The award for most composed defeat belongs to Joon Maeng. Maeng barely qualified in the 32nd spot but on the first battle of the Top 32, Joon's car self destructed. Just before the last bank of the run, I noticed some flames coming from the undercarriage, not totally uncommon. Joon somehow powered through the rest of the run before coming to an abrupt stop just past the finish line with visible flames and smoke billowing out. He bowed (to his car?) and waved to the crowd while an official doused the Lucas Oil Rayno Film S13 with a fire extinguisher, also putting out his chances for advancing.
Rumor has it Joon was really just upset the fans were waiting in ridiculously long lines for wrinkly old hot dogs so he decided to offer up BBQ on the track…
Baribeau qualified 21st but the guardrail defined who is boss during his second qualifying lap and he failed to advance to the Top 16.
Yoshihara advanced in the first round of the Top 32 against the 800hp Achilles Radial Turbo by Garrett S14 piloted by Dave Briggs, who qualified 29th.
Justin Pawlak qualified 22nd and advanced against the 11th qualifier, Kyle Mohan's RX-8.
Tony Angelo in the Tangelo Racing Scion FR-S qualifed 26th but slaughtered a clipping point during the Top 32 round.
Aasbo only flirts with the clipping point at full lock and moves on to the Top 16 round.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. qualified 14th and advanced to the Top 16 round against Dennis Mertzanis' (qualified 19th) 2014 ARK Performance Genesis Coupe. After consecutive wins in Atlanta and Miami, Gittin hooked with the guardrail and had to straighten out. Vaughn's mom Dawn had been in the stands early setting up for rows of family to support him so I'm sure it was a disappointing end but he is still sitting in 3rd place overall with 288 points.
Odi Bakchis was tenacious- eye on the prize. With high angle, proximity, and a huge set of cojones, he converged like white on rice all over Matt Field's 1997 CX Racing Nitto Tire Nissan 240SX to move into the Top 8.