Justin Pawlak

IMG_8704Dai Yoshihara

IMG_8470Darren McNamara

IMG_8402Vaughn Gittin Jr.

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… as well as several others!

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I’d also like to take a second to thank the guys of No Mind Drift. After spending the weekend with Rob Parsons, a.k.a. Chairslayer, the guys of No Mind decided to donate all proceeds from any sticker sales to The Chairslayers Foundation. If you’re unfamiliar with the Chairslayers Foundation, they do a lot to help those that have – or may have to – overcome life changing events, just like Rob did. Here are the guys behind the No Mind name!

Brock Boettcher

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Blake Tomezak

IMG_8572And Alex Docken!

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IMG_8098Throughout a majority of the weekend, the track was hot and unscathed – with, of course, minor hiccups here and there. Aside from the awesome drifting that took place, there was also plenty of time attack.

IMG_8087There were some awesome cars participating as usual…

like this Spec Fit!

IMG_8466Here are a couple of my favorite cars from the weekend; the old-school cars on the track just gave me the feels.

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IMG_8460Professional drivers have a huge presence at Gridlife, but watching the locals is always the thing I really look forward to. These are the guys I’ve grown up around and the ones who have inspired me to get into the automotive scene!

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Whether it be Fishe’s Boss 14 of the Risky Devils…

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Or Mikey’s LS-powered hatch of Full Clip…

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Or Ryan’s BEAMS-powered Corolla…

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Simba’s S13 Coupe…

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and Steve’s SR20-powered BMW E30.

I have grown up watching some of these cars and their drivers progress. It has made me much more eager to finish my own car and get out there and learn a thing or two from them.

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Adding to the joyous sights, sounds and smells of the track, there were some neat cars on display this year (though I felt there could be a larger display to incorporate more diversity in the selection).

My brother Tony‘s Cadillac CTSV…

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Dustin’s Mitsubishi Evo X…

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Kyle and Andy’s Subaru Foresters…

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Mike’s Kouki S14…

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And Austin’s Mazda Miata.

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IMG_8654For our Canadian readers, this JZX100 may not be nearly as exciting of a sight as it is for us in the U.S.

IMG_8635All in all, the weekend was a huge success once again. With minor kinks progressively being worked out year after year, things are beginning to run smoothly and this well-oiled machine is functioning better than ever!

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As usual, the Gridlife crew put on a great event. It’s always a pleasure to visit the town of South Haven, Michigan as they play the role of gracious host for this amazing event. The dedication of not only drivers, but fans and the community as well, is incredible to say the least. I firmly believe that it takes buy-in from everyone to make an event successful. So if you ever get a chance to make it to Gridlife, take it!

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