Prior to 1999, the Star Mazda Series, created by Gary Rodrigues, had a number of regional championships.
With the formation of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), a National division, with backing from the Best Western hotel chain,
was established to act as a support series for the ALMS.
The inaugural championship was won by Joey Hand, who scored five victories in seven starts.
The 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship started on the last weekend of March at Lowes Motor Speedway. For round two, the series traveled to the west coast for an event at Sears Point Raceway. Next, teams made their only stop in Canada at Mosport International Raceway. Three race weekends were held in September, starting with Texas Motor Speedway and followed by contests at Portland International Raceway and Road Atlanta. The penultimate round was held at Laguna Seca Raceway, with the finale taking place during the last weekend of October at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In addition to the National Championship, there were titles to be won in a Masters class (drivers 45-years of age and older) and five geographic divisions (West, Southwestern, Eastern, Northwestern and Northeastern).
The Star Formula Mazda is constructed by Valley Motor Center. The tube-frame chassis is fitted with shear plates, which ensure relatively quick and easy damage repairs. The car weighs 1140-pounds and is equipped with a Mazda 13B rotary engine and five-speed transmission. The motor, which uses a 48 DCOE carburetor, produces 170-horsepower.
Round one of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship was held at Lowes Motor Speedway. Competitors would race for thirty-laps on the ‘Roval’ layout. The 2.25-mile ten-turn track used almost the entire 1.5-mile oval with an infield road course section.
|A field of twenty-nine competitor’s line-up in the pitlane at Lowes Motor Speedway for round one of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship. On the pole is Bryan Selby in the No. 31 Team Bucknum Racing prepared Star Mazda. Sharing the front row with Selby is Grant Ryley, driver of the No. 14 Star Mazda out of the World Speed Motorsports stable.|
|Bernardo Martinez led a total of four laps in the opening round of the Best Western Star Mazda Championship at Lowes Motor Speedway. One of them was the most important. Martinez in the No. 25 Team Bucknum Racing Star Mazda qualified third fastest. He was in second place on the last lap and passed the race leader, Jason LaPoint, between turns three and four to win by a margin of 0.045-seconds.|
|Series rookie, Jason LaPoint, failed to record a time in the qualifying session due to a shifter fork issue. LaPoint was gridded twenty-eighth in the twenty-nine car field. During the race, LaPoint drafted his way to the front and moved into the lead on the lap-23 when the front runners misjudged the restart. On the last lap, he was unable to hold off a challenge from Bernardo Martinez and finished second.|
|The race leaders, the No. 15 Chantz Wade and No. 25 of Bernardo Martinez, enter turn one at Lowes Motor Speedway. Wade qualified fourth in a car prepared by World Speed Motorsports. Like Jason LaPoint and Martinez, he was a beneficiary of the lap-23 miscue by the front-runners. Wade was unable to hold off Marinez and collected the final position on the podium.|
|Qualifying on the pole for round one of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship at Lowes Motor Speedway was Bryan Selby in the No. 31 Star Mazda. Selby won the top starting position by a mere 0.283-second over Grant Ryley. He led the first nineteen laps of the contest before the lap-23 restart. When the track returned to green, Selby lost six places and finished ninth after developing a mechanical issue.|
|Grant Ryley in the No. 14 World Speed Motorsport Star Mazda started on the outside of the front row. During the thirty-lap event at Lowes Motor Speedway, Ryley could not hold off a challenge from Bernardo Martinez. He was one of the losers on the lap-23 restart and gave away positions to Jason LaPoint and Chantz Wade. At the checkered flag, Ryley was in the fourth spot.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||3||Bernardo Martinez||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|2||28||Jason LaPoint||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||30||-|
|3||4||Chantz Wade||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||30||-|
|4||2||Grant Ryley||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||30||-|
|5||5||Scott Bradley||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||30||-|
|6||7||Quad Boekner||Al Boenker Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|7||17||Doug Peterson||Formula Cars East / Star Mazda||30||-|
|8||29||Steve Lopez||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||30||-|
|9||1||Bryan Selby||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|10||18||Ken DeNault||TBD / Star Mazda||30||-|
|11||15||Andrew Havas||TBD / Star Mazda||30||-|
|12||13||Tim Rose||TBD / Star Mazda||30||-|
|13||24||Steve Cook||Al Boenker Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|14||21||Dick Downs||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|15||20||Justin Pestotnik||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|16||26||Todd Garner||Texas Autosports / Star Mazda||30||-|
|17||25||Tom Mabey||Rocky Mountain Motorsports / Star Mazda||30||-|
|18||19||Dan Weyland||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|19||23||Ginni Swanton||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|20||27||Jack Morris||TBD / Star Mazda||30||-|
|21||12||Chad Block||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||30||-|
|22||22||John Pestotnik||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||30||-|
|23||9||Alex Figge||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||29||Not Running|
|24||16||Scott Kusy||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||25||Not Running|
|25||10||Matt Beardsley||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||24||Not Running|
|26||8||Robert Noell||TBD / Star Mazda||24||Not Running|
|27||6||David Sterenberg||Star Mountain Racing / Star Mazda||19||Not Running|
|28||14||Chris McMurry||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||11||Not Running|
|29||11||Pierre Ehret||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||5||Not Running|
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