Tilbor wins at San Diego, Stilwell wins championship

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (November 4, 2000) - Neil Tilbor, of New Smyrna, Fla. won Saturday's Round 11 season-finale Pro Spec Racer race at San Diego, part of the San Diego Grand Prix. Bobby Sak, of W. Bloomfield, Mich. and TJ Acker, of Valencia,...

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (November 4, 2000) - Neil Tilbor, of New Smyrna, Fla. won Saturday's Round 11 season-finale Pro Spec Racer race at San Diego, part of the San Diego Grand Prix. Bobby Sak, of W. Bloomfield, Mich. and TJ Acker, of Valencia, Calif. completed the top-three. Warren Stilwell, of Harteville, Ohio finished sixth to capture the 2000 Pro Spec Racer Championship. Tilbor, who started second on the grid got the start he wanted passing pole sitter Stilwell in turn one to take the lead. In the opening laps, Tilbor, driving the No. 8 Tilbor Marketing & Development Spec Racer, pulled a sizeable lead as the cars behind him battled fiercely for position. By lap five Tilbor had pulled out a lead of over five seconds. The gap disappeared on lap eight when a full-course yellow was displayed for heavy contact between Carl Harris and John Black in the front chicane. On the lap 12 restart, Tilbor held-off a hard charging Keith Scharf into turn one to hold onto the lead. The field was once again bunched-up on lap 13 when Mark Eaton and Paul Raby had contact. Tilbor got another good restart on lap 17, while Scharf fell back after contact from Seanin Hendricsen. A final full-course caution occurred late in the allowing the field to bunch-up behind Tilbor. Tilbor, once again pulled away on the restart as the cars behind battled for position. Holding off a late challenge from Sak, Tilbor captured his second career win by 2.276 seconds at the checkered flag. The win gives Tilbor sixth in the final point standings. "The car was just hooked up," said Tilbor. "I knew Warren [Stilwell] wouldn't be that aggressive at the start so I went for the lead. On the numerous restarts I made sure I was in control and in position to retain the lead. The win is a great way to close out the season. If not for the start of the season I think I would've challenged for the championship." Driving the No. 19 Don Sak Racing Spec Racer, Sak drove a stellar race to finish second after starting 12th. Sak, got a good start making his way to eighth prior to the first caution. As the race progressed, Sak made the most of the restarts and managed to avoid the incidents in front of him to work his way up the through field. On the final restart, Sak moved into second and briefly closed on Tilbor. The second place finish follows up his first career win in Las Vegas last week to give him back-to-back podium finishes. Sak finishes third in the championship in his second full season. "I just got lucky out there," said Sak. "The motor wasn't great, but I think it helped because it gave me the gap I needed to avoid the incidents. With the win last week this a great way to close out the season." Acker, driving the No. 62 Competition Express Spec Racer, stayed out of trouble to finish third in his second career race. Acker, who had been quick all weekend, benefitted from the numerous incidents to work his way to the front of the field. Following the final restart, Acker used a good handling car to pass both Chris Funk and Stilwell to finish third. The podium finish is the first of his career. "What a race," said Acker. "I had hoped it would play out this way, but didn't expect it. I just tried to be careful at the start and conserve the car and see how the race played out." Stilwell, driving the No. 28 Stilwell Racing Spec Racer, drove a conservative race to finish sixth and win the championship. Stilwell, who only needed to finish seventh to win the title got a poor start falling back to fourth on the opening lap. On lap eight when Black had contact and retired, Stilwell secured the championship. The remainder of the race, Stilwell stayed out of harm's way en route to his ninth top-10 finish of the year. The championship is Stilwell's fourth in seven years. "It's great to win the championship again, said Stilwell. "It was unfortunate to see Black out, eventhough it meant I won the championship." Completing the top-five was Chris Funk, of Kansas City, Mo., who finishes fourth in the championship and Johnny Meriggi, of The Woodlands, Texas.

-SCCA/SCCA ProRacing-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Don Sak , Bobby Sak , Johnny Meriggi , John Black , Carl Harr , Mark Eaton