Submitted by: Jim Maher
May 11, 2002 (Southwestern Int’l Raceway): The California Independent Funny Car Association (CIFCA) second stop on the DragParts.com circuit was at SIR’s Learjet backed race. The qualifying sessions proved exciting and crucial. Jim Scott qualified number 1 with a very rare, perfect 7.500 elapsed time. Pete Ortiz jr. pedaled Guy Gloudemans’ Cutlass to the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge win.
Dave Smith's DLS Motorsports team took care of unfinished business when they won the delayed Sacramento FC Fever final round. Adam Sorokin piloted Smith's Firebird to a 7.46-7.45 double-breakout win against the Jim Broome/Mike Savage duo (mov: .014 seconds).
Sorokin then worked his way through 4 rounds of elimination sending both rookies and veterans packing. In the opening frame Sorokin ran a 7.54 to cut short Marsha Whiteman’s day. He then met up with Savage again. The outcome was the same as earlier: Sorokin took the win light when Savage broke out by .008 seconds (7.581 – 7.492). Sorokin then guaranteed the DLS Motorsports team a spot in the money round when he posted a 7.58 to Jim Maroney’s breakout 7.36.
On the other side of the 16 car ladder was rookie Paul Peterson in the AMP Motorsports Avenger. Peterson qualified 3rd with a stout 7.52. He ran a 7.58 in the first round against an uncontested Ron Maroney. Peterson then outran LA Sheriff Joe Lomonaco during the quarterfinals. AMP partners Tom Abbott & Mike Motter were facing a faltering fuel pump but kept the dream alive with a semi-final victory of Fast Jack Beckman.
The final round proved to be an emotional roller coaster. Sorokin’s foot slipped off the throttle as the tree flashed yellow. Peterson was well on his way to his first CIFCA win when a lean condition blew the burst panel. Sorokin drove by on the top-end taking his second win of the evening.
The DLS Motorsports left Tucson with the DragParts.com points lead and dedicated their victories to the late Chris Bynum who passed away last month. Bynum was a close racing friend of Dave Smith and Chris Kelly. Buzzz Miller pocketed the Enderle Quick Reaction Time bucks (.420 light) as he debuted in his 2001 Cadillac Seville FC.