For Immediate Release
Submitted by: Jim Maher
Aug 21, 1999 (Rocky Mountain Raceways): One of the premier race tracks on the west coast lies just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. This state of art facility features a very smooth race surface, superb lighting and timing system, and an excellent management team assembled by owner Spencer Young. It is a pleasure and an honor for the CIFCA funny cars to partake in their annual Funny Car Fever sponsored by Express Auto Glass.
The 1999 season has been ultra competitive. This was the sixth stop on the circuit and CIFCA has yet to have a repeat winner. Or runner up. This pattern would continue as the new blood sent the veterans packing,
Fourteen teams from 4 states showed to do battle for the 8 qualifying spots. Leading the pack with a 7.533 elapsed time was Mike Hilsabeck of Phoenix, AZ. Holding down the bump spot was Sean Dale with a 7.772. A scant .001 seconds slower was Tony Rishton who would end up first alternate with a 7.773.
Ross Stickler of Tucson, AZ won his first round of CIFCA racing when the 20 years old racer got past Hal Rishton in the opening frame. Stickler then advanced his Ford Crown Victoria into the final round when his opponent, Jim Scott, redlit in the semis.
Meeting the newcomer in the final was CIFCA’s treasurer Dave McDannel in his CHP Camaro. McDannel first defeated the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge winner, Randy Smith, in the opening frame. McDannel then held back current points leader Robert Lee with a near perfect 7.495.
The enthusiastic fans that filled the grandstands would witness the closest race of the day as 2 racers fought for their first win. Stickler got his Ford off the line by a very narrow margin (.548- .564) though would see the CHP’s flashing red & blue lights next to him for the next 1320 feet. McDannel pulled slightly ahead and topped the timers with a breakout 7.485 while Stickler’s “Tricky Vicky” recorded a near perfect 7.508 and a win light. True margin of separation: a scant .007 seconds!
Lee left with the points lead, Scott with Enderle’s Quick Reaction Time bucks and Stickler his first win. McDannel moved into 3rd place and the top 10 is still very undecided. 1999 will be remembered as the season of the spoilers. And the lack of dominance is keeping the racing exciting.