For Immediate Release
MARGIE SMITH-HAAS of TEAM SAN DIEGO CLAIMS 1994 AMERICAN CITY RACING LEAGUE DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Portland, OR, October 18 -- Years of dedication and hard work finally paid a premium for Margie Smith-Haas of Team San Diego when she was recently crowned the 1994 ACRL Driver's Champion in the Super Sports 2000 Division. She drove her familiar Valvoline-sponsored Swift DB2-Falcon/Ford-Cosworth, crew-chiefed by her husband Paul along with Dan Taylor, to a second-place finish in six of eight races this season, as well as capturing the pole position at Thunderhill Park and the Molson Indy Vancouver. Only once this year, at Seattle, did she fall(fail) to qualify and finish in the Top Five.
Smith-Haas becomes the first female to win an SCCA Professional Road Racing Cahmpionship. In 1993, she finished second in the ACRL Driver's Championship behind Lee Lucas of Team San Jose.
The Del Mar, California-based driver, who shared ACRL's 1994 "Rising Star" award with San Diego teammate Gary Green, has competed in England, Italy, France and Australia. In 1984 and 1985 Smith-Haas was the only woman to compete in the 24 Hours of LeMans. For the past eleven years the former high school teacher and coach has also m been a member of the PPG Pace Car Team at IndyCar events.
Lucas, who drove to four victories in 1994, ended the season second in driver points in the Super Sports 2000 Division, just one point ahead of Peter Zarcades of Team Los Angeles. Zarcades recorded three season wins. Larry Vollum of Team Portland, named ACRL's 1994 Rookie of the Year, finished fourth overall followed by Team Spokane's Craig T. Nelson. Nelson, whose Screaming Eagles Racing Team also campaigns a Lexus-powered Spice chassis in selected IMSA WSC events, recoreded two fourth-place finishes in 1994 at Willow Springs and Seattle.
ACRL's 1994 Sports 2000 Division Driver's Champion is Dan Clark, Nelson's teammate at Team Spokane. Clark battled with Gordon Clark of Team Los Angeles throughout the season for the title, earning the crown by a mre (mere) seven points. Ian Wood of Team Burnaby, BC finished third overall in this division, followed by Joe Giroski of Team Woodland and Jay Leeman of Team Spokane.
Smith-Haas also led San Diego to the 1994 City-Team title, ending San Jose's domination over the past three years. Her teammates throughout the year included Gary Green and Leo Sismani, with Roger Werner and David Welch sharing the team colors at several events. Los Angles finished second; San Jose finished third. Spokane and Portland ended in a tie, with Spokane finishing fourth following a tie-breaking decision.
J.R. Parrish of Team San Jose was named ACRL's Most Improb(v)ed Driver during 1994, while Ian Wood earned the Sportsperson of the Year award. Lucas won the Series' Hard Luck Award, while Dan Taylor was named Mechanic of the Year.
--- bk (sorry for the typos - dyslexic keyboard)