Every once in awhile, we get a little ambitious and decide to make our own predictions for the event. With some of the closest qualifying scores ever, we thought Evergreen Speedway would be a good opportunity to make some daring predictions. Here’s our stab at who will move on from Top 32:
1 Vaughn Gittin Jr vs 32 Miro Ovcharik
16 Mike Essa vs 17 Odi Bakchis
JR has looked great the past two events, and he’s out to make a chase at the championship. Miro’s car won’t be able to tame the Monster. Odi has also been looking strong, and I think Essa losing out on some practice on Thursday due to some transport issues will hurt him a bit.
8 Walker Wilkerson vs 25 Chelsea Denofa
9 Matt Powers vs 24 Kyle Pollard
Chelsea is out to prove that he was the right choice for this car, and beating hometown hero Walker Wilkerson would help his cause. Matt Powers looked strong despite the lack of practice on Thursday, and I think his V8 power will be too much for the lone SR20 powered car in the Top 32.
4 Pat Mordaunt vs 29 Jhonnathan Castro
13 Matt Field vs 20 Taka Aono
Mordaunt looks like a totally different animal with his new powerplant. Aono’s car is looking deceivingly fast on the bank, and that may catch Field off guard.
5 Chris Forsberg vs 28 Rhys Millen
12 Dai Yoshihara vs 21 Dennis Mertzanis
Forsberg qualified well, but Rhys looked amazing in NJ minus the contact with Dai that lost him the match. If Dai takes out Dennis, this could setup a great rematch.
2 Justin Pawlak vs 31 Jeremy Lowe
15 Ryan Tuerck vs 18 Robbie Nishida
Pawlak’s car is very fast, and he’ll be sad to take out a fellow FC driver, but he’s got a championship to win. Tuerck will be looking to return to the podium for the first time since moving on from his Solstice, I think his comfort in the S13 chassis will take out Nishida.
7 Freddy Aasbo vs 26 Pat Goodin
10 Ryan Kado vs 23 Alex Lee
Aasbo loves this track, and he drives it well. Goodin will likely be happy he made top 32. Kado’s car has also looked great with the new turbocharger, I think he will be able to handle Alex Lee.
3 Toshiki Yoshioka vs 30 Tony Angelo
14 Ken Gushi vs 19 Kenny Moen
Yoshioka has looked shaky in some runs, but stronger in others. An Angelo upset wouldn’t surprise me, but Yoshioka should earn the win if he can step up his consistency. Gushi’s anti-lag system hasn’t been functioning 100%, but neither has Moen’s car. Look for the FR-S to move on
6 Conrad Grunewald vs 27 Tony Brakohiapa
11 Darren McNamara vs 22 Daigo Saito
Conrad Grunewald’s angle is tough to follow, and I don’t think Tony B has the seat time in his car to be able to adjust to it. Daigo Saito is always a tandem maniac, and if he takes out Darren McNamara, it could setup the third consecutive Conrad vs Daigo matchup.