Aug. 1 (Sacramento Raceway): The annual Fox Hunt drags at Sacramento Raceway once again featured CIFCA funny cars, jets, rock bands and scantily cladded hard bodies. The racing sometimes takes a back-seat to the off track activities but no one seemed to mind since the temperature during qualifying peaked over 103 degrees.
Once the dust settled, Robert Lee was on the pole with a 7.530. The bump spot was held by a rare occurrence: a non-blown, injected alcohol only machine owned by Jerry Green. Supercharged cars have dominated in CIFCA since the allowance of blowers back in 1989.
Eliminations were very intense with most winning runs within a tenth of the 7.50 index. Mike Hilsabeck, points leader going into this event muscled his way into the final round where he would faced number 2 man Jim Maher. Hilsabeck disposed of fellow Arizonan Gary/Sean Dale in round one. In the semi’s, Hilsabeck’s Arizona Thunder thumped Dennis Murphy’s Ground Zero (driven by Charlie Hupp ) with a 7.57.
Whittier, CA based Jim Maher entered this race on a hot streak with back-to-back wins. His Good Vibrations Camaro defeated fellow neighbor and top qualifier Lee on a holeshot assisted 7.67 - 7.59 decision in the opening frame. Maher then claimed a close semi-final victory over the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge winner Randy Smith on a double-breakout 7.46 - 7.44.
The final was run just at the 10 p.m. curfew. In what may have been a close finish was anti-climatic when Hilsabeck staged deep (permitted) costing him a false red-light (Christmas tree was improperly set with a blue bulb on). Maher’s 7.62 elapsed time was good for the bitter-sweet win while Hilsabeck’s drove it out the back door to a 7.46.
Smith clinched the Made For You Best ET bucks with his first round 7.52 e.t. while the Tavia Quick Reaction Time bonus went to Maher’s final round .429 light. This race produced some of the closest racing so far this season and proved to be a crucial event in CIFCA points standing. As for the winner of the bikini contest, they all were. -Jim Maher