Episode 290 with Dai Yoshihara - Focused On Driving
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Episode 290 with Dai Yoshihara – Focused On Driving

Image of Electrify Podcast episode 290 with host Jarod DeAnda and guest Dai Yoshihara
  • A remarkable 18-year Formula DRIFT journey has propelled Dai Yoshihara from early days to racing legend.
  • Dai’s foray into electric vehicles, including Tesla, offered insights into EV challenges and benefits in racing.
  • Dai appreciates both traditional engine sounds and EV advantages, advocating for embracing EVs’ potential in racing.

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In the recent episode of the Electrify Podcast, host Jarod DeAnda engaged in a captivating conversation with racing icon Dai Yoshihara. This meeting was more than just an interview; it was a reunion of old friends who’ve shared a journey spanning nearly two decades. Dai’s rise from being an “eBayer” in the early days to becoming a legendary figure in the racing world showcases a story of friendship, evolution, and lasting impact.


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Back in 2004, when they met in Atlanta, Dai and Jarod were just two enthusiasts with a shared passion for racing. Now, years later, Dai’s legacy is undeniable, as he’s known by his first name alone, much like cultural icons such as Prince and Madonna. Their shared age and the memories they’ve built together over the decades highlight the enduring nature of their bond.


Driving into the Future: Dai’s Unretirement and Motorsport Ventures

Dai’s racing career, spanning 18 years in Formula DRIFT (FD), has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite a hiatus from FD, he never truly retired from the driver’s seat. He continued driving in various capacities, always feeling the pull of the track. In his own words, “I’ve been driving more than when I was doing FD these days.” His passion for the sport and his dedication to honing his skills are evident in this commitment.

Dai’s partnership with Pit + Paddock, backed by Turn 14 Distribution, and other sponsors like NOS Energy Drink and Yokohama Tires, speaks volumes about his reputation in the industry. His focus this year on the TC America racing series, behind the wheel of the Pit + Paddock Civic Type R TCX, underlines his continued pursuit of excellence.


Pikes Peak Adventures: Chasing Records and EV Challenges

Dai’s experiences at Pikes Peak add another layer to his racing legacy. From Toyota 86 to Tesla, he’s tackled the mountain’s treacherous terrain with diverse vehicles. But EVs present unique challenges at high altitudes, grappling with issues like battery and motor heat. Maintaining power output throughout the race becomes crucial. Dai astutely contrasts gas-powered and EV racing, highlighting the contrasting dynamics of power delivery and strategy.


The Balance Between Gas and Electric: Dai’s Take on EVs

Dai’s perspective on electric vehicles offers valuable insight into the evolving landscape of motorsports. While the roar of a gas-powered engine has its allure, EVs bring fresh advantages. The focus on driving dynamics and the ability to concentrate on other elements of racing make EVs an enticing proposition. He rightly advocates embracing the rise of EVs, acknowledging their growing influence and potential in racing circles.


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Pikes Peak: Conquering the Mountain’s Mystique

Pikes Peak, a challenge Dai deeply respects, demands respect due to its unpredictability. The mountain’s unpredictable conditions and challenging course offer valuable lessons. Dai’s approach of learning from in-car videos of fellow racers like Rhys Millen and Sebastien Loeb underscores his dedication to refining his strategies and techniques.


Parenting and Racing Legacy: Dai’s Approach to His Children

Dai’s insights into parenting and his children’s introduction to racing are touching. He’s careful not to impose his own passions on them, allowing his children to explore their interests freely. He acknowledges the difficulties of making a living in racing and encourages his children to explore different paths, fostering a sense of curiosity and autonomy.


Tesla Model 3: More than a Car, It’s a Gadget

Dai’s fascination with the Tesla Model 3 reflects the changing landscape of automotive technology. He likens the Model 3 to a gadget, emphasizing its unique driving experience. Technological advancements in EVs provide sensations distinct from traditional cars, making them an exciting proposition for enthusiasts and drivers alike.


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Embracing Change and Future Aspirations

While Dai holds an appreciation for gas-powered vehicles, his willingness to embrace EVs signifies adaptability. He emphasizes the importance of staying open-minded and adapting to new technologies as part of his racing journey. His receptiveness to change positions him as a forward-looking figure in motorsports.


A Legacy in the Making

Dai Yoshihara’s interview on Electrify Podcast offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a racing legend. His journey from the early days of racing to his present status as an influential figure underscores the power of perseverance and friendship. As he continues to shape the racing world with his dynamic approach and open-mindedness towards EVs, Dai’s impact remains undeniable. His story is a testament to the enduring spirit of racing and the potential of electric vehicles to revolutionize the track.


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AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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