Toyota Atlantic leader Jon Fogarty preps for Chicago; Alex Gurney chasing first Atlantic race win; can Diaz win two in a row? CHICAGO, Ill. (June 29, 2002) - The 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship has reached its midway point and no single driver...
Toyota Atlantic leader Jon Fogarty preps for Chicago; Alex Gurney chasing first Atlantic race win; can Diaz win two in a row?
CHICAGO, Ill. (June 29, 2002) - The 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship has reached its midway point and no single driver has a clear advantage. However, the same can't be said among its teams unless one wishes to discount that three of the top-six points leaders headed for Chicago Motor Speedway's Atlantic race this Sunday, June 30, happen to drive for Dorricott Racing.
The 70-lap/72.03-mile Atlantic race around Chicago Motor Speedway's 1.029-mile oval will be round six of the 12-race series and is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. CT. This will be the third Toyota Atlantic appearance at Chicago since 1999, and it is the featured support event for the CART Grand Prix of Chicago later that day.
The points breakdown is simple but what it means at this stage of the season is anyone's guess. Because of finishing third place at Portland in round five, Jon Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., holds the series lead by two points over Michael Valiante, 61-59. In the only other oval race of the this Atlantic season, Fogarty and Dorricott Racing struggled most of the weekend in Milwaukee, but salvaged a fifth place finish.
"I'm looking forward to our second oval of the season," said Fogarty. "Although the two tracks are quite different, I think the information we gained from the last one at Milwaukee will allow us to be closer to the front. Still I am certain it will be a challenge as I have never driven Chicago Motor Speedway, nor has the team been there with the Toyota Atlantic car. It becomes more uncertain due to limited track time, but I know Dorricott racing will prepare a very good car, making my job of learning the track much easier."
Seven drivers are within range of Fogarty and can leave Chicago with the Championship lead. The top-ten are separated by a mere 23 points. Among those on Fogarty's tail are teammates Luis Diaz, of Mexico, and Alex Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., who lurk in fifth and sixth place with 50 and 49 points, respectively. Diaz's big break came through his victory at Portland.
"Now that things are going better for me I feel very confident about the Chicago race," said Diaz. "The main thing we have to do is carefully think about our set-up changes because we have only two days to get the job done. Chicago Motor Speedway is a very difficult track to drive because the corners are tight and the steep banking doesn't help much."
Gurney turned in Dorricott Racing's best performance on the Milwaukee oval with a fourth place finish.
"The championship battle is wide-open so it will be important for us to continue to score good points," said Gurney. "We had a very good car at the last oval in Milwaukee so I expect more of the same in Chicago. Dorricott Racing has good momentum and we plan to keep the pressure up!"
Speed Channel will provide a same day delayed telecast of the Toyota Atlantic Championship from Chicago Motor Speedway at 9:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. PT), Sunday, June 30. Check www.toyotaatlantic.com for updated information.
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif. Detailed race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, www.dorricottracing.com.