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 three of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship was held at Mosport International Raceway as a support event for the American Le Mans Series. Drivers would compete for twenty-two-laps around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|The pole-sitter, Grand Ryley, in the No. 14 Star Mazda, leads a field of twenty-seven starters into Mosport International Raceway’s corner one. Behind Ryley is the other front row starter, Bernardo Martinez, driving the No. 25 Star Mazda. Trailing Martinez are Jason LaPoint and World Speed Motorsports teammates Scott Bradley and Chantz Wade.|
|It was a perfect weekend for the driver of the No. 14 Cupertino Electric / Del Monaco Specialty Foods sponsored Star Mazda, Grant Ryley. Ryley was sixth fastest in the final practice session but was at the top of the timesheet when the qualifying session ended. During the contest, he came under pressure from Bernardo Martinez but held on the win and moved to third in the title chase.|
|Jason LaPoint, the driver of the No. 11 Star Mazda, scored second and third-place finishes in the first two rounds. At Mosport International Raceway, LaPoint qualified fourth fastest. On lap-12 of the race, he passed third-place starter Chantz Wade. Entering Moss corner on the final circuit, he moved by Bernardo Martinez for a runner-up finish. The results moved LaPoint into the championship lead.|
|The points leader, Bernardo Martinez, driving the No. 25 3-Dimensional Services sponsored Star Mazda, qualified second fastest. In the race, he chased the pole-sitter, Grant Ryley, but got too close on a couple of occasions. The first contact resulted in a damaged right-front wing and on lap-19, he bent the left side. The loss of aero hindered the car’s handling and Martinez lost second place to Jason LaPoint.|
|Matt Beardsley failed to finish round one of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship at Lowes Motorsport Speedway but was on form when the series visited Sonoma Raceway for race two. Beardsley started on the pole and went flag-to-flag for the victory. At Mosport International Raceway, he was eighth fastest in the qualifying session. At the checkered flag, Beardsley was in seventh place.|
|The podium celebrations have begun for the top-three finishers in the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship at Mosport International Raceway. In the center is the winner from World Speed Motorsports, Grant Ryley. On the left side of the rostrum is the runner-up and new championship leader, Jason LaPoint. The final position on the podium is occupied by the third-place finisher, Bernardo Martinez.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||1||Grant Ryley||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||22||-|
|2||4||Jason LaPoint||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||22||-|
|3||2||Bernardo Martinez||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|4||3||Scott Bradley||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||22||-|
|5||7||Bryan Selby||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|6||14||Mike Potekhen||Star Mountain Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|7||8||Matt Beardsley||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||22||-|
|8||11||David Sterenberg||Star Mountain Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|9||9||Scott Jenkins||Jenkins Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|10||10||Steve Lopez||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||22||-|
|11||12||Chris McMurry||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|12||16||Chad Block||Valley Motor Center / Star Mazda||22||-|
|13||6||Alex Figge||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||22||-|
|14||15||Quad Boenker||Al Boenker Racing / Star Mazda||22||-|
|15||18||Doug Peterson||Formula Cars East / Star Mazda||22||-|
|16||22||Tom Mabey||Rocky Mountain Motorsports / Star Mazda||21||-|
|17||19||Scott Kusy||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|18||23||Aaron Ogus||Flat Out Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|19||20||Michael Choquette||Choquette Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|20||13||Justin Pestotnik||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|21||27||Ginni Swanton||Team Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|22||24||Steve Cook||Al Boenker Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|23||26||Dick Doty||Eurosports / Star Mazda||21||-|
|24||17||Dick Downs||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|25||21||Dan Weyland||Eurosport Racing / Star Mazda||21||-|
|26||25||Tom Nastasi||Light Speed / Star Mazda||21||-|
|27||5||Chantz Wade||World Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda||16||Not Running|
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