Montreal: Saturday qualifying notes

Fogarty Wins Montreal Pole; Reclaims Atlantic Series Lead MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 28, 2004) -- After seeing his championship rival lead Friday qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal Toyota Atlantic Championship race Presented by...

Fogarty Wins Montreal Pole; Reclaims Atlantic Series Lead

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 28, 2004) -- After seeing his championship rival lead Friday qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal Toyota Atlantic Championship race Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Saturday, September 4 - 2 p.m. ET), Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment) answered the challenge.

Fogarty won his fifth pole position of the season after recording a top time of 1:32.913 (104.963 mph) and he earned a bonus championship point for his efforts. The point enabled Fogarty to reclaim the lead in the captivating chase for the 2004 Atlantic series crown as he now holds a 262-261 advantage over Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks). Dalziel, was able to draw even in the series standings on Friday by claiming the championship point for leading the first round of qualifying.

Last season's championship runner-up, Dalziel, actually posted a time that was quicker than Fogarty's pole-winning mark on his final qualifying lap at the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve road course, but the time was disallowed. Dalziel's car took a short cut on the course at Turn 14 and under the guidelines established by race officials this weekend, the penalty for shortcutting the course is the loss of that timed lap and the following lap. While Dalziel lost the quick time, he still posted the second-fastest lap in the session at 1:32.960 (104.910 mph) and will start on the front row alongside his championship adversary on Sunday.

Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) owned the third-fastest time in qualifying at 1:33.376 (104.442 mph). The performance was Patrick's best qualifying finish since she won her first career Atlantic pole in Round 5 at Portland earlier this year.

Fogarty's teammate, Alex Figge (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment), will start next to Patrick on the second row in tomorrow's 25-lap event as he carded a top lap of 1:33.699 (104.082 mph). Figge will make his third consecutive top-five start tomorrow as he lines up fourth on the grid.

Producing his fourth top-five qualifying effort in the last five races was Bryan Sellers (#19 Lynx Racing), who had a fast lap of 1:34.015 (103.732 mph) and he'll start fifth in Sunday's race.

Top series rookie Ronnie Bremer (#4 Healthcare Privileges.com/PaySystems) finished with a quick time of 1:34.307 (103.411 mph) in sixth position while Quebec native and local racing hero Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) struggled with gearbox problems throughout qualifying but still managed a lap of 1:34.313 (103.405 mph). Ranger, who was the only driver who did not top his time from Friday's qualifying session, will start seventh for the second consecutive race after today's result.

Two more first-year Atlantic drivers finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the running order on Saturday. Rahal-Letterman Racing's Chris Festa (#25 SpacePak/CareCentric) was clocked at 1:34.924 (102.739 mph), while Australian Josh Hunt (#15 Wright/Patton/Shakespeare/Atkinson Gore Group) had a top lap of 1:35.095 (102.554 mph). Completing the top 10 qualifying order was local racer Philip Fayer (#3 PaySystems) of Montreal who posted a time of 1:35.659 (101.950 mph).

The Atlantic cars will hit the track first thing in the morning for a 15-minute warm-up session at 8 a.m. Sunday's penultimate round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama will take the green flag at 11 a.m. ET.

Follow all of the action of the top open-wheel development series in North America at www.toyotaatlantic.com.

Quotes from the top three qualifiers and Quebec native and rookie Andrew Ranger:

JON FOGARTY (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment) earned his fifth pole of the season: "I'll reiterate the problems Ryan was dealing with, the same problems I was dealing with as well. (The timing line is where it is and) you have to compensate for it but in reality it's kind of a stupid issue because they've created a racing surface that's safer and quicker to use but they won't allow you to us it because of where the timing line is. You have to point the car straight at the wall to get a time. In the race, they are not going to score it that way. It was a good performance today and a good performance for both of us. We've been quick all weekend, they just didn't count some of our times (because of the short cut penalty). We made a few small changes (from Friday). We have a good car."

RYAN DALZIEL (#28 ProWorks) lost his quickest time of 1:32.801 on his final lap, which would have put him on the pole, for short cutting the course: "I'm not sure where the rule came from for short cutting the course, but we didn't. We proved we have a good car. We were fast in practice, fast in qualifying. Now, we have to put it behind us. I am disappointed for the team. We made some changes through the session; they were positive changes and it felt good. The (start-finish) straight here is pretty long. Jon and I are a couple of tenths (of a second) ahead of the others. Neither Jon or I are stupid. We're not likely to do anything to hurt each other. I'd rather start third than second here (because of the line into the first turn). We know we have a car that's strong enough (to win)."

DANICA PATRICK (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) "The track just keeps getting better. There is a lot more grip out there. That suits our car set up. (The track) has changed from Friday to Saturday and it will from Saturday to Sunday. The team just has to be prepared for that. (The battle for first between Fogarty and Dalziel) might make my seat the best one in the house with the championship only one point apart. I'm not going to sit back, however. They have been significantly faster. We'll meet in the truck and try to figure out where we can get a few more tenths. I really like Montreal and the seventh (place finish last year) doesn't really represent what we could have done. I'm pretty optimistic for tomorrow. We usually have a pretty good race car - a pretty consistent race car."

ANDREW RANGER (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) "The problem I had during qualifying was with the gear box; every time I tried to shift down, it gave me trouble. Other than that, I had a very good car. The balance of the car was very good front and back. I had to be smooth braking. If I came in too fast with the brakes on, I was unable to turn. I'm in a very good position to attack the points tomorrow. (Seventh) is a little further back than I would like, but I feel good for the race tomorrow."

-ccws-

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Alex Figge , Ronnie Bremer , Bryan Sellers , Andrew Ranger , Philip Fayer , Chris Festa , Josh Hunt , Danica Patrick