Ladder Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Ladder?
In the Corvette Challenge Drag Racing Series, when the class gets down to the last 32 drivers or less, Raceway Park will put us on a "Ladder". This means the drivers will be ranked (or seeded) like in college basketballs' "March Madness" NCAA Tournament. When you look at the list going from 1 to 32 it looks like a Ladder.
- Why does the Ladder look like a Bracket?
The Ladder can also be referred to as a Bracket, like we see during the Sunday NHRA drag races where opponents race each other within a Bracket and then winners face off against others in the Bracket (again, like our NCAA Tournament).
- How are the positions on the Ladder/Bracket determined?
When we get down to the final 32 or less Corvettes, (usually round 2), the drivers will be seeded on the Ladder by their previous round reaction time. The driver with the best reaction time, (or Light as we all call it), in the prior round will be seeded number 1, second best light number 2 and so on.
- How are the match-ups determined?
Raceway Park uses the NHRA Sportsman Ladder system. The field is divided in half. The number 1 seed will race the first driver in the second half of the Ladder. For example, if the Ladder for the current event only has 10 drivers (see diagram below), then the first half will have 5 drivers and the second half the other 5. The top of each ladder will race each other and we will go down both halves simultaneously. The number 1 seed will race the number 6 seed in our example. Number 2 will race number 7, number 3 will race number 8 and so on. This is very different from what we see in the NHRA pro ranks where #1 races #16 and #2 races #15.
You will notice in the diagram above that the number one seed will be on the top half, then number 2 on the bottom half, number 3 on the top and number 4 on the bottom.
- How do we determine who would get a bye run if the Ladder is uneven?
When the track sets the bracket, the Ladder will determine the Bracket that gets the bye. If a bye is needed, it will be placed in the bracket that has the number 1 seed. This is because as the number 1 seeded driver, if a bye is needed, it should go to that driver. It is not always needed and it is not always needed in the 4th round. It may not be needed until later rounds. Additionally, we may need two or more bye runs in the same Ladder depending on how many cars are in the ladder. The second bye will be in the bracket containing the number 2 seeded driver as seen in the diagram above.
- What if the number 1 driver loses before getting a bye?
Once the Ladder is set, then the bye is set. Therefore if the number 1 driver is ousted, the driver fortunate enough to be in the bracket with the bye will get it, the reward for taking out number 1. In some cases, this may not appear fair. However, this is how the Ladder works as once the 1st round of the Ladder is run, we DO NOT get re-seeded. In the diagram above you see that the number 6 seed defeated the number 1 seed and ended up with a bye which was well deserved for beating the number 1 seed.
- Can a driver get two bye runs once on a Ladder?
Yes! There have been situations when we have gotten to the semi final and three remaining drivers have all had one by in the ladder. This presents a situation where the driver in the higher seeded bracket will get a second bye.
- How is a bye determined before we get to the Ladder?
If we have an uneven number of Corvettes for the first round, a driver will have to get a bye. Track officials will randomly pull a driver tech card and pull that driver from the lanes and hold them in the event the class is uneven. This discourages drivers hanging out in the back of the lanes hoping for a first round bye.
For subsequent rounds, the driver with the best reaction time in the prior round will be held back and if the class is uneven, he/she will be rewarded for having the best light with a bye in the next round.
- How is the ladder set for the Corvette Pro classes?
The Pro 8 Shootout and Pro 10.0 Index classes qualify for position on their ladder based on elapsed times rather than reaction time during their qualifying runs. They each use a different type ladder. Pro 8 Shootout uses a Pro Ladder when the fastest driver races the slowest, 1 vs. 8 then 2 vs. 7. The Pro 10.0 uses a Sportsman Ladder like the bracket class where 1 races 5 and 2 races 6 and so on.
modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm
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