Road America Round to A.J. Smith, St. Louis Ties Boston for Team Honors Elkhart Lake, WI, July 9, 2000 -- An exhausted but elated A.J. Smith climbed out of his Team Philadelphia Pratt-Miller, the winner of the fourth race of the American City...
Road America Round to A.J. Smith, St. Louis Ties Boston for Team Honors
Elkhart Lake, WI, July 9, 2000 -- An exhausted but elated A.J. Smith climbed out of his Team Philadelphia Pratt-Miller, the winner of the fourth race of the American City Racing League Eastern Division's 2000 season. Smith took the win by about four feet (.081 second) after twelve grueling laps at the 4.048 mile Road America course, battling the Carbir of pole-sitter John Fergus (Team Columbus) for the entire race. "We changed everything on the car," said Smith. "The springs, shocks, gearing, you name it. We chose lower gears, expecting rain, but the track dried out and we had the engine screaming. John was quicker on the fast sections, but I could catch him under braking at several places. " Fergus actually pointed Smith by in one of the slower corners on the last lap, hoping to re-pass in the quicker sections, but Smith made his car wide enough to hold on for the win. Smith was also quick to thank teammate Darryl Shoff, who loaned him his spare engine after Smith's motor blew in Thursday's test session.
Tire strategy played a big part in the race, which was declared a rain race (meaning drivers had to mount rain tires for the start). Second fastest qualifier Craig Chima (Team Columbus, Lola), and Dan Dubrovich (Team New York, Doran) both gambled on a change to slick tires at the start. Dubrovich got back out without losing a lap, but was passed by the leaders after two spins on cold tires. Chima came out a lap down and never recovered, finally finishing 16th. Dubrovich, dry Hoosier R45's finally up to temperature, blew by the leaders to get back on the lead lap, and charged through the field to finish seventh. Jeff Clinton (Team St. Louis, Lola) briefly moved into second on lap three, then faded back to a distant third as his tires went away. It was his first ACRL podium finish of the season. Martin Ryba (Team Chicago, Lola) took fourth after a great battle with Bob Liebert (Team Columbus, Miller RM-2), who took his first top-five finish of the season. Jim Ballard (Team Philadelphia, Lola) finished sixth ahead of the charging Dubrovich. 17 year old rookie Clint Field (Team Philadelphia, Pratt-Miller), son of Grand-Am team owner John Field, finished a creditable seventh, followed by teammate Darryl Shoff (Swift DB-5).
The next three finishers were all Team Boston Sports 1600 cars, with Adam Burrows scoring yet another win from pole, extending his perfect season. Bill Haney finished second in class in his first ACRL outing , with John Warner third in his second ACRL appearance. Fourth in class, and the last car on the lead lap, was Chris Dyson, son of Grand-Am team owner/driver Rob Dyson. It was also Chris's ACRL debut.
Bart Wolf (Team Milwaukee, Lola) and Duke Johnson (Team St. Louis, Carbir), both had tough races. Wolf pitted for tires after his car developed a push, and Johnson burned the wet tires off his car trying to play catch-up after an excursion into a gravel trap. John Burke (Team New York, Carbir) also fell afoul of a gravel trap after losing adhesion and driving off-course at turn 13. Lone Classic Sports 2000 starter Scott Livingston pitted for tires on lap three, but a stripped wheel thread ended his race.
For the second time this season, the team title ended in a tie. Both St. Louis and Boston scored 203 points. Boston, as the participant in both ties, was awarded the trophy, but St. Louis will receive a duplicate.
The American City Racing League Eastern Division will race next with the Grand American series at Mid-Ohio with the CART Champ Cars August 11-12. 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.
