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.

The final round of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Drivers would compete for twenty-eight-laps around the 2.52-mile ‘roval’ layout.

The front row for the finale of the 2000 Best Western Star Mazda Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On the pole is Bernardo Martinez in the No. 25 3-Dimensional Services Star Mazda. Martinez would finish third in the race. More importantly, he would capture the crown by collecting podium results in all but one event. Gridded in second place for the twenty-eight-lap contest is Grant Ryley.
Before the final round, David Sterenberg’s best result was a pair of fourth-place finishes earned at Texas Motor Speedway and Portland International Raceway. During the qualifying session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sterenberg recorded the third-fastest time. On lap-5 of the race, the leader, Grant Ryley, slid wide on some oil dry and Sterenberg grabbed first place. He held on to the top spot all the way to the checkered flag.
Grant Ryley entered the finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway second in the title chase – thirty-six points behind the leader Bernardo Martinez. Ryley qualified second fastest in the No. 14 Cupertino Electric / Del Monaco Specialty Foods Star Mazda. In the race, he passed Martinez on the lap-5 restart for first place. But four turns later, Ryley slid wide and fell to fourth place. He charged back for a runner-up finish.
Leading the field into the corner one chicane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the No. 14 Star Mazda of Grant Ryley. Ryley grabbed first place on the lap-5 restart. Behind him is Jason LaPoint in the No. 11 Star Mazda, who would finish fourth. Obscured by Ryley and LaPoint are David Sterenberg and Bernardo Martinez. Sterenberg would capture his first series victory and Martinez would clinch the championship.
The only female in the series was Kirkland, Washington’s Ginni Swanton. Swanton drove the No. 72 Speedware sponsored Star Mazda prepared by Team Bucknum Racing. She completed in all eight rounds. Her best qualifying effort was at Lowes Motor Speedway, where she started twenty-third and Swanton’s best finish was nineteenth on the same track. A shifter issue at Laguna Seca resulted in her only DNF.

13David SterenbergStar Mountain Racing / Star Mazda28-
22Grant RyleyWorld Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda28-
31Bernardo MartinezTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
44Jason LaPointValley Motor Center / Star Mazda28-
55Scott BradleyWorld Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda28-
610Chris McMurryTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
77Bryan SelbyTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
816Scott KusyTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
911Mike PotekhenStar Mountain Racing / Star Mazda28-
1022Doug PetersonFormula Cars East / Star Mazda28-
1115Bob NegronRaceland / Star Mazda28-
1228Mike StephensRacers Edge / Star Mazda28-
1330Dan Tomlin IIITexas Autosports / Star Mazda28-
1426Dave McMillanSports Car Ltd / Star Mazda28-
158Scott JenkinsJenkins Racing / Star Mazda28-
1619Dick DownsEurosports Racing / Star Mazda28-
1724Brad DrewDrew Racing / Star Mazda28-
1825Will HillValley Motor Center / Star Mazda28-
1927Bryan WillmanTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
2033Ron BergerTom Moore Autosports / Star Mazda28-
2134Ethan HernandezAubeta Motorsports / Star Mazda28-
2218Steve LopezValley Motor Center / Star Mazda28-
239Pierre EhretTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
2435Tom MabeyRocky Mountain Motorsports / Star Mazda28-
2540Don SimmonsTom Moore Autosports / Star Mazda28-
2632Ginni SwantonTeam Bucknum Racing / Star Mazda28-
2736Rick WaddellWorld Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda28-
2817Phil Fog, Jr.Flat Out Racing / Star Mazda27-
2937Nur AliAli Motorsports / Star Mazda27-
306Alex FiggeWorld Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda27-
3139Dick DotyEurosport Racing / Star Mazda26-
3238John FaulknerRacers Edge / Star Mazda25-
3341Chad BlockValley Motor Center / Star Mazda19-
3423Tom NastasiLight Speed / Star Mazda19-
3512Matt BeardsleyValley Motor Center / Star Mazda18-
3631Todd GarnerTexas Autosports / Star Mazda18-
3742Larry CoutureTeam Hope Racing / Star Mazda9-
3814Chantz WadeWorld Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda7-
3913Moses SmithStar Mountain Racing / Star Mazda7-
4021Bob HatleR.H. Racing / Star Mazda5-
4120Frank McCormickWorld Speed Motorsports / Star Mazda1-
4229Dan WeylandEurosport Racing / Star Mazda0-

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