Sonoma Final Race -Championship Report

Swedish Driver Loven Takes Russell/USAC Triple Crown Championship Beregszaszy Wins Final Russell/USAC Triple Crown Race Sonoma, CA --Niklas Loven of Sweden won the Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro-Series Championship presented by Yokohama...

Swedish Driver Loven Takes Russell/USAC Triple Crown Championship

Beregszaszy Wins Final Russell/USAC Triple Crown Race

Sonoma, CA --Niklas Loven of Sweden won the Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro-Series Championship presented by Yokohama driving his TEAMFORSAKRARNA sponsored Formula Russell to a second place finish behind Paul Beregszaszy in the Yamazen/HB Machine car during the third and final round at Sears Point Raceway. "This especially gratifying for me. Last year I had a chance at winning the series, but I got caught up in an accident at the last race of the season and I ended up third in the points. So I am very happy today."

Beregszaszy inherited the lead when the first and second place cars of Tyler McQuarrie and Bernardo Martinez came together at the exit of Turn 11. "I was really sorry to see that happen," said Beregszaszy, who also drives sprit cars in SCRA. " I had a good car and I was catching Tyler and Bernardo with each lap of the track. I would have liked to have raced for the first place finish." Beregszaszy took home a check for $2000.00 for his day's driving.

Pole winner McQuarrie had command of the race from the start and looked like he was going to give Loven a run for the championship. It was a long shot race for McQuarrie who clinched the 1998 USAC Formula Russell Championship three weeks ago. He needed to win and Loven would have to finish fifth or less to capture the championship. A fourth place finish by Loven would tie the two drivers with 45 points and the championship would be decided by who had the best finishing record. And that would be Loven. "Either one of us could have taken the championship but the pressure was more on Tyler than myself," said the elated Loven.

At just past the half way point of the 30 minute race, McQuarrie and second place driver Bernardo Martinez came upon slower traffic going into the hairpin Turn 11. McQuarrie slid wide of the apex allowing Martinez to draw along side as they exited the corner. Entering the straight, the two touched wheels and Martinez rode up the right side of McQuarrie's car forcing him into the concrete wall. Martinez's car bounced into the air and slammed into the wall as well. This brought out a full course yellow while the track was cleared. At the restart, Beregszaszy marched away to a victory with a 9.76-second margin over Loven.

Loven collected a check for $750.00 for finishing second. As Triple Crown Champion, Loven picks up another $5000.00 plus a testing day in a KOOL/Toyota Formula Atlantic courtesy of Yokohama tires and a testing day in a FF2000 courtesy of Russell Racing. He will also travel to England to test a Formula Opel.

Third place finisher, Peter Ponder-Pistor worked hard to earn his $450.00 prize. Starting 6th, Ponder-Pistor recovered from a spin avoiding McQuarrie and Martinez and passed Jeff Oppenheim. Doug Sorensen and Ken Snyder made the top five when Oppenheim over-shot the chicane.

The Pro-Mechanix Award went to Tony Louderbough and Paul Kulawiak for preparing Beregszaszy's winning Formula Russell. The two will each receive $125.00 gift certificates from Mechanix Wear. Mechanix Wear supports the Mechanics Training Program at the Russell Racing School by supply protective gloves, aprons and other merchandise during the year--long program.

Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro-Series presented by Yokohama Round 3 of 3 October 11, 1998 Sears Point, Sonoma, CA Finish Results

1 Paul Beregszaszy Phoenix, AZ   20
2 Niklas Loven  Vaxjo, Sweden  15
3 Peter Ponder-Pistor Manhatten Beach, CA  12
4 Doug Sorensen Laguna Niguel, CA  10
5 Ken Snyder  San Andreas, CA    8
6 Jeff Oppenheim Sulphur Springs, TX    6
7 Patrick McDowell San Mateo, CA    4
8 Martin Abate  San Francisco, CA    3
9 Duane Harsh  Sonoma, CA     2
10 Tyler McQuarrie Walnut Creek, CA  DNF
11 Bernardo Martinez Toledo, OH   DNF
12 David Farley  Yorba Linda, CA  DNF
13 Steve Hill  Los Gatos, CA   DNS

Final Standings - Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro-Series presented by Yokohama

Pos Name                   Pts          Pos Name                   Pts
1 Niklas Loven          50          11 David Farley          9
2 Stephen Hill          31          12 Chase Mart                  8
3 Tyler McQuarrie         25          12 Partick McDowell         8
4 Paul Beregszaszy         20          14 Jeff Oppenheim         6
5 Peter Ponder-Pistor         18          15 Max Toy                  4
6 Sara Senske                  18          16 Martin Abate          3
6 Brent Sherman         12          17 Chris Pettet          2
8 Ken Snyder                  11          17 Phil Erickson          2
9 Todd Oppenheimer         10          17 Duane Harsh          2
9 Doug Sorensen         10          20 Sal Lombardo          1

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Series General
Drivers Brent Sherman , Tyler McQuarrie , Steve Hill