10. Great Layout and Formula Drift Texas Gets A-
I liked the layout this year and the how the event ran/flowed as a whole. Formula Drift gets tons of criticism from all angles so when they do something really well I want to stop and take the oppurtunity to give them credit. The judging was pretty spot on with the exception of Ryan L. once who picked Aasbo when their was no scenario on earth he won but we cannot all be perfect. Texas has been an event with protests, drama, delays, and bad accidents in years past so it seems like they finally got this layout to work and I am looking forward to it next season.
9. Looking Ahead to a Possible Lackluster Irwindale?
Chris Forsberg finished second at Texas after beating Aasbo in the Great 8 which kind of puts a damper on the Formula Drift Irwindale drama. With a podium or finishing two places about Aasbo at Irwindale Forsberg will lock down his third championship. Considering he has hopped on the podium the last six events in a row it seems like it could happen again. Vaughn is eliminated if Forsberg lands in the Great 8 so really it’s a repeat of last year at Irwindale with a larger points gap.
8. Where Did It All Go Wrong for Chelsea DeNofa?
Chelsea DeNofa made some serious efforts to run this weekend in Texas by loaning a local Pro Am car and giving it hell but you have to wonder where it all went wrong. Just six months ago we watched DeNofa win his first career event and establish himself as a championship player. Two events later he was removed from grid for having glue on his tires and now after seven rounds he finds himself in 15th place and 288 points behind Chris Forsberg. Talk about the highs and lows of a Formula Drift season.
7. Has Kenneth Moen Thrown in the Towel?
Kenneth Moen missed another round of Formula Drift and currently sits 29th in the championship points standings. In a realistic world, if the grid was more complete he would be relegated to Pro 2 for next season with a points score of 136 points through seven rounds. His style is so awesome it will be a shame if he doesn’t return for 2017.
6. Pro 2 was Less Than Ideal
Pro 2 has been hot and cold this year but Texas might of found the series in a new low. One battle had six zeros put together by two drivers before someone could muster up a score. Marc Landerville vs. Jeff Jones was probably the highlight battle of the Pro 2 show. I will be in Southeast Asia for the Pro 2 only round in Phoenix and watching this made me feel like I am not going to miss very much.
5. Alex Heilbrunn and Rookie of the Year Race
Alex Heilbrunn has been hot and cold over this season and Irwindale will have it all to drive for. Faruk Kugay sits just one point ahead of him in the championship race right now so whoever qualifies better and finishes in a higher round will win the Rookie Of The Year. It would be a huge loss for Alex Heilbrunn to miss out on ROTY after landing on the podium in Orlando. This Rookie of the Year race will be a really interesting storyline to watch at Irwindale.
4. Mad Mike Needs to Change Something Up
Mad Mike gave a 20 minute speech on the Livestream about how his motor let go on him in Texas. He just seemed like someone stole his childhood puppy talking to the camera. His string of bad luck with engine problems has been right at the point of him performing well behind the wheel. Hopefully he can leave this bad luck behind him and perform for the 2017 season. If the car could hang in there it seems like he has developed the talent to reign in this MX-5 for a podium finish.
3. Chris Forsberg Just Cannot Win An Event
Why on earth can Chris Forsberg not cross the finish line and win an event? For the championship points race, everyone should be glad that Forsberg can only manage to find the podium these days. He has six podiums in a row since Road Atlanta this year but they are all 2nd/3rd place. Forsberg has more podium finishes in Formula Drift history than any other driver by now a double digit number but he doesn’t even lead the series in wins. This is an interesting problem he needs to figure out and work through before the 2017 season I think. He shockingly has not won an event since Long Beach of 2014. That was 20 events ago.
2. Geoff Stoneback vs. Fredric Aasbo was AMAZING
This might be my battle of the year. Stoneback just looked out of his mind in that 370z this weekend. Just watch the run and don’t listen to me ramble about it. https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMp0pKj-rY/?taken-by=formulad
1. Matt Field Finally Did It
The best drifter from Northern California finally crossed the finish line at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend taking home his first ever event victory! He has looked super comfortable in years past at Texas so it isn’t surprising this was his first event win. Matt needs to look forward into 2017 and focus on his consistency and I think he can move into the top 5 drivers of the new season. Who else thinks Matt Field can get it done?