Since Chet Danburg had already wrapped up Silver State Raceway's limited sportsman track championship by virtue of points, all eyes were on Mike McMordie and Randy Bauer to see who would become the 2000 champion for the mavericks on Saturday night.
Bauer entered the evening trailing McMordie by 48 points. All points were doubled in the season finale, making Bauer's chances of catching McMordie all the more possible. But the two drivers, who have been very even and competitive all season long, finished nearly the same as they started.
McMordie won the maverick championship by a spread of 52 points.
"I wanted to win tonight's race, but (Mike) Fuller wouldn't let me. He was too fast," McMordie kidded after finishing second to Fuller in the maverick main event.
"I've had a good car most of the year. Rafael (Gomez) helped me out, keeping me in line. He's a great teammate. He gave me pep talks, helped me correct problems I would have and taught me consistency. Consistency is the key to winning. All of my races had top-five finishes. I think I'm the only driver who's done that. And that was my main goal, to finish in the top five each week.
"And Randy (Bauer) gave me a good run all year long. We traded the lead a couple of times. He's a great guy and a good driver, too. That made this championship race all the more exciting."
McMordie has his eye on the sportsman class next year, if the sponsorship he seeks comes through.
The battle between Fuller and Bill Gould also ended similarly, with Fuller claiming the third spot by 103 points over Gould, whose main event finish pushed him further back from Fuller.
Fuller won the trophy dash over Thom Eldridge, McMordie and Bauer. Joel Worley picked up the win in the first heat race over Robert Cheesebrew in second and Allen Hunter third. Bill Gould won the second heat with Fuller in second and Bauer third.
Fuller also won the main event, keeping McMordie at bay for second and Bauer in third. Rounding out the field were Eldridge, Hunter, Worley, Rick Garmann (with co-driver Jennifer Peckam), Cheesebrew, Gould, Don Hill (with co-driver Thomas Oddone), Matthew Sciarroni and Guy Perry.
Chet Danburg made his championship official with a large enough points spread he could have skipped Saturday's final points race, but chose to be at his home track for the fans.
"I would have liked to race Altamont (Calif.) this weekend, but I thought as track champ, I figured I should be here, It's only right," Danburg said.
"I've had a great time racing this year with everyone, I've had a real good time. And with my crew chief, Kris, we've had a good run all year long. I didn't come out to Silver State this year to win the championship, I came out because I like to race."
Al Goss picked up the trophy dash win for the sportsman class over Danburg, Jim Bawden and Craig Paulsen. Gomez won the first 10-lap heat over Gary Nevers in second and Frank Sanfelipo third. Paulsen won the second heat over Danburg and Goss.
Goss also picked up the win in an exciting, competitive race over Paulsen in second and Nevers third. Rounding out the field were Danburg, Bawden, Gomez, Les "Mo" Kipler and Sanfelipo.
n Silver State notes: This is the first season in Paulsen's career at Silver State Raceway he has not won a feature event. Paulsen is a former track champion and has been racing more than 16 years. Of his 11 races, nine finishes are in the top-5. This Saturday is the final race of the season with the Nevada Days 100, a 100-lap open competition for the sportsman class; twin-25 races for the
maverick division, and will mark the return of the Legends cars with a 60-lap, $1,000 guaranteed prize to the winner.
For information, call 885-2079 or visit www.silverstateraceway.com.