ACRL: Las Vegas Season Finale (corrected)

Team Fresno Hits Jackpot at Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV October 23, 1999 - Team Fresno sewed up three championships at the American City Racing League season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Defending Super Sports 2000 Driver Champion Steve...

Team Fresno Hits Jackpot at Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV October 23, 1999 - Team Fresno sewed up three championships at the American City Racing League season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Defending Super Sports 2000 Driver Champion Steve Romak scored his second consecutive title, while 1997 Sports 2000 Champ Frank Arnold claimed the 1999 S2000 Championship. Third team member John Ostlund, who won two races earlier in the season, added second-place points at Las Vegas to give Fresno the Team win for the race and for the season.

Team Las Vegas came into the final race of the season with a mathematical chance at the team win, but rolled snake-eyes instead. Championship contenders Peter Zarcades (SS2000) and Michael Scully (S2000) were both sidelined with blown engines. A third team car, the no. 52 driven by ACRL newcomer and Formula Ford ace Bakir Begovic, also blew an engine on Friday. In Saturday's qualifying session Begovic's car caught fire, effectively ending his weekend. In fact the whole weekend was a litany of mechanical gremlins, with transmission failures plaguing both Team Reno's Edd Ozard and Duke Johnson of Team St. Louis, in addition to the engine problems of the Las Vegas cars.

Romak, leading the championship chase by 16 points over teammate Ostlund, took the lead from pole position on lap one and was never headed. Second-fast qualifier Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi of Team Hollywood fell prey to Ostlund halfway through the first lap and dropped back to third. This pair staged an excellent race until Tirinnanzi dropped off the pace slightly at the halfway point. Margie Smith-Haas graciously offered Las Vegas driver Zarcades her car to enable him to run for driver points although San Diego would get the team points. He qualified fourth and ran there until lap 15, when Tirinnanzi's teammate John Lombardo Jr. ran him down and passed him for the position. Lombardo returned to the series for a one-off ride in the factory Carbir. This pass was to have great significance, as it gave Tirinnanzi third place in the SS2000 Drivers Championship race by a single point over Zarcades.San Diego's Sandy Popescu finished sixth ahead of Reno's Edd Ozard, clinching the Rookie of the Year title and finishing fifth in season points. Rick Eickhoff of Team Los Angeles was eighth at the checker and sixth on the season.

The Aerocell Sports 2000 Championship was decided when Scully's engine blew on Friday, as he as the only driver with a shot at unseating Frank Arnold. Arnold qualified on the S2000 pole, and had a thrilling race-long battle with Duke Johnson of Team St. Louis, who filled his mirrors for most of the contest. Johnson briefly took the lead once, but the pass was made under standing yellow and he waved Arnold back by on the next lap. Late in the race Johnson lost third gear and faded, but not before setting the fastest S2000 lap of the weekend. New S2000 drivers joining the series for the first time in 1999 were Jeff Littrell, Team Las Vegas, with a third place finish; and Doug Ota, Team Reno, who spun on lap four and was unable to restart. Part-time competitors Doug Allen (Reno) and Lee Johnson (San Diego) finished fourth and fifth respectively, after a race-long duel. Ota was credited with sixth.

