Part Three in our coverage of the 2017 Chase for the Cup takes us out of Virginia and up north to Pennsylvania. Based out of Leesport, we find Mike Perez, currently sitting 5th in points. Perez drives the 1993 2JZ-powered Toyota Supra featuring Wiring Specialties and AEM Intakes components. Perez currently has 184 points, putting him 92 points behind the leader, Kenric Meyer, with 276 points.
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)
Perez finds himself in a marginally better position than 6th place Bellomo and 7th place Wood, being just 6 and 8 points ahead of them respectively. The best Perez can do is obviously qualify first and win the event, giving him a total of 300 points for the season. Perez will be statistically eliminated if first place Kenric Meyer qualifies and finishes better than 14th place (1 point for qualifying 16th and 25 points for finishing 14th) resulting in 302 points for the season. If Meyer fails to qualify, he would remain at 276 points and Perez would need to qualify at least 5th and then land on the podium to earn 93 points (12 points for qualifying 5th and 83 points for finishing third) in order to finish with 277 points.
Second place Noah Michaels would need to qualify at least 7th and then make it into the Top 8 to earn 301 points or qualify and finish in 6th or better to earn 302 points in order to eliminate Perez. If both the Meyer and Michaels scenarios don’t eliminate Perez, he would still be eliminated if Phil Oddo or Ben Williams (both tied for third) qualify and finish in the Top 4, as they would end up with 302 points.
The main difference between Perez and the other drivers in contention for the championship this year is that Perez has only competed in 2 of the 3 rounds thus far; finishing 4th at Round 1 and then 2nd at Round 2. By missing Round 3 at VIRginia International Raceway last month, Perez moved from a comfortable 3 points behind first to 92 points behind going into the final round. Round 4 will take place at Kil-Kare Raceway, an oddly shaped oval that many of the USDrift competitors haven’t driven on, so it should make the event pretty even for all the drivers.
Summary: Perez needs Meyer to not qualify, Michaels to not qualify higher than 7th and then be eliminated in the Top 16, and Oddo or Williams to not finish higher than 7th.