|Yoshihara’s S13 had an obvious speed advantage over Jr’s Mustang and Dai used it to press for the win.|
JTP knew that and gave it everything he had; putting pressure on D-Mac. JTP’s following run was as close as his Top 16 run. Through 10b, he was with D-Mac adding more pressure, but the rear of his Mustang couldn’t keep up and JTP spun going into the horseshoe! That was a zero for JTP. Unless Darren made a huge mistake on JTP’s lead run, this would end Pawlak’s night. From 10a to the entrance of the horseshoe, JTP put a gap on D-Mac. However, D-Mac brought it right back and kept close to JTP’s bumper the rest of the way. JTP’s first run cost him and Darren McNamara would move on to the Final Four!
|John Russakoff put up a pretty good fight with Dai Yoshihara, the little AE86 powered by a Honda F20C doing surprisingly well against the 7 liter LS powered S13.|
The final battle of the Great 8 was supposed to be between Pat Mordaunt and Toshiki Yoshioka. As Yoshioka pulled up to the line, Jarod announced that Pat could not get his car repaired in time and that Yoshioka would be given yet another bye-run. The Final Four were Toshiki Yoshioka, Darren McNamara, Daijiro Yoshihara, and John Russakoff. As Yoshioka pulled back into the staging area, the first tandem for the Finals were being lined up. It would be John Russakoff versus Daijiro Yoshihara.
|Unfortunately for John, he took himself out by spinning. Dai spun around Russakoff’s spinning car to avoid it.|
John was having a great night, pulling off upset after upset. He was now a serious threat to Dai, but Dai was on a hot streak of his own, defeating Jeff Jones, knocking down the Norwegian Giant, Fredric Aasbo, and dashing the consecutive dreams of Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Dai had the advantage of a well engineered chassis, a powerful engine, and legions of fans. John had the advantage of light weight, turbocharged Honda reliability, and longer hair.
|DMac and JTP fought an exciting battle that brought the fans to their feet. Falken against Falken may the best man win.|
With Jarod Deanda calling him Sampson, Russakoff would give chase first and while Dai began to gap him, Sampson began to pull his chains. By the apex of the horseshoe, John was on Dai’s bumper, then the torque of the V8 shoved its weight on the columns and Sampson lost some of his grip as Dai began to gap Russakoff again. By the end of his lead run, Dai increased the gap further and held the advantage. Now it was John’s turn to lead, but Yoshihara was hot on his tail and as they began to move through the horseshoe, Sampson’s hair was cut. John Russakoff spun in the horseshoe and gave Yoshihara the win. Despite losing, John still had the chance at the podium, and even though Sampson lost his hair, he isn’t done yet.
|Unfortunately for JTP, he spun and took himself out of contention.|
The Pride of Ireland and Toshiki were up next and providing a GM power-plant battle. With Darren in the 7 liter aluminum Sprint car based small block Chevy V8 and Toshiki in the stroked and supercharged, 418 Cubic Inch, LS2 V8. No power-battle here, as both cars are in the high range. Both cars are also relatively light weight, too. This was going to be a close battle between the two drivers, who both have also driven an AE86 at some point in their career.
|The final battle for the win became a repeat of last year’s battle between Dai Yoshihara and Darren DMac McNamara. What an exciting battle it was.|