ACRL: Mesa Marin Report

Bakersfield, CA, May 23 -- In what has become an annual Memorial Day locale for the American City Racing League, 1997 Driving Champion Jeff Glenn returned to the series at the Mesa Marin round in search of his first oval track win. He ...

Bakersfield, CA, May 23 -- In what has become an annual Memorial Day locale for the American City Racing League, 1997 Driving Champion Jeff Glenn returned to the series at the Mesa Marin round in search of his first oval track win. He accomplished that task, but only after a hard-fought battle with his teammate, John Lombardo Jr. Glenn stepped into a Carbir chassis, now painted in Team San Diego livery. He replaced regular driver Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, who elected not to run the oval track race. Lombardo, aboard a Glenn's 1997 championship-winning Carbir, surprised everyone when he captured his first pole and led Glenn for the first 60 laps of the 75 lap race.

Team Fresno's John Ostlund qualified third behind Glenn and finished in the same position. Points leader and '97 Mesa Marin race winner Peter Zarcades of Team Las Vegas finished fourth after a disappointing seventh-place qualifying run, and Fresno's Stephen Romak took fifth on the last lap in the debut of the new Van Diemen chassis, nipping Las Vegas driver Chris Ronson in traffic.

Romak had the "save of the race", catching the car after a lurid slide in turn four that almost triggered a multi-car accident. The only yellow of the race was for Team San Francisco's John Bachofner, who had an oil fire in the engine bay, creating quite a light show for the spectators. Both Bachofner and the car emerged unscathed, as the blaze was quickly extinguished.

Qualifying times were slower than last year due to a quantity of oil-dry in turn two, the result of a stock car crash earlier. Romak's car pushed severely on his second lap and hit the wall, fortunately with only minor damage. His single qualifying lap of 19.670 was good for fourth. Zarcades went out too conservatively because of conditions, and could only manage seventh. Lombardo, using a setup suggested by Glenn, earned the pole with a 19.337 second lap, with teammate Glenn alongside at 19.563.

The start of the race was almost a parade lap, with Team San Diego in the front row, Team Fresno behind them, and Las Vegas drivers Zarcades and Ronson occupying row four. The race was fast and furious, with Glenn trying to get by Lombardo to no avail until Lombardo's Carbir slipped in turn two after the race's only restart on lap 60. Glenn dived into the opening and took the lead for good. Dennis Pavlina of Team Seattle ran most of the race in fourth in his Doran with Zarcades glued to his tail, but a dropped valve five laps from the end relegated him to sixth. 18 year old Spencer Trenery of Team Las Vegas took his first Sports 2000 class win, followed by Frank Arnold (Fresno) and Jay Messenger (San Diego). By virtue of a 1-2 finish, San Diego took the team win as well, delighting Carbir manufacturer Brian Utt, who was on hand for the race.

The ACRL, a team series for two-liter sports/racing cars, returns to a natural road course for their next event, the Portland Rose Cup, which runs June 12-14. The ACRL will also be one of the featured races, along with NASCAR's Southwest Tour and Spec Trucks at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Labor Day weekend. The race will be run on a new 1.4 mile, 7 turn course around Exposition Park in the LA Coliseum area.

Mesa Marin Results:

Finish Start Driver Team Class Laps Qual. Best Pos. Pos. Comp. Time Race Lap 1 2 Jeff Glenn San Diego SS2 75 19.563 N/A 2 1 John Lombardo San Diego SS2 75 19.337 N/A 3 3 John Ostlund Fresno SS2 75 19.621 N/A 4 7 Peter Zarcades Las Vegas SS2 75 20.068 N/A 5 4 Stephen Romak Fresno SS2 75 19.670 N/A 6 8 Chris Ronson Las Vegas SS2 75 20.131 N/A 7 6 Dennis Pavlina Seattle SS2 75 19.987 N/A 8 5 Bill Bachofner San Fran. SS2 75 19.848 N/A 9 11 Joe Giroski Portland SS2 75 20.612 N/A 10 10 Spencer Trenery Las Vegas S2 74 20.430 N/A 11 9 Frank Arnold Fresno S2 73 20.380 N/A 12 13 Jay Messenger San Diego S2 73 20.692 N/A 13 14 Edd Ozard Reno SS2 72 20.717 N/A 14 15 Eric Lunn Seattle S2 70 21.355 N/A 15 16 Leo Giroski Portland SS2 69 21.725 N/A 16 12 John Bachofner San Fran. S2 47 20.657 N/A

Margin of victory: N/A Time of race: N/A Length of race: 37.500 miles Winner's average speed: N/A Fast race lap: N/A

1998 American City Racing League Points Standings (Revised 5/25/98)

Overall Driver Standings (Best 2 of 3 Races) 1. Peter Zarcades (Las Vegas) 195 2. Stephen Romak (Fresno) 192 3. John Ostlund (Fresno) 181 4. John Lombardo Jr. (San Diego)* 177 5. Dennis Pavlina (Seattle) 160 Joe Giroski (Portland) 160 7. Bill Bachofner (San Francisco) 158 8. Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi (San Diego)*146 Edd Ozard (Reno) 146 Chris Ronson (Las Vegas) 146 11. Frank Arnold (Fresno) 127 12. Spencer Trenery (Las Vegas) 119 13. Rick Eickoff (St. Louis)* 116 14. John Bachofner (San Francisco) 113 Jay Messenger (San Diego) 113 16. Leo Giroski (Portland) 102 Erik Lunn (Seattle)* 102 18. Jeff Glenn (San Diego) 100

1998 Western Division - S2000 Driver Standings (Best 2 of 4 Races) 1. Frank Arnold (Fresno) 202 2. Spencer Trenery (Las Vegas) 193 3. John Bachofner (San Francisco) 181 4. Jay Messenger (San Diego) 176 5. Erik Lunn (Seattle)* 168

ACRL / Western Division Team Standings (After 3 Races) 1. Fresno 518 2. San Diego 491 3. Las Vegas 490 4. San Francisco 396 5. Portland 395 6. Seattle 346 7. Reno 210 8. St. Louis 119 9. Vancouver 0 10. San Jose 0 11. Long Beach 0

ACRL / Eastern Division - S2000 Driver Standings (After 1 Race) 1. David Downey (Columbus) 101 2. Duke Johnson (St. Louis) 93 3. Dan Dubrovich (New York) 88 4. John Burke (New York) 84 5. Bob Henson (Kansas City) 80 6. Clint Lindburg (St. Louis) 76 7. Jeff Clinton (St. Louis) 73 8. Jay Messenger (San Diego) 70. 9. Martin Ryba (Chicago) 67

ACRL / Eastern Division Team Standings (After 1 Race) 1. New York 172 2. St. Louis 169 3. Columbus 101 4. Kansas City 80 5. San Diego 73 6. Chicago 70

1998 AMERICAN CITY RACING LEAGUE SCHEDULE (Revised - 5/23/98)

APRIL 24-26 LAS VEGAS/NV MAY 2-3 PHOENIX/AZ MAY 22-23 MESA MARIN/CA JUNE 12-24 PORTLAND/OR JULY 3-5 PORTLAND/OR SEPT. 4-6 LOS ANGELES/CA SEPT. 25-27 PIKES PEAK/CO OCT. 9-11 SEARS POINT/CA OCT. 23-25 TBA

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers John Burke , Duke Johnson , Jeff Clinton , Dennis Pavlina , Spencer Trenery