Midseason Championship races heat up!
With the season rapidly approaching its midpoint, we’ll use this month’s installment to take a look at the championship races in NHRA TAD, TAFC and Comp.
As a disclaimer before we get into our review and predictions, we’re breaking it down to the top eight racers with a shot at the championship in each class. The current top five points earners in each class were automatically seeded into the top eight. With the way the sportsman points system is structured, it’s perfectly plausible that someone can still come out of nowhere and win the championship. It’s happened before, and it will happen again.
We’ve also broke down the racer’s per race average to give you a better idea how they’ve fared versus other competitors that may have run more or less races. To give you a benchmark against last year, we also averaged last year’s champion’s points per event, what it took to finish No. 5 and finish No. 10.
2007 Champ: Bill Reichert – Points per event: 75
No. 5 Points per event: 61
No. 10 Points per event: 53
This class is absolutely wide open. After being dominated by Bill Reichert the past two seasons, whoever can step up in the second half will win the championship. Any one of the drivers in the top eight has a legit shot. We could also see a driver come out of nowhere to win. We only need to look back to 2005 when Steve Torrence drove Tom Conway’s A/Fueler to a championship after starting the year in midseason. Here’s our TAD picks:
1. Bill Reichert (Current Rank: 3, Points: 377, Events (4 nat., 3 div.) Points per event: 54) – Two-time defending champ still can run the big numbers, but has dropped quite a bit in the consistency department. However a strong showing in the heat while winning Chicago this past weekend may show the old Reichert is back. With the Division 3 schedule just getting cranked up, a good run could secure his third-straight World Championship
2. Jim Whiteley (Current Rank: 6, Points: 307, Events (4 nat., 2 div.) Points per event: 51) – Much like Reichert, usually has one of the fastest cars at the track, but has been bitten by inconsistency. This team has the potential to make a run like Manzo did last year. If you look back at Manzo last year, he always had the fastest car at the track, but would have an off run here and there that would lead to early exits. He then went on a tear about this time last year to win out the year and win the championship. In fact, he still hasn’t lost a round of official competition yet. We also remember a certain Norm Grimes tuned dragster that was pretty dominant a few years ago.