Driver Blog: Joon Maeng>> Crystallizing "mind Over Matter"

Hello Speed Hunters fans! I hope that you have been well and healthy. 

Formula Drift Round 3 at Wall Speedway in New Jersey was full of awesome fans, nice humidity, and tire smoke all the way around!

Unfortunately, my battle to the top ended prematurely so I wasn’t able to participate in the main event.

Wow~ It was such a beautiful day. This is my type of day: florescent blue sky with undeniably white, puffy clouds. It was a perfect day for drifting!

Any sushi fans? This is sushi with California Rolls that I serve daily to my customers and eat almost every day. Off the track, the restaurant is where I spend most of my days. Daily Udon and Sushi is located in Garden Grove, California, and has been a family business for more than 15 years.

I enjoy working here because it allows me the opportunity to hit base with my customers and inspire them to hold steadfastly to their dreams.

Also, it was a pleasant surprise to have the famous Linhbergh from SpeedHunters stop by for lunch!

This Udon, which is basically fat noodles immersed in our secret broth, has a special place in my heart because it is more than a mere bowl of noodles in my eyes. Why? Because, during my inaugural season in Formula Drift, this bowl of noodles helped finance my drift program. My drift program for that year wasn’t great by any means (all I could afford was 15” tires for the first half of the season) but, nonetheless, it served as a stepping stone that got me to where I am today.

Symbolism aside, it is delicious!

Yes, I’m working. Either I’m preparing a to-go order or filling cups with water for customers.

It’s kind of strange to see my backside. I don’t see it often so, looking at it, I know that it’s me but, simultaneously, I question it. Weird~

The Korean community in my neighborhood has yet to be acquainted with the existence of drifting. As such, I use my restaurant as a bridge that connects the people to the sport.

It’s funny how a picture puts things into perspective; I have a shrine of myself as a drifter at the restaurant. Hahaha~ Nonetheless, it’s effective for it stirs curiosity in the minds of the customers and they ask about drifting.

These are my church brothers. We get together on Sundays, worship, hang out, and help each others’ spiritual growth.

Back in the days, I wasn’t a productive member of society; just got into a lot of unnecessary trouble. But, going to church, and receiving Christ’s salvation put my life in perspective. I knew then that I wanted to be a racer/drifter. Life hasn’t been the same since and I’m still loving it!

Everyone in the picture is a member of the youth group. It’s quite ironic to see them here because I knew each of them when they were babies and now they are growing and budding into the person they were designed to be.

So, it goes without saying that church is like a big family. We grew up with and around each other and, just like biological brothers and sisters, we bicker and quarrel with each other but, at the end of the day, love remains our common denominator.

After Sunday service, the kids go out and play. Because children have a short attention span, I sympathize with them for sitting through sermons and doing it quietly and respectfully. It’s quite funny seeing them try real hard to remain focused and be on their best behavior.

Wow~ The car looks great. I’m probably inside the trailer suiting up for practice. 

This is the exit of the main bank coming down hard onto the infield. Wall Speedway is tough on the drive-train. 

I surmised that coming off the 30 degree bank on to the base would be the best way to test the KW suspension setup and capabilities. I definitely felt its potential!

Smoking up the Nitto NT05 tires! More wheel speed the better! Pedal to the metal!

On grid for the 1st qualifying run. I was antsy with anticipation but, at the same time, I felt confident and focused.

The bank portion was right on the money and the Full Tilt Poker Mazda RX8 felt powerful!

This is the 1st clipping point on transition right after exiting the bank. At this point, I already knew that the suspension didn’t like the harsh transition from the bank to the base. What was left for me to do was readjust and harness the reaction of the vehicle.

Ooops~ My apologies to the FD staff who had to chase down the clipping point cone. 

Too much angle on transition and scrubbing down a lot of speed didn’t help to get any points for my 1st qualifying run.

Here is the last turn before the finish line. My goal was to deliver an impact!

And off I go for the 2nd qualifying run…

Clutch kicked on initiation and maintained good speed along the bank…

Lots of tire smoke and massive angle is the way to go! Got to get those points!

Taking a different approach exiting the bank allowed for a better connection between my skills and the track…

During the course of the infield, the Enkei-PF01-wrapped Nitto NT05s favorably reacted and the RX8 performed hard! It’s so convenient to have a reliable clutch like ACT’s and HKS sequential transmission so that I’m better able to manifest my drifts without a glitch.

In the midsection of the infield, there were a series of small protrusions. Once I made the transition, it felt like I drove through a big patch of glue that intervened with the momentum of my speed. Right then I felt gas in my stomach and knew trouble was dead ahead.

Instinctually, I e-braked to avoid taking the inside line into the last turn. With all the speed scrubbed down from transition, the RX8 ended up in the inside of the turn, hitting the cone. My only alternative was to make a correction to re-acquire the proper line to stay on course.

