ACRL: Pikes Peak Results

Ronson Posts First ACRL Pole, Win for Team Las Vegas Colorado Springs, CO, September 26, 1998 - In only his second outing in a Cosworth-powered Carbir chassis, Chris Ronson demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with in the American City...

Ronson Posts First ACRL Pole, Win for Team Las Vegas

Colorado Springs, CO, September 26, 1998 - In only his second outing in a Cosworth-powered Carbir chassis, Chris Ronson demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with in the American City Racing League. The series for two- liter sports racing cars ran at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday as part of the Children's Hospital Grand Prix. Ronson led from wire to wire, but the race was not without drama, as he was closely pursued by the Swift of Las Vegas teammate Peter Zarcades and Team Fresno ace Stephen Romak aboard a Lola. All three turned fast lap times within .05 seconds of each other, with Zarcades setting fast lap of the race at 55.637 seconds. The race was run on a combination oval/road course of 1.34 miles in length, at an average speed of 84.358 miles per hour. At the checkered flag Ronson was only .42 seconds in front of a charging Romak, with Zarcades a similar distance back in third. Edd Ozard took his second consecutive fourth-place finish for Team Reno, while Seattle's Dennis Pavlina brought his Doran home fifth.

Ronson took off at the green flag and built a little cushion, with Zarcades behind him and Romak in third. The order held for the first 23 circuits, although Zarcades did pull alongside Ronson once on the entrance to the infield portion. Then Zarcades dropped a wheel off the track at Turn Four and Romak pounced, got alongside and surged in front of Zarcades two turns later. He then set out after Ronson, whose Hoosier tires had begun to lose grip. Lap after lap, Romak closed to within inches in the esses, only to lose ground again when Ronson powered away on the oval portion. Black tire marks on both sides of Ronson's car after the race attested to the closeness of the competition. Behind the lead trio, Pavlina ran fourth until a Turn 9 spin dropped him four positions, letting Ozard into fourth, where he stayed for the remainder of the race. Pavlina recovered to finish fifth, just ahead of the trio of Joe Giroski (Portland), Bill Bachofner (San Francisco) and John Ostlund (Fresno), who ran nose-to-tail for much of the contest.

There was also a spirited battle for the lead in the Sports 2000, or "B" category for Ford-powered cars between the father-son duo of Duke and Mike Johnson. Son Mike took the early lead, lost it from lap 10 to lap 18, and held it to the checker. He finished just .23 seconds ahead of father Duke. "We were going to try and stage a side-by-side finish, but Dad was coming fast out of the last corner, so I put my foot in it to stay in front," said young Mike of his first professional race win. Local racers Lee Johnson (no relation) of Team Denver took third in class and Team Aspen's Doug Allen was fourth.

The points battle has tightened up going into the series' season finale at Sears Point October 10. Zarcades now leads Romak by a mere 5 points, 569-564 in the Drivers' Championship race. Spencer Trenery of Team Las Vegas hung onto his points lead in the "B" class, although mechanical gremlins cost him four laps in the pits. Trenery, with 566 points, leads Fresno's Frank Arnold by eight. In the City Team standings, Las Vegas took the race win and moved smartly up the points chart, with 1163 to Fresno's 1174 with one race remaining.

Fin. Start Driver Chassis Laps Qual Time 1 1 Chris Ronson Las Vegas Carbir 32 0:55.991 0:56.643 2 2 Stephen Romak Fresno Lola 32 0:56.195 0:56.696 3 3 Peter Zarcades Las Vegas Swift 32 0:56.227 0:56.637 4 5 Edd Ozard Reno Lola 32 0:56.927 0:57.169 5 4 Dennis Pavlina Seattle Doran 32 0:56.751 0:57.030 6 6 Joe Giroski Portland Tiga Wasp 32 0:56.856 0:57.131 7 8 Bill Bachofner S.Francisco Swift 32 0:57.262 0:57.595 8 7 John Ostlund Fresno Lola 32 0:57.124 0:57.572 9 9 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi San Diego Carbir 32 0:57.332 0:58.059 10 10 Mike Johnson * St. Louis Lola 31 0:57.670 0:58.343 11 11 Duke Johnson * St. Louis Carbir 31 0:57.676 0:58.506 12 12 Jay Messenger San Diego Lola 31 0:57.760 0:58.088 13 14 Rick Eickhoff St. Louis Shannon 31 0:58.733 0:58.514 14 15 Lee Johnson * Denver Swift 30 1:00.063 1:00.206 15 17 Doug Allen * Aspen Swift 30 1:02.311 1:01.475 16 16 Spencer Trenery * Las Vegas Swift 27 1:01.346 1:00.961 17 13 Leo Giroski Portland Tiga Wasp 8 0:58.442 $

* Denotes S2000 "B" car.

Race Time: 30:29.900  Race Length: 42.88 miles
Margin of Victory: .42 second  Average Lap Speed: 84.358 mph

Fastest Race Lap: 0:56.637, Peter Zarcades DRIVER POINT STANDINGS (BEST 6 OF 7 RACES):

 1        Peter Zarcades                569
 2        Stephen Romak                564
 3        Joe Giroski                488
 4        John Ostlund                462
 5        Chris Ronson                449
 6        Edd Ozard                445
 7        Bill Bachofner                438
 8        Dennis Pavlina                393
 9        Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi        367
10        Spencer Trenery *        362
11        Frank Arnold *                356
12        John Bachofner *        351
13        Rick Eickhoff                334
14        Leo Giroski                331
15        John Lombardo Jr.         304
16        Tom Kreger                188
17        Jay Messenger                171
18        Ian Wood                104
19        Erik Lunn                102
20        Jeff Glenn                100
21        Margie Smith-Haas         88
22        Leo Sismani                 76
23        Brad Pierce                 66
24        Mike Johnson *                   65
25        Duke Johnson *                  61
26        Scott Shelly                 52
        Lee Johnson *                 52
28        Doug Allen                 50

TEAM POINT STANDINGS (AFTER 7 RACES)

  1        Fresno                        1174
  2        Las Vegas                1163
  3        San Diego                 985
  4        Portland                 956
  5        San Francisco                 862
  6        Reno                         643
  7        Seattle                         506
  8        St. Louis                 425
  9        Vancouver                 188
 10        Denver                          55
 11        Aspen                          52

S2000 DRIVER POINT STANDINGS (BEST 6 OF 7 RACES):

  1        Spencer Trenery                566
  2        Frank Arnold                558
  3        John Bachofner                543
  4        Jay Messenger                246
  5        Duke Johnson                186
  6        Ian Wood                177
  7        Erik Lunn                168
  8        Mike Johnson                101
  9        Lee Johnson                 88
 10        Doug Allen                  84

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Duke Johnson , Mike Johnson , Dennis Pavlina , Spencer Trenery , Margie Smith-Haas , Ian Wood