Hot Wheels: Race down to Tropics for Drags and Drifts

| September 16, 2016 | 1 Comment
Pvt. Andrew Mercado polishes the rims of one of two of his entries into the 6th annual Drags and Drifts contest scheduled Saturday at Tropics Recreation Center. Mercado is part of the Royal Society Hawaii car club and a cannon crewmember with 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division.

Pvt. Andrew Mercado polishes the rims of one of two of his entries into the 6th annual Drags and Drifts contest scheduled Saturday at Tropics Recreation Center. Mercado is part of the Royal Society Hawaii car club and a cannon crewmember with 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Get into gear for the 6th annual Drags and Drifts scheduled Saturday inside the parking lot at Tropics Recreation Center, here.

The returning contest features motorcycles, trucks, SUVs and cars at their best to win praise from fans and judges. Vintage and other exhibition vehicles will also be welcomed for display to the anticipated crowd.

Visitors look through the selection of showcased hot rods and other antique cars on display during the 2014 show. This year's Drags and Drifts will feature motorcycles, trucks and cars as well as live music.

Visitors look through the selection of showcased hot rods and other antique cars on display during the 2014 show. This year’s Drags and Drifts will feature motorcycles, trucks and cars as well as live music.

Vehicles will be judged in the antique, motorcycle, car, truck/SUV and audio categories for prizes.

“It’s something the Soldiers want to do each year,” said Tiffany Thompson, recreation specialist at Tropics. “You can enter early or the day of the event. It’s great for Soldiers wanting to get out of their barracks, without going downtown or off the post.”

Dress for success
Last year, 36 participants competed in the hopes of taking the top prizes and the recognition as the coolest in their category.

Among this year’s participants is Pvt. Andrew Mercado, who is a cannon crewmember with 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division. Mercado helped establish the car club Royal Society Hawaii and meets regularly with other car lovers Saturday mornings in Pearl City. He’ll be entering two vehicles in the contest and said his method to prepare for exhibitions is extensive planning and focusing.

2016-drags-and-drifts_page_1“For show cars, you should have imagination and plan what you want to do,” he said. “Have a vision for what you want your car to look like and continue with it. Modify it, concentrating on one part at a time. If you’re going on visuals, work on that then move on to the next step.”

His advice for anyone getting into car contests is to make sure their entries are not only clean and in better-than-factory conditions, but also meet or exceed functioning standards. He said he enjoys how Hawaii has a lot of well-established car clubs and a wealth of resources for car lovers.

As a currently serving Soldier, Mercado said he’s utilized military installation auto skills centers and friends’ garages for his hobby. Mercado uses the Schofield Barracks Auto Skills Center whenever he is upgrading an engine because all the tools and personnel are in one place to help. However, when cleaning engines for show quality, he prefers doing the work personally for several days on home turf.

Trophies for winning participants in the motorcycle category are ready to go for this year's Drags and Drifts event happening at Tropics Recreation Center, Saturday. Winners will also be chosen for several other categories including antiques, trucks and cars.

Trophies for winning participants in the motorcycle category are ready to go for this year’s Drags and Drifts event happening at Tropics Recreation Center, Saturday.

The contest
Judges for Drags and Drifts are looking out for the best in function and form, said Chasten Nakamura, who will be evaluating the Jeeps, trucks and SUVs. Nakamura said he will be looking for vehicles that meet the high performance standards that make larger vehicles desirable.

“What’s great about SUVs and Jeeps is that you can go off-roading with them,” he said. “There’s that feeling you have the capability to go anywhere you want to. There are no limitations to where you can and can’t go.”

The vehicles may be the stars of the show, but the event will also feature other fun activities like eating contests and obstacle courses. Thompson said anyone who would like to assist Drags and Drifts coordinators still can volunteer.

“We need help for each of the stations,” she said. “There’s the build-a-boxcar, power wheel race and the remote-control car stations. We also need help for the breakdown of the stage and (public address) system.”

Custom painted hot rods were on display during the 2014 Drags and Drifts show. Visitors will see customized vehicles and can enjoy live entertainment.

Custom painted hot rods were on display during the 2014 Drags and Drifts show. Visitors will see customized vehicles and can enjoy live entertainment.Co

Coming to Tropics
Drags and Drifts is one of several events the center hosts throughout the year. Tropics will also be hosting a trunk decorating contest in October called Trunk or Treat.

Thompson said Tropics is an 18-and-over facility and always looking to check in with Soldiers about ways to best serve their changing population.

Mercado said he appreciates having that space and how Drags and Drifts, as well as other car events, are a way to express himself.

“It’s your own presentation,” Mercado said. “This car is a representation of you as a person. This is about individualism and says something about who you are.”

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Community

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Chris says:

    I am very excited to see how Royal Society will do in this show. They have taken home first places in previous car shows, and I hold high standards to a very established and well known club. Good luck guys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *