Tanner Faust had his hands full from the get-go as Formula DRIFT apexed its season at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. Round 4: Throwdown represented the halfway point in the 2010 campaign and things were tight both on the track and in the points standings.
In the final four, Tanner's foe was the red-hot Darren McNamara and his V8-motivated Saturn Sky. Both drivers initiated their drifts early and fast and attained crazy angles in the transitions between clipping points. Like weary boxers in the late rounds, Tanner and Darren traded shots Rocky Balboa style leading to not one, but two OMTs. Evergreen was deep in the smell of granulated rubber as Tanner was finally awarded the win.
The fans were feverishly anticipating the final round showdown between Tanner and Ryan Tuerck. Ryan and the Mobil 1/Maxxis Tire/Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice had been on a tear, downing the Mazdas of Kyle Mohan and Joon Maeng, Charles Ng and the dangerous Michihiro Takatori to advance to the finals. Ryan led first and was able to initiate first and open up some space on the banking producing a thick cloud of smoke. Tanner, on the receiving end for a change, was looking for a foghorn to blow, materialized outside of the cloud at max slip angle with his Scion V8 in full song. With Tanner leading the cars were in a good formation and the crowd smelled a OMT when Ryan carried his drift a tad too far, tagged the rear edge of the car which slapped the front portion of the car into the wall. Game over; win to Tanner Faust.
Darren McNamara squared-off against Michihiro Takatori with the third step on the podium going to the winner. Both cars went high on the banking and Darren was able to keep some daylight between the cars despite the fact that Michihiro initiated later. When Michihiro led he set a good steep angle on the banking fogging in Darren but Darren hustled his Pontiac through the S-turns and pulled alongside Michihiro in the last gate, sealing his fate.
The win was huge for Tanner as it propelled him into second place overall in the Pro Championship standings, while also giving him the lead in the chase for the Tires.com Triple Crown. "This was an epic event and took a lot of work to get this victory," said Tanner. "After running multiple One More Time battles we almost ran out of Hankook tires, but to advance against competitors that put on such clean tandem battles makes this victory even more sweet."
Less than 50 points separate the top four drivers and the championship is still very much up for grabs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. retains the overall lead heading down the stretch to the season-ending Round 7: Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California on October 8-9.