Former Series Champion Fogarty Earns Second Consecutive Victory by FWinning irst of Two Toyota Atlantic Championship Races in Portland PORTLAND, Ore. (June 19, 2004) -- So far so good this weekend for American Jon Fogarty ( ...
Former Series Champion Fogarty Earns Second Consecutive Victory by FWinning irst of Two Toyota Atlantic Championship Races in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 19, 2004) -- So far so good this weekend for American Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) in Portland.
The 2002 Toyota Atlantic series champion led wire-to-wire for the second time in two weeks Saturday, winning Round 4 of the championship -- the Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Championship of Portland Presented by Yokohama (SPEED Channel, Saturday, June 26 -- 2 p.m. ET). Round 5 will take the green flag on Sunday, completing the first doubleheader for the Atlantic series since 2000.
Fogarty started on the pole and kept his nose clean in the all-important festival curves (Turns 1-3), maintaining his lead and he was never seriously threatened during the race, pushing his lead at one point to nearly 7.5 seconds before taking the checkered flag for the fourth time in his career.
Following another flag-to-flag finish on the Milwaukee Mile oval two weeks ago, Fogarty has won consecutive events for the first time in his Atlantic career and he jumps up to second in the championship hunt with 93 points on the year. He will look to make it three-in-row and continue to his rise up the championship ladder tomorrow as he starts in second position.
Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) leaped into the points lead ahead of Fogarty as she equaled her best Atlantic performance with a second-place finish. Starting third, Patrick passed rookie Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) for second place in Turn 1 on the first green-flag lap and she chased Fogarty for the rest of the race before crossing the finish line second.
Earlier in the day, Patrick claimed her first career pole position for the second race of the weekend on Sunday. With the point earned from the pole and the cumulative points earned in today's race, Patrick becomes the first woman to ever lead an open-wheel championship as she owns 97 markers heading into tomorrow's Round 5 start.
Ranger held on to finish in third place for his third podium effort in four races this season. The 17-year-old Canadian moves up to fourth in the championship with 86 points with another strong result.
Another rookie, Jonathan Bomarito (#8 Dixien/Omnisource), enjoyed his career-best effort coming home in fourth place in his fourth Atlantic event.
Last year's Portland champion, Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pro-Works), improved from his starting position of seventh to finish fifth on the day. Dalziel, who also sits fifth in the championship race, will start tomorrow's race in the third spot.
Fogarty's teammate, Alex Figge (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports), was sixth on the afternoon while Bryan Sellers (#19 Lynx Racing) came home in seventh position.
Ronnie Bremer (#10 portacoolracing.com), who entered the weekend as the series points leader, suffered his worst finish of his rookie season in eighth place and falls to third in the championship with 88 points, nine behind the leader.
Coming home ninth was Rocky Moran Jr. (Healthcare Privileges.com/PaySystems) while Chris Festa (#25 SpacePak/CareCentric) rounded out the top 10.
Rookie Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil) spun on the opening lap of the race but he recovered to finish 11th while Chris Dyson (#16 Thetford/Norcold), making his first Atlantic start, finished 12th.
Philip Fayer (#3 PaySystems) was 13th on the day and, after knocking each other out of the race on the 13th lap, Alex Garcia (#9 Dixien/Omnisource) and rookie Josh Hunt (#15 Wright/Patton/Shakespeare/Atkinson Gore Group) ended their days in 14th and 15th place, respectively. In the lone C2 class entry this weekend, Tony Loniewski (#15 Margay) saw his day come to an end on Lap 3 with mechanical problems.
Tomorrow's second race of the weekend, Round 5 of the championship (SPEED Channel, Saturday, July 3 - 2 p.m. ET) will get take the green flag at 10 a.m. PT.
ATLANTIC RACE NOTES:
* Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole position for an open wheel event since Sarah Fisher earned the honor at Kentucky Speedway in 2002 when she posted the top qualifying time for tomorrow's race at 1:07.155 (105.533 mph).
* Patrick extends her streak of consecutive top five finishes to six, dating back to last season.
* With Fogarty producing back-to-back, wire-to-wire wins, it marks the first time that's happened in the Toyota Atlantic Series since 2003 series champ A.J. Allmendinger achieved the feat in consecutive events at Montreal and Denver last season.
Quotes from the top finishers from today's race follows:
JON FOGARTY (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) "Getting through the first corner was a relief. After that, I had a good car. The car is a little bit off when the weather is cooler (as in Saturday morning qualifying). The first two finishes of the season (19th at Long Beach and sixth at Monterrey) were unwarranted. The team's doing great. I hope we continue to get stronger." On the difficulties of switching from an oval setup two weeks ago to a road course setup this weekend, "Running different circuits is a matter of experience both for me and for the team. I've had a lot of close races here but never a victory. I think I have raced here five or six times. It's a great course. There are a lot of flowing corners, it's fast, there is a lot of loading on the car. It feels good to get the first win here." On whether the team had found anything to adjust for the cooler morning weather, "Not really, yet. But, we'll go back and look at the data. Then we'll try to make the necessary adjustments for the cooler weather."
DANICA PATRICK (#24 Argent Mortgage Company), who took over the points lead with 97 points to 93 for Fogarty, "On the start, it's a matter of paying attention and following the one in front of you. I hit it pretty good. (The pass) was really a straight line by him. I was struggling a little bit with fuel in the car (making it difficult to stay with Fogarty). After the restart, I thought I might be able to stay with him. I did for a couple of laps, but the car wasn't quite right to keep it up. I'm getting kind of angry with podiums and no wins. I have two seconds and two thirds. But, I'm in control tomorrow on the pole. (Starting from the pole) it's a matter of getting a good jump and going through the chicane, then putting in a couple of strong laps and settling in."
ANDREW RANGER (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye), his third podium finish in four races as a rookie, "It's a good track and I like this track. It was tough for me. I made a good start. I started second and Danica passed me in the first corner. I pushed hard, but every time I pushed, the car came loose in the 3, 4 and 5 corners. It was a tough race because everybody was behind me and I wanted to push more but I couldn't. (The team) gave me a good car and I'm happy for that. It's a good point for me."