This post is going to take a while to break down so let’s start with a huge breath of fresh air and some simple instructions. The cones on the outside of the track behind the paint in the first turn were explained in the drivers meeting to earn you a big fat zero.
The judges followed this rule so hard and fast over the weekend that Chris Forsberg drifted past a cone and then through magic, fishing lure wire, or exhaust the cone just tipped over in its place giving him a “0″ and allowing Michael Essa to advance on in the event. In fact, this Vaughn vs. Conrad battle happened right before the Michael Essa vs. Chris Forsberg run.
Then the judges made a similar stern call in the Matt Field vs. Daigo Saito battle once Matt Field hit a cone and then Daigo flew off course right after. They put it at the fault of Matt Field for going off course and leading Daigo Saito to the same destiny.
In the “Correct Angle Fan View” video you can see it was shot from an oncoming angle, that we can guess is a fan shot video, in which you can clearly see Vaughn Gittin Jr. goes off course and hits a cone in the exact same fashion as Matt Field. However, all the judges and commentators did was issue Conrad Gruenwald a 0 for going off course with no deduction to Vaughn Gittin Jr. giving him a definitive advantage he never deserved.
Correct Angle Fan View
It is hard to say how the outcome of the second run would of been with the knowledge of Conrad and Vaughn being at a level score or playing field but how such an oversight occurred is rather annoying and disappointing. Why didn’t we have a camera set to focus down the row of cones like this fan view for the weekend since these cones were such a definite marker?
This automatic zero cone business just seemed like an excuse to eliminate making hard judging calls or use common sense to figure out what is happening on the course. The real crime, is having cones at all in such a precise area of a professional series. Can we bring in krail already? That is what everyone I would imagine wants to see making a clear definition of that turn.
You would be driving at that k-rail at a lower speed than the old Vegas Speedway course, Irwindale, and Evergreen Speedway and then allow a clear and definitive off course to be made. Volunteer course workers are tasked with putting down these cones and while I want to commend them for hustling and working hard the cones are not going to be put precisely in the same place run per run.
This tends to make things problematic when the differnce of a perfect run and a zero are literally millimeters (unless you are Chris Forsberg your exhaust will just knock the cone over after your perfect run scoring a 0.) I know everyone is going to come into this post and claim a Ford conspiracy and others will claim I am an idiot for spending time to point this out. What will make me super happy in 2014 is to see k-rail around that turn or just leaving that South Florida swampland all together.
What do you think about this call and tandel battle from Palm Beach?
Clarification Added at 11:11pm PST After Speaking with Ryan Sage on Phone:
1. I didn’t mean to say that this tandem battle was the same or similar to the Matt Field and Daigo Saito was the same situation as this one or the same as Forsberg vs. Essa. I just mentioned these runs as references to show that cones were a definitive zero.
2. I have been told by many people that the judges didn’t dock Vaughn Gittin Jr. on his first run but Vaughn and Ryan Sage have told me he did receive a zero. The clear cut issue here is that Conrad Grunewald has communicated with me he didn’t know Vaughn got a 0 so I dont’ think or feel anyone else can really be expected to know that happened. I think that really gave Vaughn a psychological advantage and highlights a big communication problem of information to the teams. Weather the points were docked it clearly took a toll mentally on Conrad for run two in my eyes.
3. As I mentioned on my phone call with Ryan Sage I feel moving to a k-rail model would make this issue far more definitive over the course of the weekend. All the conflicts and problems occurred in one corner that drivers went over aggressive and wild into because it lacked serious negative consequences which then have broiled into a huge topic of discussion this week.