Many professional racing drivers and drifters, prior to hitting the bigtime, have had to hold down “normal” Monday through Friday jobs. Typically these 9-to-5 vocations are at least tangentially automotive-related (e.g. mechanic or taxi driver), but not always. Some work in food services, some work in retail, and still others work in education. NASCAR star Carl Edwards used to be a substitute teacher, 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva is a former school principal, and pro drifter Daigo Saito has worked for a nursery school.
Never heard of Daigo Saito? Not too many Americans have, though it must be said even fewer had prior to this past weekend. You see, Saito – the 2008 D1 Grand Prix and 2011 Formula Drift Asia champion – didn’t just participate in his first American drifting competition in the Formula Drift season opener on the Streets of Long Beach; no, he finished on the podium, finishing ahead of many of the U.S. drift scene’s biggest names. Makes you want to know more about this guy, doesn’t it? Your wish is our command.