Fogarty takes Portland race one pole

Veteran racer and former Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty put down a fast lap at 1:08.404 with a speed of 103.626 miles per hour to ensure himself of one bonus point toward the 2004 championship with the pole position for race one at Portland International Raceway.

Jon Fogarty.
Photo by Earl Ma.
Fogarty will start on the inside as he leads the field to the first turn in Saturday's race; the first of two races this weekend.

"The Festival chicane is just such a bottle neck," explained the Pacific Coast Motorsports driver. "You never know what is going to happen."

Sierra Sierra Rookie driver Andrew Ranger grabbed the second spot on the grid. Ranger has been impressive already in only the first two rounds of the 2004 season. "My engineers told me I was fourth and I had one more lap (left in the session). I pushed pretty hard. I'm pretty happy for that to start second," commented Ranger on his fast lap today on the 1.969-mile road course.

Danica Patrick matched her earlier best qualifying spot when the Team Rahal driver snared the third spot on the grid. "It was a real good qualifying session," said Patrick. "My engineer made a good call putting on new tires. I'm probably just as happy starting third."

The heat affected many teams today during the qualifying session. Points leader Ronnie Bremmer managed only eighth and Ryan Dalziel will start seventh as the two continue the battle for the lead in the championship. Second in the standings, Patrick, looks to have the edge on the boys this weekend.

Race two qualifying will be held Saturday morning; hopefully with cooler temperatures. Race one will take place early afternoon with a start time of 1:15 pm (PDT).