The track setup was narrow to begin with and the way in which the cones were placed along the track minimized the margin for error. In other words, I was done for…

Isn’t it annoying when the fate of the moment, no matter how prepared you are for it, works against you? Yup, this is one of those moments. But, it is what it is. There are highs and lows in life and, at the end of the day, I’m still grateful for everything because life is good.

Notice anything different? Got a new suit from Sparco Italy! 

It took a lot of effort to divert myself from what just happened: I didn’t qualify! 

After being showered with reassurance from the team and talking with fans, it wasn’t as hard to keep smiling. I’m so grateful to be in the position that I’m in, especially with Bergenholtz Racing. I can’t emphasize enough what a remarkable group of big hearted and talented people they are.

Even in the midst of disappointment, the fans in New Jersey are so supportive! They were so encouraging and optimistic. I cherish every word of kindness from them. Thanks y’all!

Here I am hanging out at Nitto’s booth giving tours of the RX8, signing hero cards, and interacting with fans. 

Last year, the weather rained out Friday’s event and what ended up happening was a group of fans came over to my pit area to hang out. Although we were completely drenched, we had a blast sharing drifting experiences and stories. One year later, each and every one of them came back! We reminisced last year’s event and shared our thoughts on the day’s highs and lows. It was an awesome moment!

Another picture of Ron letting loose and not allowing the unfortunate happenstance during qualifying affect him. This is just a picture of Ron but the team shares a similar attitude. They are so encouraging and positive in their outlook that I’m humbled to the core.

TO TEAM BERGENHOLTZ: I’m sorry for falling short on our expectation for this round. Thank you so much for your understanding and faith in me. I’ll bring it home, Brothers! We’ll do it!

Sav, Vince, and Ed found a bumper and attached it to the cart. Kurt, Brian, and Ron were driving around and having a good time. They don’t take life too seriously and expend their energy on enjoying it. Can’t you tell?

In spite of the obvious disappointment, overall, it was a wonderful weekend. I learned a lot about myself and my team helped in the process. My life’s mantra is “Mind Over Matter” and, during the weekend, I learned to convert it into action on a higher level. I’m so blessed and I thank God every day. 

On a different note, I’m already excited about the next event at Evergreen Speedway, my favorite track! I actually want to get back into the RX8 and imagine the course and practice!

Thank you for taking the time to read me. Please feel free to drop by if you’re in the neighborhood!

TO MY FANS: Thank you for your incessant support and love. Together we’ll make it happen. No worries~


Joon Maeng 



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Keep Yo head up man.

Your day is comming.

God bless you.


Joon, you are the greatest role model I could have wished for. I'm also Korean, and I LOVE drifting. I'm also inspired by the way you kept your faith even with all the temptations and fame! God bless!


very inspiring and down-to-earth post... love the attitude.. keep on rocking


Your hard work will pay off. Keep doing what you are doing!


the rx8 is looking great this year joon ^^ better luck next round!


Thanks for the post Mr. Joon. You are a great person and deserve all the success that you have. May you continue in your success in drifting and out of it. Hope to see you at Evergreen.


Such a class act! Good luck this season Joon!


I love that RX8! Keep it up Joon!


Way to go Joon :D Thanks for Sharing your Testimony with everyone :)


You were looking great in practice Joon, better than anyone else I saw on the livestream, too bad about the mistakes. It happens and I still have 100% confidence. Looking forward to seeing you drive in the next round!


Glad to see a great person make it. Your very kind and down to earth you deserve getting to where you are with your hard work ethic and determination it was only a matter of time. I think more Korean people are becoming interested in the automotive world :)


**2Corinthians 4**

Rock on Joon!!!


WOW this is really awesome!

as a avid lover of sushi, drifting, and church, i think what you are doing is really great =)

keep it up and best of luck in the remaining rounds!


Great stuff Joon! As it happens I'm also a chef at a japanese restaurant, and I can see that your maguro is quite red and tasty looking :) It's always challenging to chase your dream, but you're well on your way there! Keep up the hard work! And never lose the joie de vivre you seem to have so much of!


Wow man, are you humble....and the expression on your face never always look like the happiest guy on earth. Good luck in Washington, Joon. You have a TON of people rooting for you! Your personality is winning so many people, you put almost every other driver to shame with your attitude. Trust me, your efforts will pay off :):)


Love the fact that God's word doesn't get held back anywhere.

I have liked this team ever since its inaugural and the RX8,as a matter of fact, anything rotary I LOVE.



hey joon, great post. it was cool to see what things are like at InJoy. kinda reminds me of my church-- i havent been there long but you definitely get the family feeling. i know a lot of readers on this site wont identify with us, but im still glad you talked about your experiences. and i definitely gotta stop by Daily for some cali rolls when im down in socal haha. anyways sorry to hear about the bad luck in NJ, just wasnt meant to be i guess. but like you said mind over matter. believe and trust and you'll get where He wants you to be-- in points standings and in general haha. prayers and love for you and amy. see you at sonoma!! God bless.


