Road America: Saturday qualifying notes

Dalziel Wins Atlantic Road America Pole in Record Fashion ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 7, 2004) -- Another day, another record for Sierra Sierra Enterprises racer Ryan Dalziel ( ...

Dalziel Wins Atlantic Road America Pole in Record Fashion

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 7, 2004) -- Another day, another record for Sierra Sierra Enterprises racer Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks).

After breaking the course record in provisional qualifying on Friday, