ACRL: Sears Point - Season Results

Romak Takes Win, Title at ACRL Sears Point Finale Sonoma, CA, October 10, 1998 - The American City Racing League season came down to the final race of the year at Sears Point, with both the overall Drivers Championship and the Team Championship...

Romak Takes Win, Title at ACRL Sears Point Finale

Sonoma, CA, October 10, 1998 - The American City Racing League season came down to the final race of the year at Sears Point, with both the overall Drivers Championship and the Team Championship in doubt. Peter Zarcades came into the weekend with a five point lead in the Drivers race, and his Las Vegas team was only 11 points out of first place in the team contest. Stephen Romak, second in Drivers points, led Team points leader Fresno. Romak served notice early that he was very much in the title chase, setting a record 1:10.552 pole time, half a second quicker on the "NASCAR" course configuration than Jeff Gordon's Winston Cup pole time set in June. Zarcades turned an unofficial 1:10.201 in practice, but could only muster a second-fast time of 1:10.715 in qualifying. No one else was even close, but Romak's teammate John Ostlund turned a 1:11.590 and Zarcades' partner Chris Ronson set a 1:11.918 after discovering a suspension problem just before qualifying.

Romak got a good jump on the start, and teammate Ostlund slotted into second, holding Zarcades off for the first two laps while Romak built a lead. Zarcades charged into second on lap three, but Romak continued to pull out .8 to .9 seconds per lap until the pair encountered the tail end of the field. Zarcades got a couple of breaks and closed to within a little over a second in traffic, but with a clear race track Romak again pulled away at the same rate. Ronson, in fourth, appeared to be closing on Ostlund only to spin in Turn 11 and drop back to 10th. One of the best races of the day was for fifth through ninth, with Dennis Pavlina of Team Seattle leading this pack until a broken header sidelined him on lap 11. Team San Francisco's Bill Bachofner then moved into fourth, but Margie Smith-Haas of Team San Diego was all over him, finally making the pass on lap 14. Two laps later, Bachofner spun in turn one, allowing Team Portland's Joe Giroski to move into fifth. Smith-Haas suffered from an engine miss which worsened in the race's final stages, but had enough in hand to hold off Giroski at the checker. Her teammate, Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi, fell to 11th on the start, but steadily worked his way up to sixth at race's end. Jay Messenger, in the third San Diego car, suffered handling problems throughout the race, traced to a collapsed upper control arm after the event. Messenger ended 13th, two laps down. Perhaps the best race o the day was the battle at the rear of the field between Leo Giroski (Portland), Rick Eickhoff (St. Louis) and Sports 2000 class champion Spencer Trenery (Las Vegas). The trio ran nose-to-tail the entire race, only separating to let the leaders through while being lapped.

Zarcades, in his 11th ACRL season, was disappointed but philosophical about his championship loss. "Steve was really hooked up today. Nobody could touch him," said Zarcades on the podium. Romak expressed mixed emotions on the stand. "I just wish both of us could have won. But if only one of us could, I'm glad it was me," said the new champion. Ostlund's third place finish sealed the Team Championship for the Fresno crew, and Team Las Vegas' Trenery joined the celebration as Sports 2000 race winner and ACRL's youngest-ever champion at 18 years of age.

Fin.Start Laps Qual Race Pos.Pos Driver Team Chassis Compl. Time Lap 1 1 Stephen Romak Fresno Lola 26 1:10.522 1:10.567 2 2 Peter Zarcades Las Vegas Swift 26 1:10.715 1:11.291 3 3 John Ostlund Fresno Lola 26 1:11.590 1:11.269 4 5 Margie Smith-Haas San Diego Falcon FX1 26 1:12.206 1:12.547 5 4 Joe Giroski Portland Tiga Wasp 26 1:13.858 1:13:303 6 6 Edd Ozard Reno Lola 26 1:11.779 1:12.392 7 7 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi San Diego Carbir 26 1:12.843 1:13.125 8 8 Chris Ronson Las Vegas Carbir 25 1:11.918 1:12.333 9 9 Bill Bachofner S. Francisco Swift 25 1:12.765 1:13.308 10 10 Leo Giroski Portland Tiga Wasp 24 1:17.290 1:17.033 11 11 Rick Eickhoff St. Louis Shannon 24 1:18.495 1:17.235 12 12 Spencer Trenery * Las Vegas Swift 24 1:17:483 1:17.390 13 14 Jay Messenger San Diego Lola 24 1:13.511 1:14.317 14 15 Dennis Pavlina Seattle Doran 11 1:11.678 1:13.818 15 17 John Bachofner* S. Francisco Swift 1 No Time 1:16.390

* Denotes S2000 car.

Race Time: 30:29.900 Race Length: 50.70 miles Track Length: 1.95 miles Average Lap Speed: 97.858 mph Fastest Race Lap: 1:10.567, Stephen Romak Margin of Victory: 14.976 sec,

Team Points: Fresno 190 Las Vegas 163 San Diego 157 Portland 144 San Francisco 122 Reno 76 St. Louis 61 Seattle 58

DRIVER POINT STANDINGS S2000 DRIVER POINT STANDINGS (BEST 7 OF 8 RACES): (BEST 7 OF 8 RACES):

1 Stephen Romak 666 1 Spencer Trenery 667 2 Peter Zarcades 662 2 John Bachofner 640 3 Joe Giroski 568 3 Frank Arnold 554 4 John Ostlund 550 4 Jay Messenger 246 5 Edd Ozard 521 5 Duke Johnson 186 6 Chris Ronson 516 6 Ian Wood 177 7 Bill Bachofner 505 7 Erik Lunn 168 8 Dennis Pavlina 445 8 Mike Johnson 101 9 Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi 440 9 Lee Johnson 88 10 Spencer Trenery * 420 10 Doug Allen 84 11 John Bachofner * 401 12 Rick Eickhoff 398 TEAM POINT STANDINGS (FINAL) 13 Leo Giroski 395 14 Frank Arnold * 356 1 Fresno 1364 15 John Lombardo, Jr. 304 2 Las Vegas 1326 16 Jay Messenger 226 3 San Diego 1142 17 Tom Kreger 188 4 Portland 1100 18 Margie Smith-Haas 172 5 San Francisco 985 19 Ian Wood 104 6 Reno 719 20 Erik Lunn 102 7 Seattle 564 21 Jeff Glenn 100 8 St. Louis 486 22 Leo Sismani 76 9 Vancouver 188 23 Brad Pierce 66 10 Denver 55 24 Mike Johnson * 65 11 Aspen 52 25 Duke Johnson * 61 26 Scott Shelly 52 Lee Johnson * 52 28 Doug Allen 50

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Duke Johnson , Mike Johnson , Dennis Pavlina , Spencer Trenery , Margie Smith-Haas , Ian Wood