Montreal: Rahal Letterman Racing Saturday notes

Patrick takes third on Montreal starting grid MONTREAL - Rahal Letterman Racing's Danica Patrick battled her championship rivals, Jon Fogarty and Ryan Dalziel, for the pole position in qualifying for Sunday's Toyota Atlantic Championship race in...

Patrick takes third on Montreal starting grid

MONTREAL - Rahal Letterman Racing's Danica Patrick battled her championship rivals, Jon Fogarty and Ryan Dalziel, for the pole position in qualifying for Sunday's Toyota Atlantic Championship race in Montreal. The top-three in points all claimed a corresponding position for Round 11 of the championship which will be run on the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Patrick will start third, directly behind pole sitter and championship leader Jon Fogarty. The third place starting position is the best for the Argent Mortgage driver since she won the pole position at Portland for Round 4. She posted a fast lap of 104.442 mph in the #24 Argent Mortgage/Toyota Swift.

"I may just have the best seat in the house for the championship battle," said Patrick referring to the front row of Fogarty and Dalziel. "I won't sit back and wait for them to make a mistake, that is not my nature. Obviously they have to be aware of each other and hopefully I can take advantage of their focus on each other. The track keeps improving and it has really picked up grip which suits our car. We have been very proactive over the weekend in staying ahead of the track changes. I have a great engineer and crew and they have given me a very good car this weekend. We are still a couple of tenths off of Jon and Ryan, but I am confident that we can close that gap and be ready to race for the win tomorrow."

Patrick enters tomorrow's race 31 points behind the leader Fogarty. She is the only driver in the Toyota Atlantic Championship to complete every lap this season and she leads the series in top-five results with nine in the ten races.

Patrick's fellow Rahal Letterman Racing driver, Chris Festa, posted a fast lap of 102.739 mph in the #25 SpacePak/CareCentric Toyota/Swift. Festa will start eighth, his ninth top-ten start of the 2004 season.

"We made a few small changes prior to qualifying and those small adjustments paid off in a huge jump in our lap times in the SpacePak car," said Festa. "We are looking at a few more adjustments, which we think will make the car even better. I feel really confident about tomorrow. We have made progress this weekend and I think this is one of our strongest Saturday's of the season. Now we need to carry that momentum into the race."

Round 11 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship will be run Sunday morning at 11:00 am EST. The race can be seen via tape delay on SPEED on Saturday, September 4 at 2:00 pm EST.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Jon Fogarty , Gilles Villeneuve , Chris Festa , Danica Patrick