The American City Racing League series, using a unique team racing concept, races Cosworth-powered Super Sports 2000 and Ford-engined Sports 2000 cars, with drivers required to run Hoosier R-45 compound tires and VP Racing Fuel.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway ACRL Championship Race Results: Finishing position, start position ( ), driver, team, chassis, class, laps complete, qualifying time, best race lap, reason out (if any). 1 (1) Stephen Romak, Fresno, Lola, SS2, 20, 1:21.448, 1:21.187 2 (3) John Ostlund, Fresno, Lola, SS2, 20, 1:22.338, 1:22.006 3 (2) Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 20, 1:22.032, 1:22.175 4 (5) John Lombardo Jr., Hollywood, Carbir, SS2, 20, 1:22.824, 1:22.796 5 (4) Peter Zarcades, San Diego, Falcon, SS2, 20, 1:22.726, 1:22.509 6 (7) Sandra Popescu, San Diego, Swift, SS2, 20, 1:25.556, 1:22.992 7 (6) Edd Ozard, Reno, Lola, SS2, 20, 1:22.843, 1:23.367 8 (9) Frank Arnold, Fresno, Swift, S2, 19, 1:24.916, 1:25.308 9 (10) Duke Johnson, St. Louis, Carbir, S2, 19, 1:25.358, 1:24.901 10 (8) Rick Eickhoff, Los Angeles, Shannon, SS2, 19, 1:27.243, 1:26.901 11 (11) Jeff Littrell, Las Vegas, Swift, S2, 19, 1:26.546, 1:26.508 12 (12) Doug Allen, Reno, Swift, S2, 18, 1:29.424, 1:29.245 13 (13) Lee Johnson, San Diego, Swift, S2, 18, 1:30.732, 1:29.307 14 (14) Doug Ota, Reno, Swift, S2, 4, No Time, 1:29.889 15 (DNS) Bakir Begovic, Las Vegas, Carbir, SS2, DNQ, DNS 16 (DNS) Michael Scully, Las Vegas, SR71, S2, DNQ, DNS 17 (DNS) Margie Smith-Haas, San Diego, Falcon, SS2, DNQ, DNS 18 (DNS) Rick Lee, Reno, Carbir, SS2, DNQ, DNS 19 (DNS) Joe Casanova, Hollywood, Swift, S2, DNQ, DNS

Race Time: 27:39.288 Race Length: 45 Miles

SS2 Fastest Race Lap: 1:21.187 (Romak) SS2 Margin of Victory: 15.758 seconds

S2 Fastest Race Lap: 1:24.901 (Duke Johnson) S2 Margin of Victory: N/A

Team Points: Fresno 267 San Diego 211 Reno 183 Hollywood 172 St. Louis 67 Los Angeles 64 Las Vegas 61

 (BEST 7 OF 8 RACES):                    (BEST 7 OF 8 RACES):
 1    Stephen Romak        666   1  Frank Arnold          501
 2    John Ostlund         641   2  Michael Scully        381 
 3    Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi  550   3  Joe Casanova          269
 4    Peter Zarcades       549   4  Doug Allen            242
 5    Sandy Popescu        521   5  Duke Johnson          195  
 6    Rick Eickhoff        411   6  John Bachofner        181
 7    Chris Ronson         324      Jeff Anderson         181
 8    Jay Messenger        317   8  Ian Wood              172
 9    Brad Pierce          256   9  Bill Bachofner        169
10    Margie Smith-Haas    218   10 Leo Giroski           160
10    Rick Lee             218   11 Spencer Trenery       102
12    Edd Ozard            207   12 Jeff Clinton          93
13    Jeff Glenn           179   13 Jeff Littrell         88         
14    Tom Kreger           169   14 Lee Johnson           80
15    Scott Shelley        160      George Greenwood      80
16    Charlie Hewitt       150      Brad Arntson          80
17    Joe Giroski          137   17 Doug Ota              76
18    John Lombardo Jr.    84    18 Chris Knight          73  
18    Dennis Pavlina       61

MOTORSPORT COMPOSITES TRIPLE CROWN SS2000 OVAL TRACK TEAM POINT STANDINGS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (AFTER 8 RACES) (FINAL) 1 Fresno 1894 1 Peter Zarcades 288 * 2 Las Vegas 1602 2 Stephen Romak 288 3 San Diego 1170 3 John Ostlund 256 4 Reno 1106 4 Jay Messenger 241 5 Hollywood 1045 5 Sandy Popescu 219 6 Los Angeles 428 6 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi 214 7 Portland 287 7 Rick Eickoff 207 8 St. Louis 206 8 Chris Ronson 166 9 Vancouver WA 100 9 Margie Smith-Haas 139 10 Scott Shelley 76 11 Rick Lee 58

S2000 TCOC STANDINGS * Number of wins was tie-breaker. (FINAL) 1 Michael Scully 288 2 Frank Arnold 195 3 Jeff Anderson 181 Joe Casanova 181

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Series SCCA
Drivers Duke Johnson , Jeff Clinton , Steve Romak , Rick Lee , Dennis Pavlina , Spencer Trenery , Margie Smith-Haas , Ian Wood