|Walker Wilkerson, the Hometown Favorite, hit the wall and forced himself out of the Top 32.|
Hometown Hero, Walker Wilkerson in his Fatlace Nissan 240SX faced Darren McNamara in his Falken Tire Saturn Sky. When Walker tried to initiate into the bank, his car straightened out giving the advantage to D-Mac. When D-Mac lead Walker was able to keep up, but his car straightened up again and this time into the wall, giving the win to D-Mac. Next up was Cyrus Martinez in the Megan Racing/Nexen Tire 240SX and Conrad Grunewald in the Hankook Tire/Top One Oil Chevy Camaro.
|The other big upset this weekend was Cyrus Martinez winning against Conrad Grunewald.|
Despite having a shallower angle, Cyrus stayed door to door with Conrad each run. Waiting on the Judges, most everyone thought that Cyrus didn’t have enough angle in each run even though he was able to keep up with Conrad. Conrad, though, did use a lower line in his follow run in order to keep up with Cyrus. From the highest of highs to now the lowest of lows, New Jersey winner Conrad Grunewald lost to Cyrus Martinez.
|Mike Essa ran strong all weekend but was taken out by Kyle Mohan in the top 32.|
The final bout of the Top 32 was Mike Essa in the GSR Autosport BMW Z4 and Kyle Mohan in the Mazdatrix/Nexen Tire Mazda RX-8. Both Essa and Mohan were pinned throttles as they went through the bank pouring out the smoke from the rear of each car. Essa’s lead run was incredible, but going off course on the transition during his follow run gave Mohan the win and entry into the Top 16.
|Mike Essa was doing well until he went off course, giving the win to Kyle Mohan.|
“Feels great, even though it is at the hands of a mechanical issue,” said Dennis Mertzanis when I caught up with him during the break, “JTP is leading the points and I know it’s devastating for him to go out in such an early round, but you know, a win’s a win and sometimes it’s based on luck and today, you know, I got a little bit of luck.”
|Surprise Top 16 Entrants, Cyrus Martinez and Dennis Martzanis.|
With his first Top 16 of his career, Alex Lee ia showing some promise, “I’m stoked, I’m kind of surprised, and it’s super exciting,” said Lee. On his car being more “Street Style” versus a full on, stripped down car like Dai Yoshihara or even Chris Forsberg, “I’m really glad I’m running the ‘street style’ car, because it brings it back to the grassroots where everybody started and shows people that you don’t need a full on, stripped down, complete race car to compete. It’s a good style, I think.” “I am speechless,” said Cyrus Martinez on his Top 16 entry, “I had to just put on a good run and just stick it to him and that’s what we did and we accomplished what we needed to for Top 32.”
|Alex Lee looking good in Top 16.|