Drifting down Sandstone Mountain

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Forty drift cars, including four Formula Drift champions, burned up Pluto Road in Raleigh County last month for the third stage in an exciting new motorsports adventure on the backroads of West Virginia.

Pluto Road is located in Raleigh County (at the top of Sandstone Mountain). With deep echoes of roaring engines and screeching tires bouncing off the mountains, professional drivers were “drifting” their supercars back and forth across country roads. 

Drifting is a motorsport where the driver intentionally oversteers in curves to produce a controlled slide of the rear wheels (and often all four wheels at one time). If your back wheels have ever slid sideways in a snowy turn on a country road, then you’ve drifted.

After a practice run last November, the competition was on this spring with some of the nation’s top drivers converging on southern West Virginia.

According to Jedediah Smith with Backroads of Appalachia, the event produced an economic impact of more than $1 million. It also reached more than 50 million people on social media across the world afterwards.

Spectators were allowed to attend the event for the first time. Thousands of people waited in a virtual line trying to access the 50 available tickets. Organizers hope to add more spectators in future events.

The next drift event in Appalachia will be held in Kentucky from June 14-15.

For more information, visit Backroads of Appalachia.

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