Race Report - For Immediate Release
Submitted by: Jim Maher
Aug 28, 1999 (Western Colorado Raceway): Hungry race fans in western Colorado got their fill of blown alcohol funny cars when the CIFCA circuit returned to Grand Junction. Eleven teams made the long trek and it was well worth it for most of them. The points championship was decided at this race last year but that would not be the case this season. CIFCA hasn’t had a repeat winner or runner up yet this year. And that would not change here.
Hal Rishton of San Dimas, CA led qualifying with a 7.54 while his son Tony won the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge. Both veterans put up a good fight but neither would make it to the final. All the marbles would go to another veteran.
One of the finalists, CHP Dave McDannel, held back Gary Kortz’s Gold Coast Raider Mustang in the opening frame. Tony Rishton was McDannel’s next victim. His Rishton Addiction Beretta fell to the black & white Camaro’s 7.55 (low elapsed time).
Working his way down the other side of the 8-car ladder was Steve Tryon in his Mesa, AZ based Bad Company machine. Tryon took out the elder Rishton during first round of eliminations and faced his nemesis Mike Hilsabeck in the semi-finals. This was a good race with Tryon ‘59 Vette taking the win light on a 7.68 to 7.73 decision.
Tryon vs. McDannel. 2 cagey veterans out for blood. When the helmets went on the gloves came off. In what could have been the closest race of the day was preempted by Tryon redlighting before the bell was rung. McDannel scored the win (his first??) in front of Colorado’s very enthusiast race fans.
Special thanks to the Western Colorado Drag Racing Association for promoting a very organized and successful event. This tireless group endures many challenges including ever-changing weather conditions yet continues to beat the odds.
The points standings remain very tight. Robert Lee has a one round advantage over McDannel who has less than a round over Hilsabeck. With just 2 races remaining (6 rounds), the championship title is going the full distance.