Dalziel dazzles them at Portland

Dalziel dazzles them at Portland

Scotsman Ryan Dalziel dominated the CART Toyota Atlantic field for the weekend and wrapped it up with the win in today's race at Portland International Raceway, his second win of the season. Dalziel won the pole rights at Milwaukee from combined...

Scotsman Ryan Dalziel dominated the CART Toyota Atlantic field for the weekend and wrapped it up with the win in today's race at Portland International Raceway, his second win of the season.

Dalziel won the pole rights at Milwaukee from combined practice times (qualifying was rained out) and won the race from flag-to-flag, same as he did in today's race.

Ryan Dalziel.
Photo by John Francis.
The Sierra Sierra racer broke a track record on his way to the provisional pole on Friday. He then, bettered his own record to take the pole from today's qualifying round. Not one to sit on his laurels, the young man went out and dazzle the Portland crowd with the win.

"I think from my point-of-view it was an absolutely perfect day," Dalziel said after the victory. "I can't give enough credit to the engineering staff and the rest of the guys at Sierra Sierra (Enterprises), the car was awesome and it was a pleasure to drive it."

The win places Dalziel second in championship points, he was fourth after Laguna Seca, 17 shy of RuSPORT's A.J. Allmendinger, the points leader. The battle for the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship continues to be tight with seven races left for the season.

DSTP's Joey Hand finished second, his best of the year. Hand was in a nose to tail battle for the position during the final laps. Trying to oust Hand was Michael Valiante and A.J. Allmendinger.

After notching the second spot, Hand remarked, "It feels right. It's where I want to be, and where the team deserves to be. I think that the race went pretty good."

Lynx Racing's Valiante missed the recent Laguna Seca race due to a flu virus and the winner of the season opener needed to score points today to remain in the hunt, now fifth in points.

"I was confident that I had a car that could move up in the race, because I didn't thnk we qualified as well as we should have," commented Valiante. "It was more just trying to get by Joey (Hand), and it was really hard to stay behind him on the high speed sections because I would just lose downforce off the front of my wing. The first race back after missing one, it's great to have a podium. I think we've just got to build on these results."

Rookie Allmendinger missed the podium, his first non-podium finish in the last four races. The team made a call due to the on and off rain showers, to start on the grooved rains instead of slicks, this caused Allmendinger to pit at the end of the first parade lap to switch to slicks, putting him at the rear of the grid for the green flag.

Aaron Justus came home in fifth for the RuSPORT team, the rookie remains in dropped to fourth from third in the standings.

Jonathan Macri moved to third in the standings after a disappointing eighth place for the Polestar Atlantic team.

Rounding out the top ten in round five at Portland International Raceway was Team Rahal's Danica Patrick, Pacific Coast Motorsports' Alex Figge, Macri, Luis Diaz in the Dorricott Racing machine, and Lynx Racing's Bryan Sellers.

There are five rookies in the series, four finished in the top ten: fourth, fifth, sixth and tenth. Three of the sit in the top ten of the championship points, Allmendinger (first), Justus (fourth), and Patrick (eighth).

The rookies and veterans move on to the Cleveland airport circuit round six.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Jonathan Macri , Luis Diaz , A.J. Allmendinger , Alex Figge , Aaron Justus , Bryan Sellers , Danica Patrick