I don't know about you, but I love a good graph. Even better when it can incorporate some drag racing! Given just how tough this year's Pro Slammer field was at the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals I thought it would be fun to check out the stats.
2018 was a record bump spot for the Pro Slammer field at 5.804 seconds. The previous quickest bump spot for any event was 5.877 (2018 Westernationals). The previous quickest eight car bump for the Winternationals was a 5.902 (2017).
Here is a graph that shows the top eight qualifying times from the Winternationals since 2012 (the last event I could find online records for).
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Some interesting things to note. Scott MacLean was this year's unlucky ninth qualifier with a 5.831. That time would have qualified him second at the 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Winternationals, third in 2013 and fourth in 2017.
The bottom blue line is the number one qualifier and that has largely been John Zappia's domain. But note how the competition has caught up this season, with those yellow and orange lines chasing him down.
This wasn't only the quickest Pro Slammer field in history at the Winternationals, but likely the tightest too, with a spread of 0.152 of a second. The Winternationals is consistently one of the toughest fields to get into, but typically the spread is 0.2 of a second or above.
So where will Pro Slammer go next year? I think by the 2019 Winternationals we will see more teams discover how to regularly run 5.6s consistently and we could see a 5.6 required for lane choice and a mid 5.7 needed to qualify into the field. It's a good time to be a Pro Slammer fan!