Former Speedbowl Champion Garrett Denton Sliding To The Top In Drifting

(Press Release from Denton Motorsports)

Garrett Denton (Photo: Denton Motorsports)

Fans who filled the stands this past weekend at Formula Drift’s inaugural event at Gateway Speedway just outside of St. Louis were treated to an exciting three-day professional drift event.

Clouds of smoke filled the air as the announcer introduced the rookie PRO2 driver behind the wheel, “Make some noise for Garrett Denton from Hope Valley, Rhode Island!”

Denton, now 21, has been behind the wheel since kindergarten. He raced quarter midgets from ages 6-13. At 14, he earned his NASCAR license and won a mini stock race making him the youngest driver to win in NASCAR history. At 17, he won the Mini Stock Championship at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.  This led to him being recognized as their youngest NASCAR sanctioned event champion.  He was later recognized as being ranked 3rdin North America for licensed NASCAR drivers under the age of 18.

After his championship season, Denton shifted gears and left circle track racing to explore drifting.  This was something he had done on video games, but not in a car. He pieced together his first drift car during his senior year at Chariho High School and attended a few noncompetitive drift events that summer with Ready Set Drift.  He realized quickly this was his new passion.  It took his love for racing to a new level with the technical demands of drifting.

Late summer, Denton moved to Lima, Ohio to start his freshman year at the University of Northwestern Ohio to study High Performance Automotives.  Within the first month there, he met Jelani Winston, a recent graduate, who also shared his love for drifting.  Jelani watched a few of Denton’s videos and knew there was amazing potential.  He suggested Denton enter a PRO AM drift competition through MDU.  Denton went for it.  His first competition ever led to a top-eight performance with against over 40 competitors many with years of experience and professionally built cars.

The past two years Denton continued working towards his degree, built two more drift cars and earned a second place title in the MDU PRO AM Drift Championship season in 2017 earning him his Formula Drift Pro 2 license. A moment Denton had dreamed of since age 6 to be considered a professional race car driver.

On August 2nd, Denton completed his last course to earn his Associates degree from UNOH.   , Just one week later, he was behind the wheel attempting to qualify for one of 16 spots from a field of over 35 competitors representing 3 countries.

That night red shirts filled the stands with his mom, Melissa Denton and grandparents, Sue Moore and Sheryl and Earl Denton, as well as friends ready to cheer him on.  His sister, Kelsey and family and friends viewed their computer screen watching Formula Drift’s livestream waiting for Garrett to hit the track. Nate and Charity from Daily Driver Media were stationed with their cameras and video ready to capture the run.  In the hot pits, his crew made up of friends who are alumni of UNOH, John and Corey, Dad Steven Denton and Grandfather Norm Moore put on new tires.  His spotter Neville Ford Thomas updated him on earlier runs. A last few words from Jelani, his now crew chief and he was ready to send it.   With his NEXEN tires and Konig Wheels, Garrett qualified his Nissan 240 S14 2JZ in tenth place earning him a prestigious spot to compete the following day. Denton’s top 16 battle was against a seasoned PRO 2 driver.  Denton initiated his run with full commitment. However the lead car had not accelerated at the same rate forcing Denton to pull out of the run avoiding contact.  His lead run was on target, but due to the incomplete first run, the win went to his competitor.  His event ended without a trophy but with lessons learned by the entire team to prepare for his next round of competition in Dallas, Texas this September.

Just 3 years ago, Denton started drifting and is now an up and coming Formula Drift Pro 2 driver.  You can follow Garrett’s remaining two rounds in Dallas, Texas and Irwindale, California by following his social media accounts:  Facebook Denton Motorsport and Instagram @denton_motorsport.  There is still room for local sponsors to join his team. Formula Drift live broadcasts all events with global viewership of over 250,000 and a social media following of over 2 million.  From playing with hot wheel cars to earning a college degree in High Performance and becoming a Formula Drift PRO2 driver , Garrett’s story is a great example of following your passion.


  1. Shawn nice article. You may want to add an paragraph explaining what drifting is. I had to look it up. Never heard of it before.

  2. drifting is for kids!!!!

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