2014 Nationals Pregame – Running the Numbers

Since I wasn’t able to get this entire week off work, I’ve been stuck here at my desk watching the numbers slowly pop up on Solo Live.

I figure with the data that I do have, from Spring Nationals and Nationals last year, I can run some numbers and get some kind of estimate of how I would have done at 2013 Nationals, where that puts me overall, and hopefully get some kind of meaningful information out of all of this. Yes, I’m bored.

Thankfully, HS winner Greg Reno was at both Spring Nationals last year and Nationals last year, serving as some sort of baseline data point. At Spring Nationals, he ran a 134.214, while I ran a 140.017, for a difference of 5.803s (yikes). Average 2.9s per side. Extrapolating this to last year’s Nationals results, he ran a 138.276, meaning that (theoretically, or something) I would have ran a 144.255. Note, these times would have been on r-comps. Running down the list of people who are attending again this year, Carrite: 139.312, Babin: 140.139, Leach: 140.322. Two drivers who had run RTF for 2013, Burns: 140.059 & Hill: 142.890 are also in the HS mix this year, since the RT classes have been nixed. So in theory, still far off pace. The closest I would have run in theory would be behind Hill, by about 1.4s total. Not bad & getting closer. This is a little bit of fuzzy math though, since I applied a multiplier to the RTF classes to get them up to rcomp speeds. Well, all of this is fuzzy math.

So, I would have firmly been last in this scenario. Again, being that my goal is NOT to be dead last, I’m a little nervous about this. Fortunately for me, there are 12 new competitors (at least to HS) running this year. Even better (in theory), 4 of them have chosen not to run the Mini, so I would assume to have some sort of natural advantage over them. Of the other 8, 4 are running the older Mini, which I assume will be less competitive as well. Regardless, this is still HS after all, so still mainly a driver’s race. I can only hope that my seat time (~162 runs in the Mini this year, ~50 in the old Mini last year) trumps theirs. Given that ultimately this is my first real year in autox, I somehow doubt it. Sometimes I look at the videos of my runs and think, are any drivers as mediocre as I am actually going to even attend Nationals? I’m still far, far off pace, with my lines, proximity to cones, and inputs still needing a lot of work… I don’t want to psych myself out, but at the same time running numbers like this doesn’t really impact my driving. We’ll see how things turn out on Thursday!

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