Submitted by: Jim Maher
August 20, 2003 (Southwestern Int’l Raceway): Racers and fans were treated to cooler than average temperature during SIR’s annual Cactus Clash. The mercury never reached the century mark but the racing was hot.
2002 Series Champion Adam Sorokin grabbed the pole with a 7.511. Michael Irwin followed him closely with a 7.522. Sean Dale made the 16-car field and won the Perma-Cool Burnout Challenge in the process.
Dennis La Charite, fresh back from his honeymoon in Italy, kept the love flowing with his 3rd final round appearance of the year. La Charite ran an uncontested 7.53 in the opening frame. He then placed a near perfect 7.502 on the scoreboards to end Sorokin’s day. During his semi-final bout with Mike Savage, La Charite won the Enderle Quick Reaction time bonus with a .410 light. His Back in Black Corvette had the lead until Savage drove around about the 1000’ mark though but broke out with a 7.487 – 7.569. La Charite found himself in his 3rd final of the season.
The Good Vibrations Camaro of Jim Maher was witnessing some close racing on his side of the ladder. During Maher’s first round match up with Irwin, Maher’s 7.530 barely covered Irwin’s 7.540. Margin of victory was the slimmest in CIFCA’s 19 years history (.0017 seconds). A red-light gift from Jim Maroney then advanced Maher into a semi-finals date with Paul Peterson. Maher .420 initiated 7.546 was just inches ahead of Peterson’s 7.516 at the stripe and placed the Whittier, CA team in their 4th final.
Maher vs. La Charite, number 1 & 2 in the DragParts.com points standings. Both drivers staged at 3.06am under balmy desert conditions. La Charite got a slight jump (.442 –.454) and held the lead to take a 7.510 – 7.519 victory. And the champagne continued to flow for the Torrance, CA based “Back in Black” team. La Charite was also awarded the Good Vibrations Best Package bonus based on his .433 7.502 earlier performance.
Special thanks to Dave Danish and the SIR staff for hosting the CIFCA circuit. Life is good. Jim Maher
8858 Painter Ave * Whittier, CA 90602 * 562/945-9730 * cifca.com