Hand will start 8th tomorrow in Long Beach. The head scratching continued on Saturday for the DSTP Motorsports team. After a morning practice session that could be described at best as interesting, the results from final qualifying failed to...
Hand will start 8th tomorrow in Long Beach.
The head scratching continued on Saturday for the DSTP Motorsports team. After a morning practice session that could be described at best as interesting, the results from final qualifying failed to move DSTP's Joey Hand up any further on the starting grid. Although Hand set a team and personal best time of 1:17.516 seconds (91.398 mph) on the 1.968-mile temporary street course at Long Beach, if was far from enough to put him on the front row for a third year straight.
The morning practice started out with a mechanical problem on the first lap of the session for Hand. After Hand pulled the car into one of the safety areas, the CART Simple Green Safety team was able to assist Hand on starting again. After a few laps of practice, Hand pulled into the pits only to discover that something was smoldering in the engine area. After getting the small fire extinguished, Hand was able to continue; but most of the track time had been lost. If all of that was not enough, the team's pit wagon lost power in the final ten minutes of the session.
Although the afternoon qualifying session was less eventful, the team could not get the DSTP Swift 014.a to the top of the time sheets. With only tomorrow morning's 15-minute warm-up session left on the schedule before Sunday's 32-lap race, the team will make some final changes in hopes of giving Hand a solid chance to post a podium result. Tomorrow's Round 2 race begins at 10:30 a.m. PST and will be carried live on Speed Channel.
Hand on Saturday Practice:
"I guess the moral of the story to the session was everything that could go wrong did go wrong. In the long run, I think we got a road to go down, but we are still searching on car setup a little bit. We got a little idea on what to do with the small amount of track time we got. As far as what happened, we had a linkage problem on my out lap and I was able to get it fixed with the help of the safety crew and get going again. We had a small electrical fire, but mainly just smoke in the pits. Once we got back out there we made some small changes, but we are going to make some big ones for qualifying and hopefully get the car in the top five. When it's all said and done, I hope it rains tomorrow."
Hand on Saturday Qualifying:
"Well, again, confusion. I really don't know what is wrong because the car feels pretty good and the guys have worked really hard, but we have nothing. We are absolutely a second off of the pace which is not where we expected to be at this point in the weekend. We have been out four sessions now with three completely different setups on the car and nothing changes, so we are a little bit lost right now. Hopefully, we can put something together for the warm-up tomorrow morning."
"We'll see if we can get something together for tomorrow. We'll go after them in the race. We race a lot better than we practice and qualify anyway, but tomorrow we'll have to be on top of our game. We still could be looking at rain tomorrow as well which I think plays in our favor at this point."
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.