JWM!My heart goes out to you, man.Victory is waiting on you so strive forward.You're a remarkable man.God bless!


my mom, my sister and i met you at your restaurant some years back. food and service was excellent! my mom and sister still frequent the joint from time to time while they're shopping in garden grove. back then you gave my mom a post card w/ your signature, i believe; said that one day you would make it big and here you are! we still have the card! big ups to you bro. as a car enthusiast myself, i was glad to see your feature here on speedhunters. keep it up man! take care.


Not a big fan of drifting but am a huge fan of cars in general. Came about reading this article because of the sushi picture. I absolutely LOVE those small sushi shops all over where I live in Koreatown or LA and might prob come by to your shop sometime in the near future.


Wow, you are fucking badass.


is it true that the raw fish from sushi has a vitamin that make you learn to drift faster?


Great story. Prov. 3:5-6 bro!


Joon!!! what u r doing sounds awesome!! Keep up the hard work...I am looking forward to following ur career in this industry!!! See you in the winner's circle!!!!


Good luck in a following round, Mr. Maeng!!

From Russia with love!!


Hey, joon. u may not be my idol, but ur certainly my hero in drifting. i love tht u dnt sho off ur faith but u luv expressing it through preaching the gospel of Christ in everyway u can thru ur humility and acts of kindness. i hope u really become one of the best, and if it isnt meant to be, well, ur a hero in all of us joon. God bless u and ur team. hey...maybe one day the bergenholtz brothers give their lives to Christ to hav a reason in their lives lol.


Love you joon!!

Drive with your heart bro!!!



next time im down in california ill stop by and have some of those yummy looking noodles...Pomona is only like 45min away


Well I'll be - Joon Maeng was a rabble-rouser? I wouldn't have believed it if anyone else told me.


Thank you so much everyone for your kind words, inspiration, taking the time to read my blog, sharing your opinion, and your following. Gosh~ I can't begin to describe my emotions for words seem inadequate to appropriately express my gratitude. But, for now, please accept my thanks. So, thank you!

@James: Faith and patience will surprisingly take you far. They work!

@Kyle: There's a time and place for everything and, from the results of Round 3, it's not my time yet. I appreciate your 100% confidence in me and my drifting skills.

@SuperTerrific: I'm aiming to acquaint more people to the sport. I'll do my beest whereever I may be.

@Brandon and @GotRice: Thanks for the Bible verses. Read them again and they hold different meanings now since they were given to me by you. I'm uplifted! Thank you!

DRFTMonkeh: Glad to hear of your involvement in your church's ministry. Keep it up! Give to not receive but give to truly want to give.

@Bellamy: Thanks for your committed support!

@Rob: It was great meeting you at DUS! Thanks for keeping the hero card I gave your mother. I hope to see you guys soon!

@James: Come on by! You're always welcomed here at DUS!

@Leo19x: I don't think there's any scientific evidence to suggest that it does but I do believe so. Why not? More sushi and sashimi, please! Hahaha~

@Frank Actions speak louder than words. :) FYI, Ron and Ed Bergenholtz gave their lives to Christ a long time ago. God bless you too! Thanks!

@Mark M Will do! Love ya too!


Dear Joon, you are an inspiration to many! Your hard work (on and off track), your commitment to drifting and your Faith is a prime example to everyone! I hope that God will bless you with many gifts and keep it up!

PS. i hope you dont mind..we made a post about you! keep it up! and God Bless Joon!


joon, my only regret at wall speedway was not telling u how awsome u are both on and off the track keep up the good work and keep on drifting those rotarys -Tyler



Continue to work on your suspension set up, from the spotters stand it looked like your car handles very differently with the throttle on and off, it wants to get straight off the throttle very fast. I think perhaps too much rear toe and too soft in the back. There are ways to get the traction without going super soft and toe in. Then the car handles well on and off throttle, even under braking. Also work on your shock settings, the KW 3-Ways have tremendous adjustment latitude and you can make the car very smooth on bumps and easy and consistent to drive.

You are a very good driver, the car is good as well. There just needs to be harmony between the two. Ron is very smart and I have confidence you can work together well. I love that you are always a good witness to all people and I wish I could be as good as you. You inspire me to be a better person.

Good luck!


@TF Crew Thank you very much for your words of wisdom! I'm so grateful for them! May God bless you with many gifts too! Of course I don't mind you making a post! Where may I check it out? Thanks!!

@Smartbomb I thank you for your advice and expertise! It means so much to me to hear all of your amazing/uplifting message! The harmony between me and the Mazda RX-8 is getting close. :) Ron and the entire Team Bergenholtz is working hard and doing their best in providing me the ultimate RX-8!

I'll keep on doing my best to improve as a driver, good person in this world and live it out to the fullest! Keep strong and hope to see you in person in the future! If we do please let me know you are the Smartbomb so I can give you a big hug for your support! :)

Thank you all for the love! Love you all!


we posted it on

God Bless and keep up the drifting Joon!