The 30th season of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will conclude this weekend on the streets of Miami, Florida. For DSTP Motorsports and their driver, Joey Hand, it will bring a close to a season in which goals have been unfulfilled and ...
The 30th season of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will conclude this weekend on the streets of Miami, Florida. For DSTP Motorsports and their driver, Joey Hand, it will bring a close to a season in which goals have been unfulfilled and success has been drowned in a puddle of frustration.
"I don't think this season went like anyone at DSTP thought it would, especially me," said Hand. "I have never competed in a Championship and been in sixth while doing all the races on the schedule, so this has been pretty aggravating to me. Off-season testing went really well and we came out swinging at the beginning of the year. We had really high expectations of ourselves. There were just a lot of things that went wrong and there was not much we could do about it except pick ourselves up and move on. In fact, it has been a tough two years if you go back to the crash in Milwaukee."
A win in Miami for Joey Hand could rinse the bitter taste of the 2003 season. Although DSTP fully expected a win going into every race this season, they have more reason to believe so this weekend. Hand has proven in the past that he gets up to speed quicker than most on unfamiliar tracks. In his 2001 rookie season, Hand took victories in his first visits to circuits in Houston and Vancouver. This talent plays in Hand's favor with the Atlantic Championship making its first visit to Miami this weekend. With nothing much lose, except maybe a few spots in the Championship standings, Hand will be gunning for his third career Atlantic victory and a chance to salvage part of the 2003 season.
"It has been a long three weeks after what happened in Denver," commented Hand. "I was pretty mad about how that one ended and I'm really looking forward to getting something back in Miami. I really don't have anything to lose and I'm going to do everything I can to at least get us on the podium, if not a win. I would like to get a win for myself, but more so for Dede (Rogers) and the team. Dede deserves it more than anybody. Since I won't be back next year with the team, I would like to go out with a bang and give them a win."
Hand enters the Miami event trailing Aaron Justus by 16 points for fifth spot in the Championship. For Hand to climb into the top five, he will need a win coupled with Justus placing at the bottom of the field. But Hand will have to watch from behind, as well, as Danica Patrick stands only five points behind in seventh.
Speed Channel will air the Miami race on same day delay at 12:00 p.m. EST. and will re-air the event twice for those that miss it on Sunday. Replay broadcast will be shown on September 29th at 3:00 p.m. EST and October 3rd at 1:30 p.m. EST.