Daytona, Florida, November 9, 2002 - Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas dominated the field in today's East/West "Grand Old Flag" race at the storied Daytona Speedway. Zarcades led every lap from pole position, stretching his margin of victory to...
Daytona, Florida, November 9, 2002 - Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas dominated the field in today's East/West "Grand Old Flag" race at the storied Daytona Speedway. Zarcades led every lap from pole position, stretching his margin of victory to 38.334 seconds at the checker. The win put him back in the hunt for the 2003 Super Sports 2000 Championship after missing two races earlier in the season. Behind Zarcades, Jay Messenger held a solid second place in the Team San Diego Falcon. Late in the race Messenger's handling went off and his lead over the battle for third place evaporated. He hung on for second while teammate John Cavanaugh, leading SS2 rookie, charged from fifth to third on the last lap, securing the Western Division City Cup for San Diego, a scant three points ahead of Las Vegas.
Cavanaugh's late charge took him past the race for the Sports 2000 lead, a hard-fought battle between Mike Johnson and Jonathon Holzman, St. Louis teammates. Johnson dropped to second from his S2 pole position at the start, and trailed Holzman to the halfway point, when he made a daring outside pass at the bus stop turn to grab the lead. "I'm not going to let him do that tomorrow," vowed Holzman in Victory Circle. Duke Johnson ran in close formation with the S2 lead pair for much of the race, but dropped back in the late going, finishing sixth overall and third in S2. St. Louis' 1-2-3 finish garnered them the Eastern Team trophy.
A number of drivers experienced problems during the race. Chris Schneider put down his wrenches to take the wheel of one of the Team Philadelphia Pratt-Miller S2 cars, but called into the pits on the first lap. He returned mid-race and completed 6 laps for 11th place. Matt Nardo of Team Chicago retired after 6 laps in 12th. Paet Hidalgo ran with the leaders for the first six laps, challenging San Diego teammate Messenger for second until he pitted with fuel starvation problems and was credited with 10th. Jim Stengel was ninth, one lap down, and David Seuss was the last car on the lead lap in eighth. Jim Johnson's seventh place for Team Las Vegas fell just short of the points needed to take the team title.
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 ACRL-stamped R-45 compound tires and Union 76 110 Octane Leaded Racing Fuel.