Jon Fogarty holds off the charge by Danica Patrick to take the win in the Toyota Atlantic Championship race one at Portland International Raceway. The veteran driver won by a margin of 7.459 seconds despite the effort from the start by Patrick as...
Jon Fogarty holds off the charge by Danica Patrick to take the win in the Toyota Atlantic Championship race one at Portland International Raceway. The veteran driver won by a margin of 7.459 seconds despite the effort from the start by Patrick as she attempted to score her first Atlantic victory.
The Pacific Coast Motorsports racer sailed away at the race start and never glanced back.
Rookie Andrew Ranger placed the Sierra Sierra machine in the final podium position with his third place finish. Jonathan Bomarito and Ryan Dalziel rounded out the top five.
The start was delayed a couple of laps when rookie Tonis Kasemet's Brooks Dallara didn't make it onto the grid. The start went off without any problems as the field headed into turn one and the first chicane on the 1.969-mile road course. Patrick jumped into second place.
Fogarty led after the first lap with Patrick in the hunt to stay up with the former Atlantic champion Fogarty. Tony Loniewski entered the pits at the end of his second lap; reason unknown.
Fogarty jumped out to a 1.67-second lead by lap four. Patrick started to get quicker lap times in her attempt to catch Fogarty. The battle for fourth took place between Bryan Sellers, Bomarito, and Dalziel. Those three were within one-second of each other.
Fogarty continued to open up his lead on Patrick by a margin of 3.276-seconds at the end of lap eight in the scheduled 35-lap race. Ranger started to chase down Patrick; he was just 3.4-seconds adrift of the Team Rahal driver.
At the same time, Alex Figge and Ronnie Bremer are battling for ninth place 18-seconds back from the race leader. Bomarito passed Sellers for fourth as the duo came into turn ten on the end of the tenth lap. Rocky Moran Jr. was overtaken by Figge going into the Festival Curves.
Josh Hunt and Alex Garcia got tangled up in the Festival Curves at the start of the 14th lap. The pace car picked up the field with Fogarty leading over Patrick. There are 20 laps to go as the field packed up on the start of lap 16. Patrick was getting a second chance to challenge Fogarty for the lead.
The green flag waved again for the Atlantics with Fogarty maintaining the lead. Patrick lost ground to him going into turn five. Sportscar driver Chris Dyson was up to 11th place overall in his debut Atlantic start; he started the race in 16th position.
With only a 20 laps left in the first race of the weekend, there were three cars officially out of the race.
Fogarty continued to lead Patrick by 1.56-seconds as it appeared Patrick was starting to reel in Fogarty. At the end of the 20th lap, Fogarty led by a mere 1.82-seconds over Patrick.
With just 13 laps to go, Fogarty's lap times were slowing somewhat. His times were only in the one minute, eight-second area. The question became: Could Patrick catch him or was the car showing signs of potential problems?
Fogarty had only ten laps until he would see the checkered flag and earn his fourth career victory plus his second podium at Portland.
On the other hand, Patrick could take over the points lead with her second place finish today. Would she push it or settle back to knock Bremer off the top spot in the championship.
Ranger grabbed third from Bomarito at the end of the 26th lap. At the same time, Fogarty picked up his speed and turned faster laps. Patrick backed off and Fogarty stretched his lead.
Dalziel started to catch up on the tail of Bomarito for the fourth position. Only four tenths of a second separated the two drivers.
Bremer remained in eighth place with pressure put on him from behind by Moran Jr. who was only eight tenths of a second back of Bremer with only four laps left in today's Atlantic race.
Fogarty saw only a clear race track ahead of him. The only car that Fogarty might catch is Dyson.
Bomarito was still ahead of Dalziel by six tenths of a second as Fogarty received the white flag.