<pre> Road America Race Results: Finishing position, start position ( ), driver, team, chassis, class, laps complete, qualifying time, best race lap, reason out (if any). 1 (6) A.J. Smith, Philadelphia, Pratt-Miller, S2, 12, 2:20.202, 2:34.743 2 (1) John Fergus, Columbus, Carbir, S2, 12, 2:17.595, 2:36.049 3 (5) Jeff Clinton, St. Louis, Lola, S2, 12, 2:19.800, 2:38.349 4 (3) Martin Ryba, Chicago, Lola, S2, 12, 2:19.586, 2:42.635 5 (12) Bob Liebert, Columbus, Miller RM-2, S2, 12, 2:24.643, 2:43.113 6 (10) Jim Ballard, Philadelphia, Lola, S2, 12, 2:24.337, 2:43.366 7 (7) Dan Dubrovich, New York, Doran, S2, 12, 2:20.641, 2:28.218 8 (11) Clint Field, Philadelphia, Pratt-Miller, S2, 12, 2:24.362, 2:44.893 9 (13) Darryl Shoff, Philadelphia, Swift, S2, 12, 2:26.674, 2:45.041 10 (14) Adam Burrows, Boston, SVC, S16, 12, 2:26.716, 2:44.856 11 (17) Bill Haney, Boston, SVC, S1600, 12, 2:28.473, 2:43.602 12 (16) John Warner, Boston, SVC, S16, 12, 2:27.891, 2:47.000 13 (9) Duke Johnson, St. Louis, Carbir, S2, 12, 2:21.718, 2:42.884 14 (18) Chris Dyson, Boston, SVC, S16, 12, 2:29.026, 2:45.824 15 (4) Bart Wolf, Milwaukee, Lola, S2, 11, 2:19.733, 2:2:30.946 16 (2) Craig Chima, Columbus, Lola, S2, 11, 2:18.250, 2:30.581 17 (8) John Burke, New York, Carbir, S2, 8, 2:21.708, 2:41.333 18 (15) Scott Livingston, St. Louis, SVC, CS2, 3, 2:27.224, 2:52.954
Race Time: 30:15.955 minutes Race Length: 48. 576 miles Track Length: 4.048 miles S2 Margin of Victory: .081 second S16 Margin of Victory: 3.421 seconds S2 Fastest Qualifying Lap: 2:17.595 (Fergus) - New Qualifying Record S2 Fastest Race Lap: 2:28.218 (Dubrovich) CS2 Fastest Qualifying Lap: 2:27.224 (Livingston) CS2 Fastest Race Lap: 2:52.954 (Livingston) S16 Fastest Qualifying Lap: 2:26.716 (Burrows), New Qualifying Record S16 Fastest Race Lap: 2:43.602 (Haney)
TEAM SCORING 1 St. Louis 203 2 Boston 203 3 Philadelphia 176 4 Columbus 175 5 New York 128 6 Chicago 84 7 Milwaukee 58
S2 DRIVER POINTS CLASSIC S2 DRIVER POINTS AFTER 4 RACES: AFTER 4 RACES: 1 John Fergus 390 1 Jack Banha (R) 204 2 A.J. Smith (R) 365 2 Alain Nadal (R) 102 3 Dan Dubrovich 350 * Scott Livingston 102 4 Jeff Clinton 304 5 Bob Liebert 284 6 Craig Chima 278 7 Jim Ballard 271 8 Darryl Shoff 253 9 Duke Johnson 221 * 10 John Burke (R) 208 11 David Dullum 201 12 David Downey 181 13 Martin Ryba 172 14 Andy Lally (R) 160 15 Clint Field (R) 70 16 Bart Wolf (R) 61
S1600 DRIVER POINTS AFTER 4 RACES: 1 Adam Burrows 408 2 Mel Hawkins 286 * 3 John Faulkner 274 4 Steve Knight 268 * 5 Darius Grala 181 6 John Warner 176 7 Bill Haney 93 8 Chris Dyson 84
* Denotes Western Division crossover points
TEAM POINT STANDINGS (AFTER 4 RACES)
1 Philadelphia 745 2 Boston 743 3 Columbus 696 4 St. Louis 645 5 New York 529 6 Chicago 353 7 Portland 296 8 Washington DC 198 9 Salinas 110 10 Miami 61 11 Milwaukee 58