It was an easy start for the MDU staff, if not a bit chilly at 7:30. It took us a second to get into the track as we enjoyed our breakfast going over the day’s schedule. We went over our positions and started to get drivers ready. Everyone unloaded, suited up and tire’d up as they made it to the smooth ran tech booth manned by Zerolift Auto Lab. Jon and the Chusk numbered and bannered the drivers up, and we had most of them (aside from a couple stragglers – you know who you were :p) ready to rock well before the track opened at 10.
As Greg Schartron and Mark Lenardon took to the center of the track, Round One of the NOS Midwest Drift Union Formula D Pro-Am Series was on!
Due to the amount of the drivers in attendance, we split everyone into three run groups. B & C were only caged cars so they could have some tandem practice before qualifications that afternoon. Each group got 2 hours of solid practice before qualifications with the guys getting anywhere from 10 to 20 runs an hour. Practice showed a lot of promise for the qualifications and competition but no one had an idea what was in store for us all that day.
Qualifications began in the afternoon. All drivers were judged on line/speed/angle with two Formula D licensed drivers in attendance helping with the judging. Dennis Mertzanis and Derek King were both great, offering help and advice during the drivers meeting. Qualifications were not as foretold during the practice session, but it was turning out to become a fierce line up for actual comp.
Top 8 qualifiers in order were Mike Feiock (Indiana), Dustin “Krazy” Doherty (Kansas), Bill Cook (Indiana), Clinton “Floorjack” Florczyk (Indiana), Caleb Nichols (Indiana), Cody Tobe (Ohio), Austin Barron (Indiana), and Kyle Krebs (Kentucky). Each of these drivers is a local hero in their respective states so this was a true battle for the Midwest. In terms of competition, the lineup was pretty epic, this truly tore us apart when it came to who would win the podium finish.
In the first match up, Mike just had a little more juice behind the wheel of his turbo RX7 and knocked Kyle and his AE86 out of the competition after a tough battle. Mike, having dealt with so much in the past, had finally put it together today and was looking like a true contender against the mighty Krebs. Krazy advanced after Austin just couldn’t get crazy enough for Dustin’s driving style, both great drivers, but Doherty has been putting his work in and brings experience to the plate to the rookie Barron. After ‘one more time’, the judges advanced Cody over Bill after those two battled it out over 6 runs. This was no simple feet for the judges to pull off, it was a mammoth dog fight. Clinton phazed Caleb with his early entry and pulled away to the next round. Clinton definately raised his game for this event and was showing it.
The final top four tandem saw Mike vs Cody, and Krazy vs Clinton. After the Mike and Cody run, the spectators demanded a ‘one more time’ as these drivers were both at the top of their game. Cody had the advantage and allowed Mike to change tires as Cody needed to as well. So, with a fresh set for both they continued their fight. Mike moved on with the advantage and went on to bout the winner of the Krazy/Clinton match. Clinton, showing an amazing display of control, took out the struggling KA engine Krazy runs with pride. At the end of the day it was FC vs FC, friend vs friend, towering guy vs short fellow, the man who says too much against his friend who says very little. It was Mike vs Clinton, both children of Indiana.
The final had everyone on edge. Whether you were a fan of one of the drivers or you just came to see the action, you knew this was not going to be an easy exhibition. This day each driver was on his best and dug deep for this finale. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!!! Clinton put together amazing runs to win and is now points leader of the NOS MIDWEST DRIFT UNION FORMULA D PRO AM SERIES.
We appreciate the compliments we got that day. Trying to make it an amazing event was easy when you have such talent in the Midwest. What an unbelievable Round 1 to start the season off! Without the fans or the drivers we could not make this event a success. This is just the beginning of what should be an amazing year. I hope we see a lot more drivers step up and face the giants that drive in the Midwest, and who knows, we may get the attention of drivers from as far as Texas.