Monterrey: Saturday qualifying notes

Dalziel Continues Perfect Toyota Atlantic Weekend With Record-Setting Pole at Monterrey MONTERREY, Mexico (May 22, 2004) -- Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama points leader Ryan Dalziel (No. 28 ProWorks) continued a weekend of...

Dalziel Continues Perfect Toyota Atlantic Weekend With Record-Setting Pole at Monterrey

MONTERREY, Mexico (May 22, 2004) -- Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama points leader Ryan Dalziel (No. 28 ProWorks) continued a weekend of perfection at the Grand Prix of Monterrey by winning the Toyota Pole in a record-setting one minute, 24.753 seconds (89.370 miles per hour). With the pole, Dalziel earns one bonus championship point and $1,000. Dalziel was also fastest in first-round qualifying, earning another bonus point.

"It was the toughest qualifying session we've had in a long time," said Dalziel. "My Sierra Sierra team worked really hard through the session. We stopped probably once or twice more than anyone else. In the end, we dialed the car in with new tires and put together a couple of mega laps at the end."

Bryan Sellers (No. 19 Lynx Racing) was second fastest with a time of 1:25.215 minutes at 88.886 mph.

"I think a lot of it comes from digging deep late in the session," said Sellers. "You have an engineer on the radio yelling at you: 'You're two tenths behind, you're four tenths behind.' I think it angers you enough that you pull a little more out of yourself. The other thing to look at is everybody stops with 15 minutes to go to put on tires and I think the tires are worth six or eight tenths in itself."

Danica Patrick (No. 24 Argent Mortgage Company) turned in her best-career Toyota Atlantic qualifying position of third (1:25.341/88.755 mph). Patrick's previous best start was a fourth at Trois-Rivières last season.

"What makes me the most happy about today is we have the Argent car in a position to race for the win tomorrow," said Patrick. "Any time you are the front two rows, you are in a position to win. Lots of things can happen during a race and you just have to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities. This was a tough, competitive qualifying session. The times kept dropping. One lap I was first, then the next lap I was fourth. It was a real challenge to you as a driver."

Jon Fogarty (No. 96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) and BG Products Rookie of the Year Contender Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) completed top five.

Tomorrow's 50-minute race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. following a warm-up, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. The race will are on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED, Sunday, May 30 at 1 p.m. EDT).

Second-Round Qualifying Quotes:

Ryan Dalziel (No. 28 Pro-Works): Wins his Fourth Career Pole, Sets Monterrey Track Record: 1:24.753 (89.370 mph)

"We have been looking for the tough one to come because the first three sessions were really straightforward for us this weekend. That session was tough. It was the toughest qualifying session we've had in a long time. My Sierra Sierra team worked really hard through the session. We stopped probably once or twice more than anyone else. In the end, we dialed the car in with new tires and put together a couple of mega laps at the end. The track was really strange at the beginning of the session. We have so many different series here and they all run different tires. Our car basically transformed into something totally different than we had all weekend. We got our car dialed in and I think the track came in during those last few laps.

Bryan Sellers (No. 19 Lynx Racing) Second Fastest: 1:25.215 (88.886 mph)

"I think a lot of it comes from digging deep late in the session. You have an engineer on the radio yelling at you: 'You're two tenths behind, you're four tenths behind.' I think it just pisses you off enough that you pull a little more out of yourself. The other thing to look at is everybody stops with 15 minutes to go to put on tires and I think the tires are worth six or eight tenths in itself."

Danica Patrick (No. 24 Argent Mortgage Company) Third on the Grid: 1:25.341 (88.755 mph)

"What makes me the most happy about today is we have the Argent car in a position to race for the win tomorrow. Any time you are the front two rows, you are in a position to win. Lots of things can happen during a race an you just have to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities. This was a tough, competitive qualifying session. The times kept dropping. One lap I was first, then the next lap I was fourth. It was a real challenge to you as a driver. You have reach outside your comfort level and keep pushing and pushing. The last few minutes were pretty exciting. I think the fastest three laps all came on the last lap for each driver. As a driver, you have to dig a little deeper or you are going to fall backward. Last year, in my first race here, I started fifth and finished third. This year, I am starting third, so my expectation is to win. The biggest difference for me this year is a little more confidence and a little more experience. I think I race better that I qualify, so hopefully I can take advantage of that tomorrow."

Chris Festa (No. 25 SpacePak) 11th on the Grid: 1:26.967 (87.095 mph)

"I went into turn three and the SpacePak car got a little loose on the entry and pulled me off line. By the time I got it gathered up, I was aimed right for the ramp on the curb and there was basically nowhere else I was go. So I went for a little ride through the air. I had to make a pit stop to get the rear pushrod fixed, but even with the great job my guys did getting it fixed, I lost valuable time on the track. When we finally got back on track, I only got three laps, but we were able to go a second faster in those three laps. That shows we are headed in the right direction. I actually have a pretty good feeling about tomorrow. The changes we made at the start of the session had some positive and negative results. When we were changing the pushrod, we changed back a couple of things and we had our best car of the weekend."

-altantic-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Jon Fogarty , Bryan Sellers , Andrew Ranger , Chris Festa , Danica Patrick