With the long layoff between Seattle and Texas, we have to do something to keep us entertained. After last week’s look at the rookie standings, we decided to dive into the qualifying points as we did last year around this time.
For the first time in years, Darren McNamara is atop the charts. McNamara has been known as a driver who tends to drive better in tandem than in qualifying, but this year seems to be quite different. As the only driver who has been one of the top two qualifiers in three of the five rounds (1st in Seattle, 2nd in Long Beach and New Jersey), McNamara has stood out in the new qualifying format. His Falken Tire teammate Justin Pawlak is 2nd with two top qualifier awards (Palm Beach and New Jersey), while Aasbo has a top qualifier position (Atlanta), 2nd qualifier (Seattle) and a 3rd qualifier (New Jersey) that put him in third in the overall qualifying standings.
The other driver to earn a top qualifier position is Dai Yoshihara, who hit the top spot in Long Beach but has struggled since, qualifying 6th in Palm Beach but outside of the top 10 in all other rounds. Last year’s leader at this time was Vaughn Gittin Jr, who has dropped to 9th in this year’s standings. Comparing this list to the overall points standings after 5 rounds, there’s quite a substantial difference, showing that qualifying is less important than in years past. Forsberg, who is currently leading the championship race, is only the ninth-best qualifier.
Here’s a look at the top 20 of the qualifying standings according to our points table. NOTE: This is based on the number of qualifying points earned, not the average qualifying position.
UPDATED on August 21st to reflect qualifying penalties for Tuerck and Saito
|LB Qual||ATL Qual||PB Qual||NJ Qual||SEA Qual||Total|