Duke Johnson Takes Second Round ofÃ‚Â Watkins Glen Doubleheader, NewYork Captures Team Title Watkins Glen NY, August 26, 2001 -- Team St. Louis leader Duke Johnson won a seesaw battle with polesitter A.J. Smith of Team Philadelphia to score his...
Duke Johnson Takes Second Round ofÂ Watkins Glen Doubleheader, NewYork Captures Team Title
Watkins Glen NY, August 26, 2001 -- Team St. Louis leader Duke Johnson won a seesaw battle with polesitter A.J. Smith of Team Philadelphia to score his first American City Racing League Eastern Division victory. The margin of victory was .289 seconds, almost identical to the .294 second margin by which Smith won from Johnson the day before. Smith took the lead from the pole, and led the first three circuits. Johnson crossed the line in front on lap four, but Smith reasserted himself, leading the fifth and sixth laps.Then Johnson took over for laps seven through 11, but Smith battled back and led at the white flag on lap 13. With only one lap to do it in, Johnson made the pass to take the victory. Team New York's John Burke moved into third on the second lap and held off Bob Liebert of Team Columbus until his gearbox stuck in first gear on lap nine, and he was forced to retire. An elated Liebert scored his second podium finish in a row, coming home third. Dan Dubrovich of Team New York finished fourth, maintaining his Sports 2000 points lead over Smith. Jeff Clinton of Team St. Louis rounded out the top five in class, moving into a points tie for fourth with Liebert. Following Clinton home in the S2 class were Jim Ballard (Philadelphia), David Seuss (Philadelphia), Darry Shoff (Philadelphia), Jeff Staley (Washington DC), and Burke.
Team Boston's Buzz Hooker bettered his Saturday performance by qualifying his Classic Sports 2000 Lola second overall besting his qualifying record set the day before. He went on to take the class victory with another overall fourth place. Jeff Wayland, Team New York, CS2 points leader, clinched the CS2 Championship with second-place points. John Faulkner, Team Boston, was unable to answer the bell in the Sports 1600 class due to damage suffered in yesterday's race. The S16 Championship was also sewn up, with Bill Haney of Team Boston already amassing enough points to clinch.
New York's team victory moved them into the Team Points lead, 22 ahead of St. Louis. Only these two teams have a mathematical chance of winning the Team Championship going into the final race at Daytona on September 15. Defending Team Champion Philadelphia lags 129 points behind St. Louis in third.
With one race remaining, only two drivers have a mathematical chance at the Sports 2000 title. A.J. Smith must finish second or better to take the title from Dan Dubrovich, as Dubrovich's best "throwaway" race is 84 points. In Smith's favor is the fact that he was on the winning SRP1 team at the Rolex Daytona 24 this year, and has a lot of track time there.
The second Watkins Glen race was the sixth in a seven-race series for the American City Racing League Eastern Division, sanctioned by Grand Am. The ACRL series, using a unique team racing concept, races Ford-engined Sports 2000, and Classic Sports 2000 cars, as well as Toyota-powered Sports 1600 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier ACRL-stamped R-45 compound tires and a spec fuel.