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Battle at the Beach

Thanks to Lithia Ram & Dodge of Eureka, the California Independent Funny Car Association (CIFCA) funny cars returned to Samoa Dragstrip located on the northern California coastline. This was the third race of the 2019 race season presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports.The CIFCA Funny Cars ran a Chicago-Style show with two qualifying rounds and a final round on the ¼ mile under cool 60 degrees temps.

Newcomer Rick Alvarado was the System 1 Number One Qualifier spot with 7.58 on the 7.50 index. Alvarado also took home the Mike’s Transmission Burnout Contest! James Maher grabbed the number two spot with a 7.71. Chris Bates, driving Harvey Williams’ Happy Hour, followed closely with an adjusted 7.73 for 3rd as well as the D&P Torque Converters revolving qualifier award. Shaun Bryan & Jim Currie qualified 4th and 5th respectively. Pete Ortiz Jr earned the Control Cable’s Longest tow award for making the 660-mile haul from Elko, Nevada. Ortiz did the unexpected by breaking the track’s ET & MPH record when ran a 6.40 and 216mph (Previous track record was 6.57 at 213mph). Mike Troxel, who won this event last year, struggled with some transmission issues closed out the field.

The money round was between defending CIFCA Champion, James Maher, and rookie Rick Alvarado. Maher, looking for his first win of the season in his 1984 Junior Vibes Ford Tempo, sliced the ‘tree with a stellar .013 light (garnishing the Enderle Quick Reaction bucks). Alvarado tried to chase him down with his 1986 Mighty Mouse Corvette but Maher got to the stripe first with a 7.57 to Avarado quicker but losing 7.48.

Special thanks to Vinny Lombardi and Samoa Dragway for hosting the CIFCA Funny Cars. The staff did a remarkable job prepping the racing surface. It was a very well organized event and we can’t wait to do it again next year! Follow CIFCA on Instagram and Facebook. For more info visit

God Speed, James Maher

CIFCA President 562/945-4159

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