Relief but no satisfaction. Joey Hand ...
Relief but no satisfaction.
Joey Hand #27 DSTP Motorsports Toyota Swift 014.a
Coming into the Round 3 race at the Milwaukee Mile, Joey Hand told a local paper that a successful weekend would come if he could just eat dinner with the team on Saturday night.
After being swept up in early race accident here in 2001 and then missing last year's race completely because of injuries suffered in a testing accident at this same track, Hand had reason to feel like just finishing a race at the Milwaukee Mile would be a major accomplishment. Call it "Mission Accomplished" as Hand placed ninth in today's 70-lap race. Although Hand and DSTP were relieved to take home some points from Milwaukee, they were far from satisfied with the weekend's showing.
The team struggled all weekend to get the car up to speed, but they were expecting those kind of problems since they did not race here last year, nor did they spend any of the precious test dates on ovals. Starting near the end of the field when the grid was set based on combined practice times after yesterday's qualifying was washed out, Hand set into a steady pace and took what the race gave him.
"I guess you can call a ninth place finish a successful race," said Hand moments after climbing out of the DSTP Swift 014.a. "The car was the best it had been all weekend and the idea was to make it stable for the race so we could get as many points as we could. I just can't thank DSTP enough with the work they put in. It was a rough weekend for us and these are the kind of weekends that can drag people down, but the guys kept a great attitude the whole time. We decided to come out here and give it all we had and take whatever points we could get. The ninth place points is kind of what we expected so we will take that and run with it to Laguna, Portland, Cleveland and all those races we love."
Sierra Sierra's Ryan Dalziel won the race from his first place starting position, followed by Kyle Krisiloff and A.J. Allmendinger. Following today's race, Hand remains in 10th place in the Championship standings with a total of 18 points trailing Allmendinger, who leads with 44 points.
Hand and the DSTP team can now focus on the remainder of the season which will all take place on road and temporary street courses. Next up is the Round 4 race at Laguna Seca in two weeks where Hand scored a pole and a second place finish in 2001.
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.