Submitted by: Jim Maher
Sept 16, 2000 (Southwestern Int'l Raceway): CIFCA's Championship Finals, held in Tucson, AZ, wrapped up a banner season for the association. Like many previous seasons, the championship came down to the last race. This year it came down to the last run! There were 4 teams (Hilsabeck, Tryon, Lee and Broome) in contention for the number 1 spot. This lack of dominance resulted in a great year of competitive racing.
Hilsabeck bowed out in round one with a 7.492 breakout (7.500 index) while Tryon just missed the show qualifying #17 with a 7.94. This left the door open for Lee and Broome. If either of these teams won the race, they would pull ahead by less than one round in points, thus win the 2000 title. Lee gave it his best shot posting one of CIFCA’s all time best runs (.406 initiated 7.515) in the first round. That was good for the Enderle Quick Reaction Time bucks. Lee then fell to Pete Ortiz's 7.503 in the quarterfinals ending his quest for a second championship.
The rookie team of Jim Broome came into this event in 4th place and also had a mathematical chance of winning the championship. With Mike Savage at the wheel, they qualified well with a 7.57. The team then ripped off a string of incredible elapsed times (7.509, 7.518 and 7.507) and advanced into the final round. Broome/Savage are now less than one round behind Hilsabeck in points and must defeat Gary Kortz to win the jewels. It was decided at the start when Kortz went .394 red and Savage ripped off another 7.509 to clinched the 2000 CIFCA Championship.
This event was by far the finest showing in CIFCA's 16-year history. With 2 dozen funny cars showing up, serious seven second racing during eliminations, and climaxing with the championship coming down to the last run of the year. Incredible, what more can one say. These racers have built a circuit they can be mighty proud of.