Joey Hand could not improve his grid position in Saturday afternoon's final qualifying session and will start tomorrow's 55-lap race on the streets of Miami in a familiar position. Hand's time of 48.613 seconds (85.162 mph) will place him...
Joey Hand could not improve his grid position in Saturday afternoon's final qualifying session and will start tomorrow's 55-lap race on the streets of Miami in a familiar position. Hand's time of 48.613 seconds (85.162 mph) will place him starting seventh in the final race of the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship.
Seventh may be a good omen for Hand. Twice this season, Hand has started seventh and pushed up through the field to fourth place finishes in Trois-Rivieres and Mid-Ohio. Following those two events, Hand made it three straight top-five finishes with a fifth place showing from starting sixth in Montreal. If Hand can climb through the field in tomorrow morning's race, it would mark four top-five finishes in the past five races and would ease the pain of what has been a frustrating season for the Chesterland, Ohio based team.
A.J. Allmendinger, who wrapped the 2003 Championship in Denver, won the pole for tomorrow's race with a time of 47.717 seconds (86.762 mph) and will share the front row with Ryan Dalziel. Danica Patrick, who is five points behind Hand in the Championship in seventh, will start fifth tomorrow.
The Atlantic Championship is back on the course early tomorrow morning for their final day of competition in 2003. 8:00 a.m. EST marks the start of the 15-minute warm-up session. Later in the morning, Round 12 of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship drops its green flag at 10:30 a.m. EST.
Speed Channel will carry the race shortly after the checkered flag falls at 12:00 p.m. EST and will re-air the event on September 29th at 3:00 pm EST, and October 3rd at 1:30 pm EST.
Hand on Saturday Practice:
"I don't even know what to say at this point. We don't seem to be making any progress no matter what we put on the car. It is so slippery. I can barely keep it out of the fence. We are not even close right now and we're going to have to work hard to figure something out, but we are running out of time. We tried a different setup this morning. We came in midway through the session and put another setup on and that didn't do it either. We'll just throw something else at it for qualifying and hope it sticks."
Hand on Saturday Qualifying:
"Were seventh and that is better than twelfth. That is about all I can say about it. The car is still not handling to our liking and we still have a long way to go. We are going to keep throwing stuff at it because we have nothing really to lose. We have another session before the race to see if we can improve the car. We have started seventh a few times this season and turned them into top fives. Being realistic, we are shooting for the top five tomorrow and maybe put ourselves in a position to grab a podium as well."
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.