10. Daigo Saito’s Perfect Irwindale Record Comes to An End at 16 Wins
Part of me was starting to think that Daigo Saito would retire before losing at Iwindale Speedway. Sadly, a Top 16 battle with champion Fredric Aasbo after a riveting OMT battle saw Daigo Saito finally fall at the House of Drift. This puts his career track record for Irwindale Speedway at a whopping 16-1. Never has one driver been so dominate in Formula Drift history at one track and I hated to watch his undefeated record come to an end.
9. Mad Mike Whiddett Nailed It This Weekend
Mad Mike Whiddett looked pretty solid at Irwindale this weekend. His return to Formula Drift in general had much more impact than his first season and I hope he returns for 2016. He made quite a run this weekend at Irwindale Speedway finally losing to the champion in the Great 8. He easily disposed of Ryan Tuerck and James Evans putting him firmly in 19th for the championship. Not a bad result considering he missed Long Beach and New Jersey.
8. Struggling Drivers Don’t Rise to Occassion at Irwindale
The bottom of the Pro list is where a ton of drivers needed to put down big performances to stay in the Pro series or at least put up points to prove they have what it takes still to compete. Dave Briggs suffered a malfunction and was eliminated early, Joon Maeng couldn’t get a score good enough to place in the Top 32 for qualifying, and Nikolett Szanto didn’t even turn a wheel. A pretty sad showing that was amplified by Mats Baribeau who crashed during qualifying and didn’t make the Top 32 as well. It will be sad to not see some of these guys in the Pro ranks for 2016, especially since I think most issues they had were mechanical.
7. Irwindale Speedway Might Not Be Going Away
Nobody really wanted to speak either way 100% but from what I gathered it is a high probability (over 50%) that Irwindale Speedway will host Formula Drift next year and possibly a few years after that with some luck. Either way, we took on a special project at Wrecked Magazine to pay tribute to the House of Drift which will come out later this month. We talked to drivers and fans about their personal favorite moment from the tracks history.