Dalziel ready to defend Milwaukee victory Round 3 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship heads to Wisconsin this weekend and to the world's oldest operating motor speedway, The Milwaukee Mile. The only oval race on the 12-round ...
Dalziel ready to defend Milwaukee victory
Round 3 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship heads to Wisconsin this weekend and to the world's oldest operating motor speedway, The Milwaukee Mile. The only oval race on the 12-round schedule, Saturday's 70-lap charge will see series leader Ryan Dalziel hoping to put a disappointing outing in Mexico firmly behind him while mounting a successful defense of his 2003 Milwaukee victory.
Dalziel currently leads the series on 52 points, 6 clear of Danica Patrick and Ronnie Bremer tied in second place. Having claimed pole position for the last race in Mexico with a new lap record, the 22-year-old Scot was all set to claim a second successive victory until he was taken out of proceedings heading to the first turn on the opening lap. An impressive recovery drive saw Ryan chase the pack to eventually finish eighth and more importantly score enough points to maintain his lead coming into this weekend's event at Milwaukee.
Last year's race at 'The Mile' netted Ryan's first Toyota Atlantic career win as well as that of his team, Sierra Sierra Enterprises, in only their sixth Toyota Atlantic race. Starting from pole Dalziel was untouchable round the 1.032-mile oval. He led all 70 laps in the #28 ProWorks Swift to beat sophomore driver Kyle Krisiloff at the chequered flag.
The win proved to be the catalyst for the rest of Dalziel's season, the Orlando resident going on to win next time out at Portland, again from pole, before going on a charge to finish the year as series runner-up with a season's best of nine podium finishes.
Looking ahead as defending race champion Ryan commented:
"Needless to say I'm really looking forward to going to Milwaukee and hopefully taking another win. It was disappointing to run so well throughout practice and qualifying in Mexico only to be taken out at the start. On the positive side I retained the lead of the championship and I know as a team we'll continue to be strong this weekend.
"It was great to win the race last year in Milwaukee, not only was it my first Toyota Atlantic victory but the first for the team which was extra special. I love the challenge of racing on ovals and all being well last year's success will carry over to this year!"
Practice commences at The Milwaukee Mile this Thursday with qualifying set to take place on Friday afternoon. The race on Saturday (5th June) is scheduled to start at 5:15pm Central Time followed by Round 3 of the Champ Car World Series, the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 250.