Looking Back on Staying Back

I thought I would mix it up a bit.  About a week and a half ago, I looked at just the Season Two drivers and made my rankings.  However, despite some very talented new drivers coming in, I felt pretty confident that a few drivers who stayed down would basically dominate due to the huge head start and how cheap attributes were at first.  So, for now, I wanted to look at the top 5 S1 drivers that chose to remain in T1 and break down their season so far.


#1: Carl Downey

Rank in T1 Standings: 1st

Rank in T1 Attributes: 10th

Downey created well after T1 started last season, though that didn’t stop him from winning a race.  Having not had quite the head start any of the other 4 on the list had, my expectations weren’t that high.  Bear in mind there have only been 5 races, and he has made the A Main for all of them.  Despite having a significant head start over the S2 drivers and being remarkably consistent, I just don’t see it lasting, especially given that 6 S2 drivers have already passed him in attribute scores.  A Top 10 finish seems likely given his current lead in the standings, but hesitant to predict higher.


#2: Rick James

Rank in T1 Standings: 5th

Rank in T1 Attributes: 1st

Man…I’ve talked about this guy a lot.  His attribute score is first among all T1 drivers, and pretty competitive for T2, placing him comfortably in the top half of drivers who moved up.  So how is this guy not in first place?  Well, the easiest answer is small sample size.  He missed one race early on, which cost him a lot of points.  However, of all drivers to miss one or more A Mains, James is in first by 6 points.  While his points in pit efficiency now do him no favors, even subtracting those points entirely still gives him a *small* lead over the next-highest T1 driver (Red Clifford).  Honestly, he is still my favorite to win the whole thing outright, though as chaotic as racing can be, I can’t guarantee anything better than where he currently sits.



#3: Ernest King

Rank in T1 Standings: 6th

Rank in T1 Attributes: 3rd

Had Ernest King (or the One True King as I suddenly decided on) decided to move to T2, he would barely be a middle of the pack driver, so I do understand his decision to stay down.  As a T1 driver, though, he is off to a fairly rough start, with only 2 top 10 finishes, though both were top 5.  With his 3rd-best ranking, he should continue to perform well this week and next even as most of the pack starts to catch and even pass him.  He has a solid build and a decent head start on points, though, so I think he will finish top 10.


#4: Tallahassee King

Rank in T1 Standings: 13th

Rank in T1 Attributes: 11th

When Tallahassee King joined, I gave him some advice on his initial build, which he took.  That advice involved engine, qualifying…and pit speed.  Two of those three really hold up.  The third, qualifying, deserves a bit of an explanation.  Last season, each race was set to wear cars down at 3x the normal rate, allowing for pitting to be a factor even in very short races.  Well, this caused a LOT of problems, and also just wasn’t very realistic for a short track series.  So it was announced that S2 T1 would tone down wear significantly, making pitting attributes meaningless.  As a result, T. King’s attributes aren’t nearly as high as they look now.  Removing pit speed, which is basically worthless in T1 (still a factor in T2, btw), lowers his rank to 28th.  As a result, I think he is going to finish around 20th.


#5: Red Clifford

Rank in T1 Standings: 18th

Rank in T1 Attributes: 2nd

As with last season, investing in the driver has proven far less effective than investing in the car, which is probably the best explanation I can give for how Red Clifford can be #2 in attribute rank but 18th in the standings.  Also small sample size, of course, but it should be noted that Clifford invested more in driver ability than any one else in T1.  Clifford has racked up 3 DNFs already this season, which is phenomenally bad luck.  Naturally, I am expecting some regression to the mean, but I don’t see her breaking the top 10 based on points, build and expected activity.


There you have it, folks.


    • They were the only ones who’d earned any TPE throughout the season. There were many inactives in S1 who stayed down by default, but they are already insignificant

    • Definitely possible, but he is still the favorite to win it all. If not, he’ll still be able to buy down gap and will undeniably be the favorite in S3, then likely be the favorite to win T2 in S4.

    • Gap management is the biggest. James should dominate at the end of the season since he’ll have the smallest gap, which will help a lot.

  1. I’m not leaving T1 until I manage to win a few races and a championship, there’s no reason to be in a hurry to be honest. I’m finally starting yo see the results I was hoping for though.

  2. I’m still thinking a rookie driver shocks the world and wins out but the afformentioned drivers will take up the bulk of spots in the top 10

    • I still wish Joe Trickle had stuck to the career Tier 1 plan. Then again, considering his performance in Tier 2 thus far, Joe Trickle probably wishes that also.

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