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Vaughn Gittin Jr. Smokes Tires in Formula D at Evergreen Speedway, in Monroe, Washington

Vaughn Gittin Jr. in Formula D at Evergreen Speedway, in Monroe, Washington

K&N Driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. entertains a packed house for Formula D at Evergreen Speedway, in Monroe, Washington.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. smokes tires with 2016 900 horsepower 2016 Ford Mustang RTR

Gittin Jr. demonstrates what 900 horsepower can do to a set of tires. Good placement of the K&N logo!

After winning Round 4 in New Jersey and making the Final Four in the next round in Canada, knocked out by the eventual winner, things were looking good for Vaughn Gittin Jr. in his quest for the 2016 Formula D Championship.

With more seat time in his new-for-2016 900 horsepower 2016 Ford Mustang RTR, Gittin Jr. went into the Seattle round, at Evergreen Speedway, on August 5 and 6 with a certain degree of confidence for a good result. All started well when he qualified number one, pairing him in the first round with the driver who qualified 32rd.

In the next round Gittin Jr. was paired up against Dean Kearney, a racer from Ireland with 28 European podium finishes and the 2009 Prodrift: European Series Championship to his credit. Kearney is best recognized on track driving his black and orange Dodge Viper.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. smiles in his car  in Formula D at Evergreen Speedway, in Monroe, Washington

Gittin Jr. doing his best to fight off Irish driver and former European champion Dean Kearney, but the advantage would go to Kearney on that day in Washington.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. was top qualifier in Formula D with 2016 900 horsepower 2016 Ford Mustang RTR

If you were the top qualifier for the event as well as season-long points leader, you'd be smiling, too. The next day wouldn't go as well.

The pairing was tighter than anyone had expected. After two runs, first with Gittin Jr. leading, then with him following, the three judges were deadlocked. A call of "One More Time" was made and the two drivers competed in another pair of runs. This time the judges selected Kearney as the winner. Gittin Jr. would advance no further in Seattle. He was credited with a ninth place finish.

In a video posted by Gittin Jr. shortly after the run, he expressed perhaps a little surprise at the result. By being eliminated so early in the competition, he dropped from the top of the year-long championship points standings. In another post he quickly shifted gears to the fact that he's still in third place, 5 points behind second and 10 points behind first, with two more events to go. In his own words "the last two rounds are going to be crazy!" Stay tuned!