For Immediate Release
Submitted by: Jim Maher
July 24, 1999 (Sacramento Raceway): The CIFCA funny cars returned to northern California for the annual Sacramento Fox Hunt. Many personal bests were recorded during qualifying. The top four qualifiers ranged from a 7.53 to a 7.58. The bottom half of the ladder were all breakouts (7.23-7.48).
Gary Kortz of Ventura, CA made his CIFCA debut at the Coors 32 funny cars in May. He was determined to get a handle on the blown alky hemi sitting between his frame rails. Kortz came to CIFCA from the super comp wars and we knew it would only be a matter of time before he would be a contender. Nobody just didn't think it would happen this fast.
After qualifying 2nd, Kortz defeated CHP Dave McDannel on a holeshot assisted 7.68 - 7.64. Kortz then advanced past current points leader Robert Lee during the semi-finals when Lee red lighted by .006 seconds.
Waiting for Kortz in the final round was 4-time CIFCA champ Mike Hilsabeck with his Arizona Thunder. Hilsabeck won the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge and qualified #1 during the heat of day. The Phoenix resident then used consistent elapsed times to hold back Tony Rishton and Bob Godfrey.
The final was one of the closest races of the year. Kortz got the jump (and Enderle Quick Reaction Time bucks) with a .436 light to Hilsabeck's game .449. On the top end the Kortz & Threinen Gold Coast Raider stopped the timers first with a 7.587 to a 7.581. True margin-of-victory: a very slim .007 seconds.
This event was one of the smoothest to date. Qualifying got underway at 3:30 and the final two cars were glued together just at the10pm curfew. That's only a 6 1/2 hour spread for five rounds of record-setting racing. Not a single car broke and most set personal bests. All in front of packed grandstands.