Denver: Team Rahal race notes

Team Rahal claims a pair of top-five results in the Atlantic race. DENVER, COLORADO . . .Team Rahal's Jon Fogarty finished fourth in his team debut and Danica Patrick finished fifth in Sunday's Argent Mortgage Challenge at the Centrix Grand Prix...

Team Rahal claims a pair of top-five results in the Atlantic race.

DENVER, COLORADO . . .Team Rahal's Jon Fogarty finished fourth in his team debut and Danica Patrick finished fifth in Sunday's Argent Mortgage Challenge at the Centrix Grand Prix of Denver.

Fogarty started fourth in the Norwalk Furniture/Toyota/Swift as he lost a couple of spots on the start, but he drove a strong race and forced his way back to match his starting position. It was Fogarty's first competitive race in a year, but the 2002 series champion showed little sign of rust.

"The car was great and it feels good to get the first race over with," said Fogarty. "It really helps when you come back with a team like Team Rahal that has great personnel and the equipment to get the job done. I was a little bit tentative on the restart and that was where the rust showed. I was able to keep some pressure on [Alex] Figge until he made a mistake and then on that last restart there was a few things going down in Turn 1 and I was able to make it through untouched which got me back to my grid position. Overall I am pretty please with today. We had some really good lap times which proves the car is hooked up and it is only a matter of time until we are on the podium."

Patrick started seventh and pushed her way forward finishing in the top-five for the fourth time this season. Patrick fine tuned the Argent Mortgage car throughout the race and as a result she posted the second fastest lap of the race (87.733 mph) on lap 29.

"Today was a classic example of why you need to qualify up front," said Patrick. "I had the pace of the leaders, but on a street course it is so hard to pass that we couldn't pick up the positions. We bounced back nicely from a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday and we had a strong race. Now we just need to build on this for Miami and try to end the year on the podium."

RuSport rookie A.J. Allmendinger won for the seventh time this season and clinched the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Allmendinger holds a unbeatable lead of 35 points entering the final race of the season at Miami. Michael Valiante and Ryan Dalziel finished second and third.

In finishing fourth, Fogarty matched Casey Mears and Michel Jourdain Jr. in posting the highest result for a driver in their first race with Team Rahal.

The Toyota Atlantic Championship will take a three-week break before the season finale on the streets of Miami September 26-28.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Casey Mears , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , A.J. Allmendinger , Danica Patrick , Michel Jourdain