Long Beach: Joey Hand qualifying notes

DSTP/Hand on pole for Long Beach Atlantic race. Second career Atlantic pole for Sacramento's Joey Hand. Long Beach, Calif. (April 13, 2002) - Joey Hand today captured his second career CART Toyota Atlantic pole position by virtue of qualifying...

DSTP/Hand on pole for Long Beach Atlantic race.
Second career Atlantic pole for Sacramento's Joey Hand.

Long Beach, Calif. (April 13, 2002) - Joey Hand today captured his second career CART Toyota Atlantic pole position by virtue of qualifying first for tomorrow's second round of the 2002 Atlantic Championship series at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Hand's performance marks his third consecutive front row starting spot (2nd in Monterrey, Mexico, last month and pole at last season's series finale at Laguna Seca), as well as his second consecutive front row starting spot at Long Beach after joining the Atlantic series last year with DSTP Motorsports.

"I love this place," said Hand, who set a fast time today of 1:18.290 (90.494 miles per hour) in the closing laps of the 30-minute session. "That session went well for us. We've had a great car all weekend, be we hadn't had a chance to show it. The crew kept plucking away and standing behind me every session even though we were down on the charts. We finally got the one flyer we had been missing out on all weekend and it was just what we needed. The traffic has been my biggest problem, but I finally got a clear opening and was able to lay down a good time. Long Beach is where I started last year, and it was a good start to the season. Tomorrow is going to be a great race."

In 2001's Long Beach Atlantic race, Hand started second, jumped into the lead for six laps, and finished third is first career Atlantic race. Hand went on to win the Rookie of the Year title and finished third overall in the season championship. DSTP Motorsports won the 2000 Long Beach Atlantic race in its rookie season with driver Buddy Rice (who started third), who went on to win the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic championship title.

"This race has always been very good to us," said Dede Rogers, DSTP Motorsports team owner. "We came here with high expectations and everyone on the team really wants to win this one. We're all so proud of Joey. He came through in a pinch and put us on the front row. We're all excited and looking forward to another great race tomorrow."

With Ryan Hunter-Reay starting second, tomorrow's race marks the first all-American front row since 2000, where Rice and Case Montgomery shared the front row at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. Vancouver, BC's, Michael Valiante will start third.

Tomorrow's Atlantic activities begin with a 15-minute warm-up at 8:15 am. The 32-lap race is scheduled for 10:00 am tomorrow and will be televised live on the Speed Channel.

Further information is available on the team's web site at www.dstpmotorsports.com as well as the official Atlantic series site at www.toyotaatlantic.com.

-dstp-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Buddy Rice