Friday. Las Vegas Motorspeedway. Qualifying day.
And as the heat of the day started to subside and the sun started to dip below the horizon, the action around the Formula D paddock started to heat up.
Though all was quite in the Falken pit area…
…but in the Need for Speed Electro Lounge, Miki Taka was busy cranking out the tunes as usual…
…and Matt Powers signed away autographs with his pink Sharpe at the autograph session.
But before any qualifying was to happen, the cars lined up at the start line for two hours of practice.
Right before Friday's practice session ended, the desert saw rare, brief and rather heavy rain storm.
Qualifying was postponed for 20 minutes as the organizers wanted to wait for the storm to pass. As quickly as the storm came, it also quickly passed by. Qualifying was on in the heat of the night.
Tony Brakohiapa arrived to Las Vegas with a brand new chassis, but as with most new race cars, it had its fair share of start-up gremlins. He was unable to qualify.
We were sad to see Jeff Abbott struggling with his Mazda Miata and also was unable to qualify for the top 32. At least he has a sweet Jeff Abbot Racing necklace to floss about.
Pacific Northwest star, Rolland Gallagher was also unable to qualify for the big show.
Alex Lee, in the Cressida-that-could, qualified 29th.
Team Need for Speed driver, Fredric Aasbo, put down two solid runs. His best run placed him 17th on the grid.
Justin Pawlak, who is now driving Tyler McQuarrie's 350Z, was having a tough time getting used to the car. He was able to inch out a qualifying run just enough for him to get into the big show. He qualified 30th.
Tyler McQuarrie, who was relegated to driving the Falken Tire S15 (which was delivered in the morning of qualifying), qualified a bit better than JTP. He qualified 24th.
So with that, let's take a look at the top ten qualifiers. Michael Essa has ironed out all the kinks on the Z4 and was able to put in some solid runs. He placed 10th on the grid.
Ken Gushi has been on fire these past few rounds, this round was no different. He qualified 9th.
Conrad Grunewald qualified 8th and will be going up against Matt Waldin on the Top 32.
The 7th place qualifier was Kyle Mohan. It's rather astonishing to see how well he drives the RX-8.
The current championship points leader, Daijiro Yoshihara, sits 6th on the grid.
Vaughn Gittin Jr is now on his stride. He qualified 5th and will be battling Cyrus Martinez in the top 32.
Chris Forsberg's Nissan 370Z seems to be working better than it has all season. It should also be noted that he is quite the force to be reckoned with. He sits 4th on the grid.
All the right boxes were checked in Robbie Nishida's list and all the right pieces fell into placed. He qualified an impressive 3rd.
The second place on the grid went to Rhys Millen. He was smooth in Seattle and he is now even smoother in Vegas. He'll be quite the man to watch this weekend.
The #1 qualifier spot went to Team Need for Speed driver, Matt Powers. He will be going up against Jeff Jones in the Top 32.
This is the face of one happy man. We're very much looking forward to see how the day unfolds during the top 32 competition today!
Full Top 32 Qualifying Results:
1. Matt Powers
2. Rhys Millen
3. Robbie Nishida
4. Chris Forsberg
5. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
6. Dai Yoshihara
7. Kyle Mohan
8. Conrad Grunewald
9. Ken Gushi
10. Michael Essa
11. Ryan Kado
12. Darren McNamara
13. Ryan Tuerck
14. Otto Graven
15. Dean Kearney
16. Matt Field
17. Fredric Aasbo
18. Patrick Mordaunt
19. Odi Bakchis
20. Charles Ng
21. Kyle Pollard
22. Toshiki Yoshioka
23. E. Armando
24. Tyler McQuarrie
25. Matt Waldin
26. Dennis Mertzanis
27. Ross Petty
28. Cyrus Martinez
29. Alex Lee
30. Justin Pawlak
31. Sam Hubinette
32. Jeff Jones