ACRL: Phoenix Race Report

Phoenix, AZ April 22, 2000 - Peter Zarcades dominated the third round of the American City Racing League Western Division season, taking a flag-to-flag victory from pole position in his Team Las Vegas Pennzoil Swift DB-5. Zarcades was also ...

Phoenix, AZ April 22, 2000 - Peter Zarcades dominated the third round of the American City Racing League Western Division season, taking a flag-to-flag victory from pole position in his Team Las Vegas Pennzoil Swift DB-5. Zarcades was also quickest in all the practice sessions, but fell short of setting a new qualifying record due to windy conditions. In the race he quickly pulled away from outside polesitter John Hill (Team Portland Lola) and third-place qualifier Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi (Team Hollywood Carbir).

Tirinnanzi moved into second place on the second lap and held it to the checker, with Hill closing occasionally as traffic slowed the leaders. "There was more left in the car. Peter was on cruise control," said Zarcades' crew chief Lenny Gay after the race. The best battle of the day was between Rick Lee (Team Denver Carbir) and Margie Smith-Haas (Team San Diego Falcon).

Smith-Haas got by in the Caroussel in traffic on lap 14, only to be re-passed by Lee on lap 19, again in traffic in the Caroussel. She was still in pursuit when she spun in Turn Two on lap 22 while passing a pack of lapped cars.She was still in pursuit five laps from the end when she spun in Turn Two while passing a pack of lapped cars. Steve Knight was unable to avoid the spinning Falcon, hitting the front wheel and knocking the Falcon's nose off. Knight was unable to continue, but Smith-Haas recovered and alertly bulldozed the errant nosepiece clear of the racing line, avoiding a full-course yellow flag. Driving a very twitchy car with bent suspension and no front downforce, she held off a charging Jay Messenger (Team San Diego Lola) by .074 seconds at the line for fifth place. Sandra Popescu made it a sweep of positions 5-6-7 for Team San Diego, with all three on the lead lap.

The Aerocell Sports 2000 race was similar to the Super Sports class event, with Dan Dubrovich (Team San Diego Doran) dominating the proceedings from the class pole. He finished eighth overall, extending the Team San Diego string of positions. Team Salinas' David Ferguson finished in second, and preserved his season points lead by a single counter over Dubrovich. Denver teammates Jeff Littrell and Doug Ota, both driving Swifts, finished third and fourth respectively, one lap behind the class leaders. 1999 S2000 Rookie of the Year Michael Scully (Team Las Vegas SR71) was involved in first-lap body contact that spoiled his aerodynamics and caused his brakes to overheat. He retired after 12 laps, credited with fifth.

In the Toyota-powered Sports 1600 category, Team Tampa's Mike Anderson ruled the day. Anderson got a great start from his second-place starting spot, then battled with Phil Fogg Jr. (Team Salinas) until Fogg dropped out with mechanical problems on lap eight. "Everytime I got into a race with somebody, they either spun or retired," said Anderson in Victory Lane. Class polesitter Mel Hawkins of Team Portland finished second ahead of Team Los Angeles' Mark Kenworthy. Steve Knight of Team Portland captured fourth, and Fogg got credit for fifth.

San Diego took the team title by virtue of a combined score of 231, 19 points ahead of Las Vegas. Smith-Haas, Messenger, and Dubrovich combined for the score.

The American City Racing League Western Division will race next on May 21 in conjunction with the Winston West event at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000, Aerocell-sponsored Sports 2000, and Toyota-powered Sports 1600 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier ACRL-stamped R-45 compound tires and Union 76 Racing Fuel.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Steve Knight , David Ferguson , Margie Smith-Haas , Phil Fogg Jr.