Team Las Vegas Sweeps ACRL Titles at Irwindale Speedway By Roger Diez

Irwindale, CA October 2, 1999 - Peter Zarcades led Team Las Vegas to the team points victory while capturing his second win in the Motorsport Composites Triple Crown Oval Championship (TCOC). Las Vegas driver Michael Scully won the Aerocell Sports 2000 class battle, and both drivers were crowned TCOC champions. Zarcades' Pennzoil Swift dominated the proceedings from the first practice session, and set new qualifying and race lap records. The overall TCOC race went down to the wire, as Zarcades' points tally was matched by Steve Romak of Team Fresno at 288. Zarcades was declared champion by virtue of having won two races to Romak's single victory.

But the win wasn't as easy as it sounds. Zarcades lost the lead to outside polesitter Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi at the start, then dropped back several more places as he struggled with a loose car. "I got mad when I lost the lead, made one little mistake, then another, and I was in fifth," said Zarcades. He made an in-car sway bar adjustment, settled down, and moved back to the front, taking the lead for good on lap 20 of the 75 lap feature. Behind him there was a fierce battle for position among the Team Hollywood cars of Tirinnanzi and 1997 Champion Jeff Glenn, and the Team Fresno cars of Romak and John Ostlund. The battle was marked by a lot of "rubbing" to the delight of the oval track fans in the stands. Late in the race, Ostlund got by Tirinnanzi for second, and a few laps later contact spun the Hollywood driver in Turn Four, moving Romak up to third. Tirinnanzi was subseqently the victim of a black flag and retired. Ostlund, knowing that his teammate needed second place for the Oval Track title, slowed off Turn Four on the last lap, and Romak took second by a nose, tying the TCOC points. Glenn finished fourth. Behind all this action, Rookie points leader Sandy Popescu battled her San Diego teammate Jay Messenger until he finally got by to finish fifth, then vied with Las Vegas substitute driver Brad Pierce to the flag. Pierce finished in sixth, assisting Las Vegas to the team win.

The Aerocell Challenge race for the Sports 2000 category was also hot and heavy, with 1997 Champion Frank Arnold of Team Fresno battling side-by-side with Scully until he spun in Turn Two, dropping him a lap down. Scully cruised to victory in the race, and took the S2000 TCOC trophy home as well. Joe Casanova of Team Hollywood finished third in the S2000 class for the second straight race.

The American City Racing League will race next on October 10 at Sears Point Raceway, and will end its season on the oval/road course combination at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 23. The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000 and Ford-engined Sports 2000 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier R-45 compound tires and VP Racing Fuel.

Irwindale Speedway II ACRL Triple Crown Oval Track Championship Race Results: Finishing position, start position ( ), driver, team, chassis, class, laps complete, qualifying time, best race lap, reason out (if any). 1 (1) Peter Zarcades, Las Vegas, Swift DB5, SS2, 75, 17.265, 17.511 2 (6) Stephen Romak, Fresno, Lola, SS2, 75, 18.225, 18.080 3 (8) John Ostlund, Fresno, Lola 89/90, SS2, 75, 18.522, 18.162 4 (3) Jeff Glenn, Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 75, 17.866, 18.162 5 (5) Jay Messenger, San Diego, Lola, SS2, 75, 18.144, 18.202 6 (4) Brad Pierce, Las Vegas, Carbir, SS2, 75, 17.946, 18.027 7 (7) Sandy Popescu, San Diego, Swift DB5, SS2, 75, 18.355, 18.144 8 (9) Michael Scully, Las Vegas, SR71, 73, 18.696, 18.635 9 (10) Frank Arnold, Fresno, Swift, S2, 72, 18.794, 18.755 10 (12) Joe Casanova, Hollywood, Swift, S2, 72, 19.128, 19.021 11 (11) Rick Eickhoff, Los Angeles, Shannon, SS2, 71, 19.115, 19.242 12 (2) Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 68, 17.749, 18.078 BF 13 (DNS) Margie Smith-Haas, San Diego, Swift, SS2, DNQ, DNS 14 (DNS) Jeff Anderson, Reno, Swift, S2, DNQ, DNS 15 (DNS) Gary Corley, San Diego, Swift, S2, DNQ, DNS

Race Time: 28:17.598 Race Length: 37.500 Miles Track Length: 0.500 miles

SS2 Fastest Race Lap: 17.511 (Zarcades, new record) SS2 Margin of Victory: 2.479 seconds S2 Fastest Race Lap: 18.635(Scully, new record) S2 Margin of Victory: 1 lap

Team Points: Las Vegas 250 Fresno 248 Hollywood 206 San Diego 153 Los Angeles 61

SS2 DRIVER POINTS AEROCELL S2 DRIVER POINTS (BEST 5 OF 6 RACES): (BEST 5 OF 6 RACES): 1 Stephen Romak 474 1 Frank Arnold 297 2 Peter Zarcades 469 2 Michael Scully 288 3 John Ostlund 464 3 Joe Casanova 181 4 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi 374 John Bachofner 181 5 Sandy Popescu 369 Jeff Anderson 181 6 Rick Eickhoff 341 6 Ian Wood 172 7 Chris Ronson 324 7 Bill Bachofner 169 8 Jay Messenger 317 8 Leo Giroski 160 9 Margie Smith-Haas 218 9 Doug Allen 158 10 Rick Lee 218 10 Spencer Trenery 102 11 Tom Kreger 169 Duke Johnson 102 12 Scott Shelley 160 12 Jeff Clinton 93 13 Brad Pierce 156 13 George Greenwood 80 14 Joe Giroski 137 Brad Arntson 80 15 Jeff Glenn 84 15 Chris Knight 73 15 Charlie Hewitt 70 17 Edd Ozard 64 18 Dennis Pavlina 61

MOTORSPORTS COMPOSITES TRIPLE TEAM POINT STANDINGS CROWN SS2000 OVAL TRACK (AFTER 5 RACES) CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (FINAL) 1 Fresno 1393 1 Peter Zarcades 288 * 2 Las Vegas 1365 2 Stephen Romak 288 3 San Diego 889 3 John Ostlund 256 4 Reno 849 4 Jay Messenger 241 5 Hollywood 623 5 Sandy Popescu 219 6 Los Angeles 364 6 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi 214 7 Portland 287 7 Rick Eickoff 207 8 St. Louis 139 8 Chris Ronson 166 9 Vancouver WA 100 9 Margie Smith-Haas 145 10 Jeff Glenn 84 11 Scott Shelley 76 Brad Pierce 76 13 Rick Lee 58

* Number of wins was tie-breaker. S2000 TCOC STANDINGS (FINAL) 1 Michael Scully 288 2 Frank Arnold 195 3 Jeff Anderson 181 Joe Casanova 181