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Forum Fest 2014 Recap

by on August 4, 2014

Forum Fest is one of the biggest and most anticipated automotive events around the Northwest that also acts like a double-edged sword.

by Armin Ausejo and Vinnie Nguyen  by Jake Magraw and James Whelan  by Josh Mackey

After a very successful Forum Fest 2013, plans were made early in preparation for the 2014 event, which also included changing the date.  Event dates in the Northwest are somewhat of a tradition: once you do the event, it’s standard to keep it the same weekend of the month moving forward.  When the decision was made to change the date and push it back a week, there was only one motivator behind it: weather.


No will forget the monsoon that crippled Forum Fest 2012, and the same is likely to be said about this year’s event. Nevertheless, every year we learn and move on from what we can’t control. Living in the Northwest, we should be used to the rain and while we did plan for it,it’s one enemy for our events that we just can’t defeat. What most people do not realize is that Forum Fest, along with most of our other events, are planned, marketed and executed with little to no budget. That’s something we’ve been striving to change for a long time.


Every year, we sit down as a team and discuss what the registration cap for Forum Fest will be based on demand, last year’s registration, and overall expectations. Since the demand was there and we sold out registration in the previous year, we decided that we were going to set our cap high at 400. 400 sounds like a lot, because it is; but with the hybrid mix of judged and non-judged classes, it gives us a chance to weed out the true competitors and those that just want to show with their team.  With excellent marketing, registration selling out and well over 20 vendors, Forum Fest 2014 was shaping to be the best yet.


There is a reason why the months of July and August are so busy with car events. No one wants to gamble at the chance of rain and given the track record, June isn’t a very good bet. The morning started just like most other events, with some sun breaks and light rain. As registration opened and check in began, it was clear that the weather reports were a major deterrent for both spectators and participants alike.


Throughout the late morning, we saw periods of nice breaks; indications that the summer sun was attempting to help us out. Early morning racing on the lead/follow runs were in full swing as cars of all makes, sizes and specs ripped down the legendary Northwest road course. Drag teams in full prep were ready and waiting for their turn to hit the strip, but that time was soon to be doomed as rain showers started entering the area.


By early afternoon, sweeping downpours and heavy gusts soon hit the race track with periods of major rain and pockets of sun. One minute you would see an opening of sun and the next, completely soaked in rain. Adjusting to plans, our judges still pushed through, judging over 250 cars registered for competition. Sadly, Pacific Raceways made the call that drag racing wasn’t going to happen and due to track conditions, no more sign ups were going to happen for lead/follow racing. A combination of rain coupled with the cancellation of a couple of the attractions was a hard blow for us to take, but the show must go on.


At the end of the day as the rain settled, there was an overwhelming positive response from our participants who sat through the entire show. Every single winner at Forum Fest 2014 was present to receive their award, which given the circumstances was a very reassuring sign that we have a very amazing dedicated group of enthusiasts in the Northwest that we’re proud to represent. We live and we learn, and we learned a lot this year.  We want to thank our sponsors for the event: Achtuning, SpeedFactory Racing, Dailydriven.com and Diamond Lighting Technology for their generous support and all of our vendors that made the event that much better. Full winners list and event coverage is below.

Thank you and see you next year!


Award Name Car
Best of Show Rob Kothenbeutel 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
NWMotiv Judges Choice Justin Wallace 2000 Lexus GS300
Fan Favorite Derek Lewellen 2009 370Z
Best Paint Aric Clapp 1991 Honda CRX
Best Interior Justin Polachak Scion XB
Best Stance Travis VanAusdal 2003 Volkswagen GTI
Best Team Overall Team Xcessive Speedz
Best Team/Club/Forum Represent Team Innovations
Best Engine Eli Anderson 2010 Subaru Impreza
Best VIP Build Jay Owner 2006 Infiniti M45
Best Old School Sukh Aujula 1980 Skyline
Best Vendor Car Stu Hagen Toyota Supra – Ishii Motors
Best Female Build Katie Smith 2004 Subaru WRX
Best Track Build Mike Phillips 1989 Nissan 240SX
Best Toyota / Scion Amanda Plummer 2006 Scion TC
2nd Place Toyota / Scion Steven Smith 1977 Toyota Celica
Best Subaru Eli Anderson 2010 Subaru Impreza
2nd Place Subaru Katie Smith 2004 Subaru Impreza
3rd Place Subaru Mallory Tatman 2011 Subaru WRX STI
Best Mazda Erick Krewson 2005 Mazda RX-8
2nd Place Mazda Joe Olden 2004 Mazda RX-8
Best Nissan Kelly Williamas 1991 Nissan 240SX
2nd Place Nissan Frank Moreno 2005 Nissan 350Z
3rd Place Nissan Mike Phillips 1989 Nissan 240SX
Best Japanese Luxury Justin Wallace 2000 Lexus GS300
2nd Place Japanese Luxury Kenji Nishimura 1999 Lexus GS300
Best Honda/Acura Hatch/Coupe Bill Master 2003 Honda Civic
2nd Place Honda/Acura Hatch/Coupe Aric Clapp 1991 Honda CRX
Best Honda/Acura 4/5 Door Andrew Loungphakdy 1996 Honda Civic Sedan
2nd Place Honda/Acura 4/5 Door Dom Costello 1995 Acura Integra
Best Domestic Michael Nanpei 2009 Dodge Challenger
2nd Place Domestic Robert Sutton 2013 Ford Focus
Best Mitsubishi Steve Ishii 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
2nd Place Mitsubishi Elree Guerrero 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
Best Hyundai/Kia Marcus Estill 2004 Hyundai Tiburon
2nd Place Hyundai/Kia Mathew Goodwin 2010 Hyundai Genesis
Best BMW Alex Andreza 2002 BMW M3
2nd Place BMW Taran Johal 2007 BMW 330i
3rd Place BMW Perry Kveton 1974 BMW Lo Rider
Best Audi Alex Ng 2006 Audi A4
2nd Place Audi Mike Huff 2008 Audi A5
3rd Place Audi Blake Crawford 2003 Audi A4
Best Volkswagen Natalie Hobbs 2004 Volkswagen Jetta IV
2nd Place Volkswagen Kenton Shaull 2006 Volkswagen GLI
3rd Place Volkswagen Dion Spina 2010 Volkswagen CC
Best European Other Yimeng Zhao 2004 Mercedes Benz E-Class
2nd Place European Other Eric Warren 1987 Volvo 244
3rd Place European Other Hunter Sands 2002 Mini Cooper
Best Bike / Scooter John Morimoto 2011 Ducati 848 Evo
2nd Place Bike / Scooter Terry Suvonnarith 2011 Honda Ruckus