Milwaukee: Team Rahal Thursday practice notes

WEST ALLIS, WI . . .. Team Rahal's Danica Patrick adapted quickly to the Milwaukee Mile posting the sixth fastest lap of the opening day of testing for Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race. Patrick drove her Argent Mortgage Company...

WEST ALLIS, WI . . .. Team Rahal's Danica Patrick adapted quickly to the Milwaukee Mile posting the sixth fastest lap of the opening day of testing for Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race. Patrick drove her Argent Mortgage Company Toyota/Swift to a fast lap of 147.875 mph on the 38 lap the 44 laps she logged.

"When I first went out the car surprised me a bit with some mid-corner over steer, but the changes we made allowed me to go flat pretty much the entire second session," said Patrick. "Towards the end I picked up a bit of understeer, but I was still able to match my quick time from earlier in the session. We just need to set the car up so that I have a bit more leeway. Other than that I was flat and the car felt pretty good, so it is a great starting point for our first oval."

The lack of time in the car on an oval didn't appear to hamper Patrick. Her previous oval experience had been limited to a Busch test in 2002 and two test days on a 1/2 mile oval in La Crosse, WI in the Argent car. Over the course of the two sessions she got progressively quicker.

"Once you feel a good car underneath you it isn't hard because you are driving the car flat out," Patrick. "Getting to that point of comfort is the hardest part. Fortunately we got the car to that point today and now we just have to figure out how to keep it there."

Patrick is in her first season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship after having signed a multi year driving contract with Team Rahal in 2002. Patrick finished third in the season opener at Monterrey, Mexico and became the first female to reach the podium in the 30-year history of the Atlantic series.

Qualifying for Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race will be tomorrow evening. Saturday's race will be broadcast on SPEED Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Danica Patrick