Jun 04 2009

Throttle Thursday: Success Story

The event started off as an idea that Gary Gardella came up with during the FD Round 2 Atlanta, while talking to friend and pro drift driver, Eric O’Sullivan.  The conversation was about Gary’s Animal BMX bike, Eric’s desire to get a new bike and where they could have some fun when FD came to NJ. They discussed going to the Incline Club in Lakewood, NJ to cruise around; it took Gary about 24 hours to decide he was going to take this idea to the next level.

The first call was off to good friend, Jarod DeAnda.  “Jarod is one of the most creative and well respected people I know,” stated Gardella.  “It took about 2 minutes for him to run with this idea and he was on board to help put it together.”  Within a few days Jarod had locked in X Games Gold medal winner Chad Kagy and Dew Tour champion Anthony Napolitan and Gary contacted local heroes and X Games gold medal winner, Scotty Cranmer and X Games winner Garret Reynolds.  All four guys accepted the invitation to this event and Throttle Thursday began to take shape.  The two continued to work together to get the participation of FD drivers Tanner Foust, Chris Forsberg, Ryan Tuerck, and Vaughn Gittin JR as well as the Animal Bikes and Hell on Wheels crew.  JR thought the event was a great idea and helped to get the DC shoes BMX team.

Wall Speedway was the first stop of Throttle Thursday, where the pro BMX riders had the opportunity to drive as passengers with Formula Drift’s top drivers. The guys were amazed with the talent of the drivers; none of them necessarily wanted to get out of the passenger seats. X Game gold medalist, Daniel Dhers, would not get out of Tuercks’ car; the running joke by the end of the day was that it was going to take a pry bar to get him out.  Once the ride and drives were complete, everyone headed over to the Incline Club in Lakewood, NJ where it was time for the BMX riders to shine.  For most of the show the pros were riding along with the local kids, taking the time to sign autographs and answer questions.  The biggest surprise of the night was fellow drifters Ross Petty and Eric O’Sullivan; Ross tore it up on a skateboard and Eric was riding right along with the pros on his new bike.

In addition, to Formula Drift TV providing coverage of the event, Gardella Racing worked with Andy Laputka from Shoot First Media to document this incredible experience.  Jarod DeAnda worked with Fuel TV, interviewing all the riders and drivers at the track and bike park.  " The paradox of BMX'ers and drifters together makes so much sense," said DeAnda "the common aspects being action, adrenaline, passion, and freedom of expression! Throttle Thursday was historic!"  The Fuel TV show, Daily Habit, will be airing around the second week in July; updates on exact airing will follow with more information.

"I am very thankful for all the people that were involved in helping me put this event together,” said Gardella  “especially, Jarod DeAnda, Ernie Manasala, Chris Ernst, Jeff Jones from Hell on Wheels, Eric from DC Shoes, Vaughn Gittin JR, Scotty Cranmer SR, DJ Impulse, John Dunzelman and Animal Bikes. There were many companies who provided giveaways for participants and helped to make Throttle Thursday a hit,” continued Gardella “I need to thank Zoo York, ERGO, Jegs, and SC Action Sports.”  “Finally, I would like to thank all of the pro riders for coming out and being involved to make this event a success; Scotty Cranmer, Garret Reynolds, Chris Doyle, Chad Kagy, Daniel Dhers, Anthony Napolitan, Jeremiah Smith, Pat Laughlin, Augi Simoncini, Cory Berglar, and Robert Kinder.”