For Immediate Release
Sept 25, 1999 (Southwestern Int’l Raceway): The California Independent Funny Car Association wrapped up a superb season filled with spectacular performances and major upsets. Seventeen funny cars (a record) descended on Tucson's smooth drag strip for CIFCA’s Championship Finals. This large 16-car field produced extremely tight qualifying and consistent side-by-side racing. The competition has been so tight this season that there has NOT been a repeat winner (another record).
Mike Savage piloted John Stanton’s Pennzoil Corvette to the number #1 position with a near prefect 7.508. The top half of the ladder followed closely behind and was separated by only one tenth of a second.
In the opening round of eliminations, Jimmy Scott showed that he would be a contender when he took out Mike Hilsabeck, the reigning CIFCA Champion. This blow erased any hopes Hilsabeck had to defend his title. Current points leader, Robert Lee also fell in the first round but was not celebrating yet. CHP Dave McDannel could sneak from 3rd place and steal the spoils if he won the event. It wasn’t meant to be as the veteran police officer fell a few pairings later to the Godfrey & Close Cavalier.
Scott won this race last year and was looking to repeat. He would make it to the final round where he had to deal with Jeff Seraphine. This final run of the season was very close; synonymous of the racing throughout the year. Scott took a slight jump at the start and won the race on a 7.57 to 7.58 decision.
Mike Hilsabeck won the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge, his 4th of the season. He will be crowned the 1999 Burnout King based on the most burnout wins this season. Hilsabeck also tie with Buzzz Miller for the Enderle Quick Reaction Time bonus (.416 lights) and secured the 1999 Quick Reaction Time Honors. A fitting close to a superb year that produced different winners at every race. -Jim Maher