Dalziel Completes Cleveland Domination to Claim Fourth Career Victory CLEVELAND, Ohio. (July 3, 2004) -- Ryan Dalziel ( ...
Dalziel Completes Cleveland Domination to Claim Fourth Career Victory
CLEVELAND, Ohio. (July 3, 2004) -- Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks) demanded the most out of himself, his crew and his race car this weekend in Cleveland and he certainly got it.
After winning the pole position for Saturday's Argent Mortgage Presents The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Sunday, June 11 -- 1 p.m. ET) Dalziel said he was disappointed and felt that he could get more out of the car. He got everything he needed and then some during the 32-lap event on Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, leading every lap and capturing his fourth career victory while dominating every session of competition over the holiday weekend.
"I think this is the best car that I've driven in Atlantics," said the 22-year-old native of Scotland.
Dalziel took the first step toward the win in the opening lap as he steered clear of trouble in the tight and treacherous Turn 1 on the airport circuit. The same couldn't be said for the two drivers behind him as Dalziel's teammate, rookie Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye), who started second, collided with another first-year driver, Ronnie Bremer (#4 Healthcare Privileges.com/PaySystems). Both Ranger and Bremer were able to continue, but they dropped back in the field as a result of the incident.
Once he was safely through Turn1, Dalziel settled in for a relatively smooth ride. The 2003 series runner-up quickly built a big gap between himself and the competition, stretching the lead to nearly 15 seconds several times during the race.
While there were many on-track battles for position on the wide-open 2.106-mile road course, the most exciting moments came in the closing laps of the race. Chris Festa (#25 SpacePak/CareCentric) lost an engine with seven laps remaining, forcing a yellow flag to draw the field together. The ensuing cleanup left just one green flag lap to run and on the dramatic restart, Turn 1 figured prominently again. Alex Figge (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports) ran into teammate Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) as the two entered the sharp righthand turn. While Dalziel continued unscathed, Fogarty, who was running second and looking to maintain his series points lead with a fourth straight podium finish, spun out. Figge was forced to retire due to the contact, but Fogarty got his car back rolling and continued to the finish line.
Fogarty gave up a couple of positions, winding up in fourth place and he still leads in the championship 149-146 over the hard-charging Dalziel. The incident involving the two teammates opened the door for two drivers with Ohio ties, however.
Bryan Sellers (#19 Lynx Racing), of Centerville, Ohio pounced on the opportunity in the Turn 1 fracas and came home in second place for his best career Atlantic finish. Sellers moves up to fifth in the season standings with 121 points overall.
Producing her fifth career podium and second in her last three events was Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company), racing for Rahal-Letterman Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio. The results were improbable for both Sellers and Patrick, who had both struggled all weekend and started 10th and eighth, respectively. Patrick remains a major factor in the hunt for the series championship, as a result of the finish, emerging with 139 points for the season, just 10 markers behind Fogarty and seven off the pace of Dalziel in third place.
Rookie Jonathan Bomarito (#8 Dixien/Omnisource) claimed fifth place for his fourth top-five effort of the season and he moves into fourth place in the season standings with 124 points on the year.
Bremer wound up in sixth place in his first race for the Polestar Racing Group, based in Chardon, Ohio. The rookie from Denmark joined the team earlier this week after competing for Brooks Associates Racing in the first five events of the season.
The Toyota Atlantic cars next head to Toronto for Round 7 of the championship at the Molson Indy at Exhibition Place, July 9-11. for more information on the top open-wheel development series in North America, log on to www.toyotaatlantic.com.
ATLANTIC RACE NOTES
* With Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks) winning the race from the pole position, the last three Cleveland Atlantic winners have come from the pole. A.J. Allmendinger won from the point in 2003 and Ryan Hunter-Reay turned the trick in 2002. In the first four Atlantic events in Cleveland, however, no polesitter wound up in Victory Lane.
* Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) saw his bid of winning four consecutive races fall by the wayside. Fogarty is one of three Atlantic drivers to win three straight events (Allmendinger, 2003 and Hoover Orsi, 2001) in the last several years. Patrick Carpentier won eight straight races to close out his championship season of 1996.
* Jonathan Bomarito (#8 Dixien/Omnisource) takes command of the $10,000 BG Products Rookie of the Year award race for the first time this season with his fifth-place effort today. The Transnet Racing pilot holds a 124-120 lead over fellow freshman Ronnie Bremer (#4 Healthcare Privileges.com/PaySystems) for the rookie honor.
* Argent Mortgage Company, the presenting sponsor of today's race, will donate $2,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast Ohio in Ryan Dalziel's name for posting the fastest lap of today's race. Dalziel recorded a top lap of 1:06.676 (113.708 mph) on lap 11. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast Ohio has fulfilled the individual wishes of 141 local children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions in the fiscal year 2002-2003. The Argent "Fast Lap" program will present similar donations to the driver with the top race lap time at upcoming Toyota Atlantic events in Toronto, Road America, Denver and Laguna Seca Raceway this season.
Quotes from the top three finishers from Saturday, as well as series point leader Jon Fogarty, follow:
DANICA PATRICK (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) earned her fifth career podium and finished third for the third time in her career after starting eighth. "This is what wins championships, never giving up. We were way off all weekend. We took my teammate Chris Festa's setup and said go for it. (There was attrition in front of her, but) I did do a lot of passing at the start. I did have to do my work. We were just so lucky. Thank God the guys were precise with the car and we had an alternate setup to use. Lots of things do occur (in the race). At the end of the day, there are lots of things that happen. There's going to be crashes. There's so many fans out here. I can't ignore comments like Bobby Rahal made that he feels I'm going to be the first woman to win the Indy 500. That's a pretty cool comment. That's flattering. I've got to thank him for things like that and doing the deal with me."
*BRYAN SELLERS (#19 Lynx Racing) who enjoyed a career best finish and earned his second career podium after a third in Long Beach this year. "We were pretty fortunate in the race. We kept our heads down and drove forward in the race. We didn't make any mistakes. We overcame a crash earlier (Friday) in the week. I have to thank my guys, they did an incredible job. I guess we can share that we never gave up. We benefited from having two cars this weekend. We took a chance and used (teammate) Josh Hunt's setup and it worked for us."
*RYAN DALZIEL (#28 ProWorks) earned his fourth career win, all from the podium, and moved within three points of JON FOGARTY (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) in the championship (149-146). "I don't think it was just a dominant performance, I think it has been a dominant year for us. (The team) has given me great cars this year. My car was awesome in the race. This is probably the best car I've ever driven in Atlantics. It was almost like a walk in the park. (On his teammate's crash at the start) I think Andrew (Ranger) missed the start a little bit. I think some of the others were impatient. I think Andrew had the car to be up here (on the podium). The team should have had two cars on the podium. The Kottke family have put together an awesome team. There isn't one thing as a team we could pick that we could have improved on (this weekend). We pushed pretty hard early. About the last 10 laps or so, I backed off. I knew I just had to match Fogarty's times and I was OK. You have to save some tires in case there is a yellow at the end."
*JON FOGARTY (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) the points leader was knocked out of second place on the restart by his teammate ALEX FIGGE (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports) but was able to continue and finished fourth. "(The accident) was frustrating because we both had a good race going. Sometimes these things happen but some of this was beyond our control and that's disappointing. I think we deserve to be running P2 and P3. We basically lapped the rest of the field, so (the incident) still allowed us to finish as well as we did. Points-wise it wasn't a huge detriment, fortunately, although it sure would have been nice to finish on the podium."