This year’s rookie chase is tighter than ever, but mostly due to lackluster results.
Canadian Marc Landreville is currently leading the chase despite only attending one FD event so far. Landreville has confirmed that he will be at Irwindale, with Texas being a possibility as well. Brandon Wicknick and Nate Hamilton have both made top 32 twice so far, which puts them just a few points behind Landreville, with both drivers committing to the remaining rounds. Mats Baribeau, Will Parsons, and Chris Jeanneret have all made a top 32 so far, and all are well within reach of taking the title with a Top 16 appearance. We could still see a jump from the ranks of a driver who has yet to score points with drivers like Rob Primozich, JR Hildebrande, or Luke Pakula simply needing to qualify for top 32 and possibly get lucky with a driver spinning or having a mechanical issue during the Top 32 tandem battle to tie Landreville. Landreville only earned 1% of the popular vote when we ran our poll in April about who our readers think would take the title.
Since the series switched to top-32 tandem in 2009, Odi Bakchis earned the Rookie of the Year title with the fewest points at 255. Unless a Landreville, Wicknick, or Hamilton were to earn back-to-back podiums, we are guaranteed to see a point total below that claiming the title.
Here’s a look at the points standings so far:
|Car #||Driver||LB Qual||LB Tandem||ATL Qual||ATL Tandem||PB Qual||PB Tandem||NJ Qual||NJ Tandem||WA Qual||WA Tandem||Total Points||Behind Leader|