Portland: Hunter-Reay preview

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, ...

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #1 Medlock Ames Winery/u.s. print/Toyota/Swift
Atlantic Season: 1
Best Atlantic Start: 1 (Milwaukee, Laguna Seca)
Best Atlantic Finish: 1 (Laguna Seca)
Points Standings: 9

Atlantic Race Winner: Hunter-Reay gave another perfect performance last weekend at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. It was his first time on the track with the Toyota powered Swift 014.a Atlantic car and he wasted no time getting reacquainted to the track with his new wheels. Hunter-Reay was third quick in Friday morning practice and followed that with the provisional pole in qualifying Friday afternoon. He captured his second consecutive pole Saturday morning and earned a flag to flag victory, leading every lap that afternoon. He is the first driver of the 2002 season to win from pole position.

Master Qualifier: Hunter-Reay earned his first championship point and provisional pole in Long Beach, followed by his first pole in Milwaukee and his second consecutive pole (he also won the provisional pole) at Laguna Seca. Hunter-Reay has mastered Atlantic qualifying by starting on the front row in every discipline the series has to offer, street circuits, permanent road courses and the oval.

PIR: Round 5 of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at Portland International Raceway will be Hunter-Reay's inaugural event at the picturesque 1.969-mile permanent road course. However, the track is not completely new to the Atlantic rookie, he completed two very successful days of testing at P.I.R. last month.

Team Member Spotlight: This weeks spotlight focuses on Crew Chief Alaric "Larry" Edscorn. A native of Olympia, Washington, Edscorn was named the 2001 Top Wrench Crew Chief of the Year. A member of the 1999 Toyota Atlantic Championship team with driver Anthony Lazarro at PPI Motorsports, 2001 marked Edscorn's second championship in just three years. A graduate of the University of Washington, Edscorn holds a degree in International Relations. He resides in Oceanside, California with wife June.

Hunter-Reay on Portland: "I have been looking forward to returning to PIR ever since we tested there last month, but to return as the series' most recent race winner makes it even better. PIR is a driver track; it is quite technical and has very fast sweeping corners. If you have a good car, it is the type of track that really allows a driver to demonstrate their courage. I was really pleased with our pace here when we tested last month. We had two full days and I think we made a lot of progress that should definitely benefit us this weekend. We didn't leave the test with the perfect setup, but we definitely have a good baseline to start with and an pretty strong idea of what will work and what won't, so I am looking forward to it."

k-hm-

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Series Atlantic