It’s been a couple seasons since we did these “Chase for the Cup” articles, but we thought it would be fun to bring it back this year, so here it starts. The format is based on the articles Jacob Leveton did for Wrecked Magazine a few years back going into the final round of Formula DRIFT for a few years. The articles listed the drivers that could mathematically have a chance to win the season championship depending on how the final round played out. Obviously these drivers, and some drivers even a few places below them in the standings, can still mathematically finish in the top 3 for the season, however the champion is what we are looking for here in these articles. For USDrift, we have 7 drivers going into our final round this weekend at Kil-Kare Raceway, in Xenia, OH that could potentially win the 2017 championship.
The current standings are as follows:
1. Kenric Meyer (276 points)
2. Noah Michaels (243 points)
T-3. Phil Oddo (228 points)
T-3. Ben Williams (228 points)
5. Mike Perez (184 points)
6. David Bellomo (178 points)
7. Kyle Wood (176 points)
First up is our 7th place driver in the standings, Kyle Wood, from Waynesboro, VA, who drives a LS6-powered 1991 Nissan 240SX hatchback featuring Achilles Radial and Voodoo13 components. Wood currently has 176 points, putting him exactly 100 points behind the leader, Kenric Meyer, with 276 points.
If Wood qualifies first and wins the event, he would end up with 292 points. Wood will be statistically eliminated from winning the championship if Meyer qualifies (Meyer would earn 1 point for qualifying 16th and earn another 21 points for going out in the Top 16, resulting in 298 points for the season). If Meyer fails to qualify (which has yet to happen this season) he would remain at 276 points. Wood would then need to qualify and win the event (277 points, 1 point more than Meyer) or qualify 6th and finish second or better (277 points, 1 point more than Meyer).
Noah Michaels would need to qualify 15th or better and make it past the first round to the Top 8 (293 points) or qualify 10th and finish 9th or better (293 points) in order to eliminate Wood. If both the Meyer and Michaels scenarios don’t eliminate Wood, he would still be eliminated if Phil Oddo or Ben Williams qualify and finish 5th or better (295 points) or qualify 6th and finish 7th or better (293 points).
Considering all the what-if’s that would need to take place among just the top 3, and the fact that all 3 of them haven’t placed at an event worse than 8th place this year, it is highly unlikely that Wood will win the championship this season.
Summary: Wood needs Meyer to not qualify, Michaels to not qualify higher than 10th (9th could cause a tie) and be eliminated in the top 16, and Oddo or Williams to not finish higher than 9th.