TD ProAm Round 3
As I got into position for the Top 16 round, I spotted some awesome thunderclouds over toward Chico. It might have been nice to have some clouds over the track, as it was around 104º by this time.
Hey! Before you read any further, be sure you read Part 1 first!!
Gabe Stone got a bye run, so the first Top 16 battle was between Josh Kravitz and John Corvinus. John’s Chuckles gave him perhaps a little too much angle and he wasn’t able to keep up with Josh on his follow run. Josh’s win meant that he’d face Gabe in the Top 8. With two of the top drivers meeting so early in the competition, one of them was bound to drop a few places in the standings! Excitement and anticipation abounded!
Remember in Part 1 how Julian Jacobs missed qualifying but got to run anyway, albeit in the last spot? Mike Bratton would have gotten a bye run, but had to face Julian instead, and ultimately faced defeat as well. Geoff asked Mike what he thought about the whole situation, and Mike said something like this: “It’s cool, man. I missed Round 2 so I’m not really in the points race anyway, but Julian is, so I’m happy he’s getting to drive today.” What a good sport!
Next up were Adam Swan and Noah Welch. Noah dove into the dirt on his lead run, handing Adam the win.
Jason Bostrom got a bye run as well, so the next battle was between Joe McGuigan and Rob Webber. Joe held on tight, but couldn’t match Rob’s speed or angle. This was Rob’s first win of the season.
Josh McGuire also moved on with a bye run, and that left us with the last pair: Marcus Fry and Aaron Conklin. Aaron laid down his best run of the day on his lead run, but spun on his follow run. Luke Lonberger said that he was really impressed with his driving that day.
Gracious in defeat, Aaron waved to the crowd as he drove off the course.
Going into this round, only 20 points separated first and third place. Because of Josh’s low qualifying position in this round, Gabe was now only 11 points behind.
Even though I was there to shoot drifting, I always have my eyes open for other things. Apparently rabbits live in the drainage culvert outside of Turn 8. This one ran away when I got too close.
Back on the track, Josh went a little too wide on his lead run and sealed his fate. This cut Josh’s overall lead to just 3 points with 255 while Gabe was guaranteed at least 252. Gabe would still have to win either his Top 4 battle or the Consolation Round in order to pass Josh. But there was also Jason Bostrom to worry about. Because of how the bracket was set up, Gabe and Jason couldn’t meet until the final battle!
Julian might have had an epic battle with Adam Swan, but his car broke again. Why does this keep happening to him!??
FIRE! Somewhere south of Willows, a farmer was filling the sky with ash and stink. Luckily I have a cold so I could barely smell it. Why the hell do I have a cold in July??
Jason had to beat Rob and whoever won the next battle in order to take on Gabe in the finals.
With two spins from Rob, Jason had this one in the bag.
The last battle of the Top 8 was Josh McGuire and Marcus. Let’s see how Josh’s new machine could fare against the V8 510.
It was a close one and went One More Time. But on the second time, Josh got a little too aggressive and tried to come visit me out in the grass.
Adam and Gabe faced off for the first battle of the Final Four.
And Adam got Stoned. Gabe had another guaranteed podium finish and slipped ahead of Josh Kravitz in the standings!
Something happened to Marcus’s car, so he forfeited his Final Four match to Jason. Jason took his bye run and threw the deuces as he passed the judges. This meant Gabe and Jason would be fighting for the win! At this point, Gabe was still 8 points behind Jason in the series, so the final battle would be a battle for the points lead as well!
Marcus was back in time for the Consolation Round against Adam. Adam went wide on the first turn and let Marcus pass him!
Both drivers had clean runs on the second pass, so it looked like Marcus would be taking home the third place trophy.
Gabe and Jason were the last two left on the grid. The end was near.
Gabe slowed down way too much going into the first turn. Jason straightened out to avoid him, then drifted around him as he spun. Oh no!
But then on the second pass, Jason spun. Gabe didn’t have enough time to avoid a collision, so he took Jason’s bumper off with his fender. What the hell kind of final battle was this??
Gabe was really sorry. Since both drivers had critical errors, the judges called a One More Time. Jason’s intercooler pipe got disconnected in the collision so he called 5 minutes and went back to his pit to fix it.
He was back out in no time and this time he and Gabe gave the crowd a good show.
Both drivers had clean runs, but whose was better? With Josh Kravitz losing in the Top 8 we already knew there would be a new points leader, but who would it be? If Gabe won it would be 283 points to Jason’s 279. If Jason won he would have 291 points to Gabe’s 271. Let’s go to the podium and find out!
Jason won! Gabe got second and Marcus got third! Amazing! Exciting!
The step and repeat is so gross to handle now. It’s got nine bottles/cans of NOS Energy Drink sprayed all over it. Make that 10 since NOS girl Jamie Payne decided to join in on the action this time.
Best jump shot yet. I think Jason is actually still touching the floor though.
NOS dude Tim Durkee thought I was crazy.
I think Jamie is crazy.
And I know for sure Marcus is crazy.
Gabe couldn’t get enough. He was pouring NOS on himself long after everyone else besides me went home.