Dalziel takes first career CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race victory in Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented By Miller Lite. WEST ALLIS, Wis. (May 31, 2003) - In his 15th career start in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, Scotland's...
Dalziel takes first career CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race victory in Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented By Miller Lite.
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (May 31, 2003) - In his 15th career start in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, Scotland's Ryan Dalziel (#28 Discovery Lake/Daily Record Newspaper) claimed his first career Toyota Atlantic victory by 0.339 seconds over second-year competitor Kyle Krisiloff (#31 U.S. Grand Prix Formula One) in the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite (SPEED Channel, June 1, 9 p.m. ET).
After starting from the pole position based on practice speed due to Friday's qualifying rainout, Dalziel got the jump on the field heading into the first turn, and held off a hard-charging Krisiloff throughout the race to get the win. The victory for Dalziel eclipsed his previous career best finish of second, which he achieved at Monterrey and Denver in 2002, and was also the first win for Sierra Sierra Enterprises. The win came in the team's sixth start in Toyota Atlantic.
At the start of the race, Canadian Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) attempted to pass rookie Aaron Justus (#3 RuSPORT) on the inside of Turn 1 and the car lost traction and did a full 360-degree spin. Valiante did not make contact with any barriers and the other cars managed to avoid Valiante's spinning car, but the first two laps were run under caution.
Dalziel got another quick getaway on the ensuing restart, but at the conclusion of Lap 3, Krisiloff got a strong run off of Turn 4 and passed Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN) around the outside to take the second spot in the field. From that point on, Krisiloff chased Dalziel around the 1.032-mile oval and spent the majority of the race within a few feet of Dalziel's gearbox. In fact, Krisiloff turned the fastest lap of the race on Lap 54 at 150.749 mph (24.645 sec.).
However, Krisiloff was never able to get close enough to pass Dalziel, and was forced to settle for second. Nevertheless, the runner-up spot was a career-best result for the 17-year-old American, topping his previous Toyota Atlantic career best result of ninth at Long Beach last month. It was Krisiloff's first Toyota Atlantic start driving for 2002 series champions Dorricott Racing.
Finishing third was rookie A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT), who fought past Macri for third place on Lap 39, and held off a battle from Macri, Justus, and Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) for third in the late running. The result also allowed Allmendinger to move into the points lead in the chase for the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, and he now holds a two-point advantage over Macri (44-42). The top five cars in the championship standings are within 10 points of each other.
Macri came home fourth for his fourth consecutive top-five finish in Toyota Atlantic competition, while Justus finished fifth and moved into third in the point standings, just three points back of Macri and five in arrears of Allmendinger. Patrick collected her second top-six result in three career Toyota Atlantic starts with a sixth place performance, but ran as high as fifth within five laps of the finish before losing the spot to Justus after problems in traffic on Lap 66.
It was a tough outing for former championship leader Valiante, as the opening lap spin began a difficult day. Valiante was never a factor in the race and finished 11th, two laps down to Dalziel. As a result, Valiante slipped from the points lead to fourth in the championship standings heading into Round 4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks.
While Valiante brought out the day's first caution flag, the only other yellow came out on Lap 31 when 2001 series champion Hoover Orsi (#7 Pro-Works) spun in Turn 2 while running in fourth place and hit the outside retaining wall with the left rear of the car. Orsi was not injured in the accident.
The tape-delayed television broadcast of the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite Toyota Atlantic event airs in the United States on SPEED Channel beginning at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 1.
Next up for the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is the Grand Prix of Monterey from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on June 14. The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED Channel in the United States beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 15.
Quotes from the top three finishers in the Miwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite follow below:
* RYAN DALZIEL (#28 Discovery Lake/Daily Record Newspaper): "It's obviously an amazing result. When I came to the Atlantic series last year, I had high expectations. Unfortunately, I didn't have the most successful year I wanted. The last two races of the year, I think I proved what I was capable of. That's really what secured me the drive with Sierra Sierra, and I thank them for that. This weekend they made it very easy for me. We rolled the car out of the truck and made minimal changes to it. We focused in the past two practice sessions, pretty much, on trying to get a good race car. We knew that everybody was going to be fast, especially the top couple of guys. It was important to cut through the traffic as quick as we could without losing any time. I think we may not have had the fastest car in the race on our own, but I think we proved that when we got to traffic we had a stronger car than Kyle. That's what won the race for us. We had a car that we could fine tune throughout the race, and I worked well with my engineer over the radio. We just kept it rolling and kept the car as free as we could. I think we deserved this result. We worked extremely hard over the past couple of months. I owe everything to Sierra Sierra for this result."
* KYLE KRISILOFF (#31 U.S. Grand Prix Formula One): "A couple weeks ago when we joined with Dorricott, we went to Portland and had a test, and everything went really well, so going into this weekend, we knew things were going to get better. We never thought that it would end up like this. When we showed up, we had expectations we had expectations of running well into the top-10, maybe even the top-five. We just wanted to have a good car for the race, and all weekend long, everybody just worked so hard. We really evaluated what the car was doing both in traffic and in the race. We came out with a pretty good car right off the truck, but we fine-tuned it. It didn't work quite as well in traffic as we probably would have wanted. We couldn't really get close to Ryan, but by ourselves, the car was really fast. Had we been able to qualify, I think maybe we could have done a little bit more, but today, this was all we had. But it was an awesome day."
* A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#4 RuSPORT): "This is my first oval that I raced on, and we've only done a couple of days on an oval testing-wise. This was basically my first weekend all together on an oval, and this definitely is a different oval compared to the one that we tested at. I think all-in-all, it was a great weekend for us. It's amazing, especially after Monterrey sitting in eighth in points, to be able to-these next two races-come together. Definitely at Long Beach everything clicked, and we worked very well here together team-wise, with my teammate Aaron Justus and just the whole team together to get the car as fast as possible. We didn't put a lot of testing and emphasis into the ovals since there was only one that we were going to be racing at. To come out of here with a podium was what we were hoping for, and that was going to be a huge expectation for us. Now, going to Laguna Seca, we had a great test there, and I'm just looking forward to it. One, I love the track, it's my hometown, and I think that's where we're really going to shine. I think Long Beach was just a preview of what we were capable of on the road courses and street courses, and I'm really looking forward to it. Just being in the points lead right now, going into it, is just a huge bonus. I think it's going to be an awesome year for Team RuSPORT and for all of us."