If you’ve never heard of drift driving before, you’re not alone.
Once considered a niche sport, drifting — or the controlled skid — is the hottest and fastest-growing motorsport in the world right now due to the exhilarating and mesmerizing display of style and control.
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally over-steers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner.
These drivers are experts at intentionally steering too much, causing the car’s rear tires, or sometimes all the tires, to lose their grip on the road, which is, of course, highly risky. Imagine the same speeds as NASCAR but with skidding…on purpose.
One of the drifting experts at the forefront of this tricky technique is the colorful and cheeky Scottsdale resident Matt Haugen. He attended racing school and began pursuing drifting professionally in 2019, competing around the country and the world. In 2022, he will compete in the Formula Drift Japan championship.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Haugen is his outrageous style. He changes his hair color frequently (think bright pink, intense red, day-glow green and the like).
“Haugen Racing is more than just videos and apparel,” said Haugen. “My team and I are building a lifestyle brand that is unlike other drifting or racing brands. We go for bold colors — yellow, blue and red — and outrageous stunts that blow people’s minds. Drifting is the ultimate adrenaline rush, without a doubt, and is a sport that’s coming into its own.”
He’s also a fashion entrepreneur, having designed vibrant apparel and accessories available on his site. He cites high fashion, streetwear, tattoos, drawing and art as some of his additional passions.
It’s hard to visualize drifting without seeing it in person or via video. Haugen has a popular YouTube channel with all kinds of drifting videos here.