Japan’s Daijiro Yoshihara is on a roll and headed to Las Vegas. The 31-year-old native of Tokyo won the most recent Formula DRIFT event – at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. – and wrestled the series’ points lead from Justin Pawlak.

The Formula DRIFT (www.formulad.com) series competes next on Aug. 26-27 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Las Vegas meet – dubbed Round 6: After Dark – is the sixth and next-to-last event on the 2011 Formula DRIFT schedule.

Now in its eighth season, Formula DRIFT is recognized as the North American professional drifting championship. Formula DRIFT provides a forum for professional drifters to compete in seven events nationwide for the coveted Formula DRIFT championship crown.

“It feels great to be in the lead,” said Yoshihara, after winning the Evergreen competition. “After the Top 32 when Justin Pawlak was taken out of the competition I knew I had a good chance to win, but I didn’t want to think about points. I focused on winning one round at a time, which worked. We have two competitions left so I need to focus on them still before I can think too much about the championship.”

Yoshihara finished second in last year’s Las Vegas Formula DRIFT event.

Past Las Vegas Formula DRIFT winners include: Tyler McQuarrie (2010) and Tanner Foust (2009).

The series has attracted drivers from the U.S., Japan, Norway, Ireland, South Africa, Hong Kong and Canada this season.

Formula DRIFT professional championship 2011 point standings (after five rounds):
1. Yoshihara, Daijiro (Tokyo, Japan) Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13 – 412
2. Pawlak, Justin (Kalamazoo, Mich.) Falken Tire Ford Mustang – 397
3. Forsberg, Chris (Doylestown, Pa.) NOS Energy Drink/Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z – 369
4. McNamara, Darren (Cork, Buttevant, Ireland) Falken Tire Pontiac Saturn Sky – 345.5
5. Powers, Matt (San Diego, Calif.) Need for Speed Nissan S14 – 328.5
6. McQuarrie, Tyler (Walnut Creek, Calif.) Falken Tire Nissan 350Z – 317
7. Tuerck, Ryan (Derry, N.H.) Gardella Racing/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro – 308
8. Grunewald, Conrad (Houston, Texas) Hankook Tire Chevrolet Camaro – 300
9. Gittin, Vaughn (Joppa, Md.) Monster Energy/Falken Ford Mustang – 291
10. Mohan, Kyle (Anaheim, Calif.) Nexen Tire/Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 – 266

The Formula DRIFT event is just one part of the multi-attraction Aug. 26-27 Back 2 School Bash at The Strip at LVMS. The Bash also will include: Monster Trucks (Bigfoot, Snakebite, Shocker, Maverik), a special Bigfoot Monster Truck vs. Jet Car drag race, freestyle motocross, Jet Dragsters, PSCA Pro Street drag racing and a car show and vendor midway.


For more information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444 or visit www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.

Spectator admission:
Two-day advance (valid through Aug. 25)
Adult: $32.
Kids (6-12): $15.

Two-day ticket package purchased day of event (valid Aug. 26)
Adult: $35.
Kids (6-12): $15.

Friday-only tickets:
Advance-ticket pricing (valid through Aug. 25)
Adult: $15.
Kids (6-12): $8.

Day-of  ticket pricing (valid Aug. 26)
Adult: $20.
Kids (6-12): $8.

Saturday-only tickets:
Advance-ticket pricing (valid through Aug. 26)
Adult: $25.
Kids (6-12): $10.

Day-of ticket pricing (valid Aug. 27)
Adult: $30.
Kids (6-12): $10.

Spectator parking always is free.