First lap incident ends Laguna race for Patrick. MONTEREY, CA. . .. Team Rahal's Argent Mortgage Company driver Danica Patrick was involved in a first lap scrum that left the ...
First lap incident ends Laguna race for Patrick.
MONTEREY, CA. . .. Team Rahal's Argent Mortgage Company driver Danica Patrick was involved in a first lap scrum that left the #24 Argent car badly damaged.
Patrick was running eighth as the field came into Turn 6 at, the legendary up hill turn at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. As the field moved up the steep elevation DSTP driver Joey Hand spun and veered left into the run-off. Hand's debris set off a chain reaction of evasive actions. Patrick unfortunately tired to speed up while the car in front of her, Lynx Racing's Bryan Sellers tried to stop. Patrick came into contact with Sellers and veered into the run-off on the opposite side as Hand. The Argent car came into heavy contact with the tire barrier and sustained significant suspension, wing and nose damage.
"This is very frustrating after all the hard work everyone put in this weekend," said Patrick. "I thought I had a clear path through when all of a sudden the car in front of me just stopped. I had nowhere to go and I ended up in the tire barrier. The toughest part for me is the car felt good and we had already picked up a spot on the start. It was a long race and A.J. had a great car, but we missed a chance to score some points."
Rookie A.J. Allmendinger, the series points leader, captured his second win of the 2003 season with a flag-to-flag win. The RuSports driver led all 30 laps and finished 17 seconds ahead of Milwaukee winner Ryan Dalziel, who finished second.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will resume with Round 5 at the Portland International Raceway next weekend.