Hand battles through illness for second place in provisional qualifying Joey Hand pulled out a "gutsy" effort out to claim the second fastest time in Friday's provisional qualifying at the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course. It...
Hand battles through illness for second place in provisional qualifying
Joey Hand pulled out a "gutsy" effort out to claim the second fastest time in Friday's provisional qualifying at the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course. It was an amazing accomplishment for the third year DSTP Motorsports driver considering he spent most of Friday in CART's on site medical center receiving treatment for a stomach flu which cropped up during the day Thursday.
Hand came in the pits with fourteen minutes remaining in the 40-minute session to make final adjustments and take on new Yokohama tires. At that time, he stood ninth in the standings, but lap after lap, Hand climbed up to the top before narrowly missing the provisional pole. A.J. Allmendinger edged out Hand for the top spot with a time of 1:18.082 seconds (103.184 mph) compared to Hand's time of 1:18.144 seconds (103.102 mph). Along with Hand, a total of six drivers were under Alex Barron's 1997 track record of 1:18.755 seconds (102.302 mph).
The Gatorz sunglasses could not hide just how bad Hand felt before the session, but CART's medical staff feels sure that he will feel better tomorrow with more treatment and some much needed rest. Hand will get a shot at his third career pole tomorrow morning when final qualifying begins at 9:05 a.m. PST. The best medicine would be a third career win when the green flag drops for Round 4 of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship later on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PST.
Hand on Friday Qualifying: "It's always easier and you feel better once you get in the car. I felt pretty bad last night and throughout today, but the CART medical people are real good and they hooked me up with some IV around noon today and that really helped a lot to get my energy back. It all came together there in the last three laps of the session. I ran most of qualifying on our first session tires, but once we put the news ones on, we were able to make a run for the top. There guys at DSTP have worked hard no matter if we were slow or fast and have kept their chins up. We have had some slow weekends the past few races, but they have remained determined to get us back up top."
"The car was really good, but I made a couple of mistakes. I think we could have made the car better, but I decided to stay out there and run it and see what I had. I had more than what the team or anybody else thought I had, but I came up a little bit short."
Through DSTP Motorsports, Dede Rogers has established herself as a true believer in promoting talented young American drivers into professional racing. Formed in 1994, DSTP first campaigned a team in the Dodge Shelby Pro Series before moving into the U.S. F2000 National Championship in 1995. Such notable drivers as Memo Gidley, Alex Barron, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Jerry Nadeau competed in cars fielded by DSTP before Buddy Rice swept to the Atlantic title during DSTP Motorsports first season in the series in 2000.