On a weekend full of hype filled with YouTube celebrities, Instagram models and influencers, one team quietly took down everyone in their path to end up in the Stacked Motorsports Festival Team Tandem Competition Finals.
Who were these guys with the other team of Nissan 350 Z’s that took it to the event favorites, Team ProxZimity in the finals? Their name; Havoc Drift, and these guys put on a show for the crowd at Stacked with some wild tandems and explosive on track drifting!
“The competition was always a second priority to us, and always will be. First and foremost, we are there to put on a show, and we drove home with our heads high believing that we did just that.” – Tucker Martin
Havoc consists of drivers Christopher Xenophon, Matt Knapp and Tucker Martin. Formed originally for the Team Vibes drifting event at Shenandoah Speedway earlier in the year, Havoc decided they had a great time together and would give it another go at Stacked Motorsports Festival.
“We got into Team Vibes earlier this year with our last minute acceptance and the 3 of us had actually never all drifted together at the same time, but it honestly just clicked like we’d hoped for.” – Matt Knapp
“Team vibes was a rough one for us… mostly me. We were a little bummed that we didn’t get to drive as a full team at team vibes, but we were excited to be there together anyway.” – Tucker Martin
Rolling into The Stacked Motorsports Festival, the Havoc team had only gotten to run together about three times this season due to car issues and scheduling. Coming up with a plan and keeping the cars in one piece was going to be necessary to move through a field of 22 teams all with some really good drifters and cars!
After a rainy start to the day on Saturday, the team rolled out to grid to practice and get some runs on the new layout of South Course. The track started off wet but quickly dried up with the teams all out for the morning practice session.
Every run was a little better and as the track improved so did the runs.
Tucker Martin — “The whole team thing is tricky for some people. It’s very obvious to see which teams get it, and which do not. You need to think of yourself not as a driver, but as a link in the chain. During competition, and during life, your team moves together in every aspect as a unit. Nobody sticks out, nobody is left behind.”
After a short break and some time to get the final adjustments done on the vehicles. The guys came up with their action plan.
Chris Xenophon — “For qualifying, we just wanted to get in the show. The first run was a safe run, just get through the course. We wanted to be kind of close, but made sure to keep it clean. The second run, we were aiming to step it up a little, tighten up proximity, and look good. The third run, for qualifying, we wanted to put it all on the line. Knock into walls, each other, and put on a good show.”
“We had a line-up in mind and kept with it, progressing during each practice run. That was our strategy. We felt switching us up every run would be inconsistent, and after watching other teams, I feel we were right.” – Matt Knapp
The Planning must have worked pretty well, as Havoc put down some solid drifting during the qualifying runs. After three attempts to put down their best score, the team earned themselves a 17, putting them into the Top 3 of Qualifying.
Havoc would move on to Top 8 to face off against Team Skid Marks and win to advance.
“During the competition, we went up against Club Loose guys, who we’ve driven with before and knew were good. We knew we’d have to pull out all the stops to have a chance.” – Chris Xenophon
“So many big names in grassroots drifting were up against us and we just kept at our plan and stayed calm.” – Matt Knapp
Top 4 would see Havoc face off against another group of good drivers and friends, Team Tri-State.
“Somehow, we made it past other teams that included drivers I’ve personally looked up to since I started drifting and that was huge for me at least.” – Chris Xenophon
After both teams put down good runs the judges would pick Team Havoc to advance on to the Finals, facing off against Team ProxZimity for the $2500 prize.
“I don’t think we realized that we were serious contenders until we started knocking people out in the top 8, then top 4, and made it to the finals.” – Matt Knapp
Havoc came out swinging against ProxZimity putting down one of their best runs of the day, but Adam Lz and his team would also put down one of their best. Judges Brian Eggert, Mats Beribeu, and Matt Predmore, were left with no choice but to call for a One More Time battle.
“We didn’t even have to talk to each other for the last run. We all knew we were set to kill. And kill we did! All three of us tapped the wall on the last run. I remember feeling my car scrape the barrier and then listening for the two hits right after mine as Matt and Tucker destroyed yet another orange barrier.” – Chris Xenophon
With ProxZimity drifting the course one last time with near perfection, the Havoc drivers came out with one thing in mind.
They were going to put on a show and go all out in last attempt to take the win. They definitely did that! Tucker Martin would blast his 350z off the barrier in a fireworks level explosive of sound and parts! Meanwhile Matt and Chris are banging doors in front. Tucker never missed a beat staying with the team and finishing out the run in a flurry of smoke and dirt! What a finish!
“We may have gotten second, but it may as well have been first, because we did so much better than I ever could have imagined.” – Chris Xenophon
“Win or lose, this was the most awesome experience I’ve had the privilege of being part of.” – Matt Knapp
“I cannot say enough about the level of driving and sportsmanship from all teams during the stacked competition. It was a tremendous honor just to be sitting at grid with all of those great drivers that we are lucky to call friends. Hats off to you guys. It’s that kind of competition that made stacked what it is. Door banging and high fives, regardless of what color you painted your car.” – Tucker Martin
Congrats to you guys! You put on one heck of a show and i couldn’t be prouder of you guys! Watching you all progress to this has been a blast and I personally can’t wait until next year!
Full Finals video here!
Congratulations also to Team ProxZimity on taking the win at the First annual Stacked Motorsports Festival Team Tandem Competition!
Photos by Bill Elkins / Rob Goodwin