"It was an incredible competition and we showed yet again why the Nexen N'Fera SUR4G is our tire of choice," said Aasbo. "It gave us the edge when it mattered and I can't wait for the two final high speed rounds of the season where I think our tires are really going to shine."
The 2015 Formula Drift World Champion, Aasbo is currently second in the championship points with two stops remaining on the calendar. He is the most winning driver in the series, with a record 10 victories. He drives for the veteran Papadakis Racing squad, which owns more championship titles than any other team in the series.
Up-and-coming Oregon driver Matt Coffman took the Coffman Racing Nissan 240SX as far as the Great 8 round on Nexen rubber, besting veteran Robbie Nishida in the opening round to face Kristaps Bluss in the Top 16. Judges deemed the first head-to-head matchup against the formidable Latvian too close to call, and Coffman advanced with a fan-favorite, full-commitment effort in the One More Time re-run.
Nexen drivers Jhonnattan Castro, Cameron Moore, and Dan Burkett advanced to the Top 16, while Ken Gushi, Kyle Mohan and Alec Hohnadell contested the Top 32.
The tire manufacturer returned to Formula Drift this season for the second year as a major series partner. The Nexen Tire sponsorship brings with it on-track and television visibility, as well as exposure to the series' strong and connected millennial fan base.
"When it comes down to motorsports and our demographic, I think Formula Drift is the key to reaching a young, social savvy audience," said Senior Motorsports Manager Paul Jho. "If I was to compare with any other motorsport, Formula Drift is the one that leads the category for what we need as we continue our growth."
The series provides live and on-demand online coverage through a variety of channels including its popular digital broadcast and social media live streaming, as well as 20 half-hour television programs on CBS Sports Network. Motorsport.com and Motor1.com also offer exclusive content through Formula Drift's relationship with Motorsport Network.
In addition to marketing reach, the company's involvement with teams in the series offers an excellent test environment. Nexen Tire teams use the N'Fera SUR4G, an Ultra High Performance tire designed for high-speed stability.
"When you look at evolving tire technology, drifting is a sport that puts the tire in extreme conditions -- guaranteed," said Jho. "We collect a lot of data that we can use in developing our products across the Ultra High Performance range."
Nexen Tire is also seeing success in SCCA racing this season, with a generous contingency program supporting racers and multiple podiums achieved with the SUR4G tire at every national competition. The tire maker took its first SCCA ProSolo Super Challenge victory this past weekend at Oscada Wurtsmith Airport in Michigan with Ken Houseal in a 2016 Ford Focus RS on Nexen N'Fera SUR4G tires.
This year, the company joined Manchester City Football Club with the English Premier League's first-ever sleeve sponsorship. Nexen Tire also became the official tire of 2017 International Champions Cup, a series of a dozen matches between leading European soccer teams at U.S. stadiums last month.
Next, the Formula Drift championship travels to Fort Worth, Texas, September 8-9, before wrapping up the year with the California season ender at Irwindale Speedway October 13 and 14.