Where there was some triumph, there would be some heartache as well. On his drive for a three-peat at Long Beach, Justin Pawlak pushed hard all week. His Falken Tire Ford Mustang left its mark on the wall on Media Day and he looked well on his way to win three. However, on his first run for Qualifying, Justin went too aggressive and hit the wall before Turn 10 where “Wild” Bil Baldwin stands. The crash forced him over into the unprotected wall just after the opening and crashed the front of his Mustang, hard. During Top 16 Qualifying, many wondered if Justin would even make it back out.
|Just because he doesn't have ASD behind him anymore doesn't mean that he doesn't have a high quality crew with him. The Falken Tire Mustang Crew worked hard and got the car back into enough of a shape to allow Justin to earn 23rd spot. Many will see that as a disappointment, and while you could, you should also look at the work the crew did to get JTP back out there. That wasn't a failure, this was a team working hard to make sure their driver got in the field. This a triumph over an issue that would have knocked out many other teams.|
|Conrad Gruenwald had a bitchin' Camaro, but it wasn't for the right reasons. First, the flywheel was incorrectly installed and destroyed the ring gear teeth where the starter didn't fully engage. Then the hydraulic clutch was hanging and wouldn't allow the car to make full power. It also fused the clutch packs together like a top fuel car does to its clutches. This would prevent Conrad from making Top 32 and he will have to wait for Atlanta, where he strives and is best known for his backward entries. We'll have to see who has the best between he and Essa then.|
|While GoPro is the title sponsor of Formula Drift, Tyler McQuarrie would have a rough go of it in qualifying. His runs would place him in just 32nd of the 32 positions to make the field. Yes, he was dead last and would have to face Daijiro Yoshihara first. However, even before that his team would have to swap engines on Friday night. Maybe things are going to get better then.|
|Tony Angelo and his TAngelo Racing and R/T Tuning crew came to Long Beach hoping to begin their journey of racing charity and hope for those who were hit by Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, his weekend would end at qualifying as neither of his runs were enough to make the big show. He and his fellow Nor-Easters will have to wait for Atlanta.|
|Making big noise and putting down over 700 horsepower from his SR24VET, David Briggs would bring the pride of Canada down to Long Beach. However, 700 Horsepower, trick head, and Canadian Pride wouldn't be enough to wind up in the Top 32. Dave will have to make another attempt at Atlanta.|
|All of these sad stories have left a bad taste in my mouth and I'd like to end Qualifying on a happy note! Danny “Whoagain” George made his way from Las Vegas with the help of the fans of Formula Drift before the start of the season! Because of their help, Danny will make the entire 2012 season and to pay them back, everyone's face who bought Danny George memorabilia is on the car within the Camo paint job the V8 Miata has on it this year. He's rocked the orange and the beard to 25th place, but could the spirit of the fans help him against 2012 Champion and Achilles Tire driver, Daigo Saito?|