Downtown Modesto came alive to the squeal of tires Saturday.
The Over Drive Summer Bash event drew crowds to Modesto Centre Plaza to watch drift racing demonstrations and check out an array of souped up sports cars. The festival also included live DJs spinning EDM, vendors and more. The car show featured about 100 vehicles, from high-performance BMWs and Porsches to modified Japanese cars and more.
Modesto resident and auto shop owner Daniel Mendoza organized the event. The Modesto High graduate has worked in motorsports, particularly drift racing, for the past 15 years. The style of racing and stunt driving was made famous in “The Fast and Furious” film franchise. In it drivers intentionally over-steer when going around corners, thus “drifting” through turns.
“It’s the figure skating of cars. And at the same time it’s like skateboarding. It’s very stylish, not like traditional racing,” Mendoza said. “How crazy you can make car go sideways but stay in control.”
Mendoza, who used to hold similar drifting events in San Joaquin and Merced counties several years ago, said he wanted to bring his Over Drive event to Modesto because of all of the illegal sideshows in the area. Local law enforcement regularly breaks up these unsanctioned car shows, which can draw hundreds to watch drivers street race, spin their wheels and do doughnuts.
“This (event) is something Modesto hasn’t seen before. Let’s get these kids out of the road,” he said. “We can put an end to this through time. I want this to be a solution. I want to make this as cool as possible, and do it weekly, monthly if possible.”
Mendoza said he also wants to show youth there are more legitimate ways to enjoy and engage with cars. He runs the Modesto performance auto shop SS Worxs. He regularly travels to Japan and Europe as a drifting instructor and ambassador.
Mendoza said he presold about 2,000 tickets for the event, which went until 1 a.m., as burning tires and bass beats thumped through the night.