Submitted by: Jim Maher
Sept 14, 2002 (Sacramento Raceway): The California Independent Funny Car Association (CIFCA) wrapped up its 18th season at the Sacramento Governor's Cup. Dave Smith's DLS Motorsports team of Diamond Bar, CA has led the Dragparts.com points standings since the season opener. His team would show their dominance when their driver Adam Sorokin qualified #1 with a 7.52. Michael Irwin qualified #2 with a 7.53. Fittingly these two would make it to the final. Pete Ortiz jr.won the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge in Guy Gloudemans' Cutlass.
Dave Smith won the 2002 CIFCA title when Sorokin piloted their Firebird to a 7.33 first round win. Though the team did not rest on their laurels. They clocked a 7.52 in the quarter-finals to hold back Sean Dale. A 7.58 in the semi's was enough to end Bob Szabo's day and put the DLS Motorsports into their 4th final of the year.
Making noise on the other side of the 16-car ladder was Irwin's Strange Behavior Corvette. His 7.52 in the opening frame sent Greg Kramer packing. Irwin then ran an uncontested 7.509. All racers need a lucky break along the way and Irwin came in the semi's. His competitor Chill Scardino clocked a losing breakout 7.38 while Irwin accidentally hit the kill switch right at the launch.
Irwin was seeking his first CIFCA win while Sorokin was looking to put a period on a great season. Sorokin drilled the tree with a .411 light (good for the Enderle Quick Reaction Time bucks) and clocked a victorious 7.516 resulting in a stout .027 seconds package. This was the 4th win of the season for the DLS Motorsports team which not only lead the race but also the complete season wire-to wire.
Smith will be crowned the DragParts.com champion at CIFCA's Awards Banquet on Dec 14. Rookie Dennis La Charite had an excellent year finishing second. Sean Dale held onto 3rd while Paul Peterson (another Rookie) placed the AMP Motorsports team into fourth. Chill Scardino rounds out the Top Five.
CIFCA * 8858 Painter Ave, Suite E * Whittier, CA 90602