ACRL: Phoenix Race Review

Rick Lee, Team Denver Take ACRL Victory at Phoenix's Children's Hospital benefit - Johnson, Hawkins Capture Class Wins in ACRL Season Opener Phoenix, AZ March 5, 2000 - Rick Lee of Incline Village, Nevada, switched team allegiance from Reno to...

Rick Lee, Team Denver Take ACRL Victory at Phoenix's Children's Hospital benefit - Johnson, Hawkins Capture Class Wins in ACRL Season Opener

Phoenix, AZ March 5, 2000 - Rick Lee of Incline Village, Nevada, switched team allegiance from Reno to Denver, and captured the overall and Super Sports 2000 class win at the American City Racing League season opener here. Lee's teammate and 1996 ACRL Drivers' Champion Bob Schader followed him across the line to hand Team Denver and the Carbir factory a 1-2 finish. 1994 ACRL Driver Champion Margie Smith-Haas of Team San Diego charged from ninth to third in her "Panda Bear" Falcon, sporting a new black and white paint job. Returning ACRL driver Rick Ferguson finished fourth in his Team Los Angeles Swift, and Dennis Pavlina rounded out the top five in his Team Fresno Doran. Lee, who set a qualifying record to take the pole, had his hands full early in the race, losing the lead to second-fastest qualifier Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi of Team Hollywood who led laps 10 - 16. When Tirinnanzi spun and was unable to restart, Lee took the point for good. Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas lost his bid for victory when he was given a stop and go penalty on a questonable restart. He finished sixth ahead of SS2 rookie David Jansen of Team Salinas.

The Aerocell Sports 2000 class race was won by a dominant Duke Johnson of Team San Diego. Johnson quickly took his Carbir to the front from his third place starting spot, and was never headed. Dan Dubrovich, driving for Team Fresno, captured second in a Doran after losing nearly a whole lap when he was caught behind the pace car on a full-course yellow. Polesitter and ACRL S2 rookie David Ferguson of Team Salinas was snookered on the start and spent the entire race working his way back up to third. John Burke (Team Fresno) took fourth and Team Las Vegas' Michael Scully was fifth. Four cars were penalized 10 points each for improving their position before the start, but were allowed to keep their finishing positions. The penalized drivers were Johnson, Dubrovich, Burke, and Joe Moran.

The new Sports 1600 class also acquitted themselves well, with Team Portland's Mel Hawkins taking the inaugural win. Salinas driver Phil Fogg elected not to go out in Saturday's wet qualifying session and came from the back to take second. Third place went to Portland's Steve Knight, with S1600 polesitter Mike Anderson of Team Denver taking fourth in class after blowing an engine. Salinas' Mark Kenworthy was fifth.

Team Denver combined the 1-2 finish of Lee and Schader with the 19th place finish of Mike Anderson's S1600 machine to take the team title with 241 points.

The American City Racing League will race next on March 26 at Sears Point Raceway. The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000, Ford-engined Sports 2000, and Toyota-powered Sports 1600 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier R-45 compound tires and Union 76 Racing Fuel.

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Series SCCA
Drivers John Burke , Duke Johnson , Steve Knight , David Ferguson , Rick Lee , Dennis Pavlina , Margie Smith-Haas , Phil Fogg