WOODBURN, Ore. -- The NHRA Summit Racing Series Finals in NHRA's Northwest Division are run a little differently to those in the six other geographic regions. In the Northwest each participating track enters four drivers in the Super Pro, Pro, and Sportsman categories, and two riders in the Motorcycle category, for a total of 14 racers from each track. The winning racers in each of the above four categories, which are run during Saturday's action, earn the gold card, the division title and, new for 2000, a trip to Pomona Raceway to contest the Summit Racing Series National Championship.
NHRA Northwest Division Director Chris Blair explained why the race is run a little differently to most. "The track operators wanted a way to reward those racers who have supported their local track through the year, and this was the best solution. The only drivers that qualify for Saturday's race are those that have been to their local track week in and week out and scored enough points to be among those top four drivers."
Mark Faul, one of the Northwest's top Stock and Super Stock drivers, and who was racing his father's '55 Chevy in competition for Firebird Raceway in Boise, supported the event format. "I think it's great. The only way you can run for the gold card and now with the national championship is to make sure you go to your local track each week. Personally, I'd like a shot at that national title and I'll be trying to make my team next year.
That [Summit National Championship] is a pretty neat deal." Blair added, "This format also eliminates the possibility of a driver just attending one or two events during the season at their local track and then winning the divisional title."
Once individual titles have been decided Saturday, the attention switches to the prestigious team championship Sunday. Drivers still chase individual event titles, but all in the name of scoring points for their home track.
Claiming individual titles Sunday were John Marvin, Robert Steffen, Robert Classen, and Joe Collette. Marvin, representing Lost Creek Raceway, defeated Firebird Raceway's David Martin for the Super Pro title. In an all-Seattle International Raceway bout, Steffen defeated a red-lighting Jody Lang in the final of Pro. Bremerton Raceway's Jerry Biscay couldn't hold off Portland International Raceway's Classen in the final of Sportsman. And in Motorcycle Butch Cook of Coos Bay International Speedway put a .427 light on Collette but couldn't stop the Firebird Raceway rider scoring a victory.
The Team Championship title went to Boise, Idaho's Firebird Raceway. Team captain and track manager Scott New said winning the title was the highlight of the racing season. "Drag racing is such an individual sport - there's not much you can do with a team - but the Summit Racing Finals provide one of those rare opportunities when a team concept works," said New. "Winning the team title is a testament to all the great racers that have supported Firebird Raceway. We've been a part of this program since it started in 1978 and we've been fortunate enough to win the title a couple of times in the past, but not in a long time. This is the greatest."
The final team championship results: 1. Firebird Raceway 76 points 2. Portland International Raceway 65 3. Woodburn Dragstrip 59 4. Bremerton Raceway 56 5. Seattle International Raceway 51 6. Coos Bay International Speedway 40 7. Renegade Raceway 38 8. Mission Raceway Park 34 9. Southern Oregon Dragway 32 10.Madras Raceway Park 31 11.Lost Creek Raceway 26 12.Nl'Akapxm Eagle Motorplex 23 13.High Desert Motorsports Park 14 14.North Central Motorsports Park 4
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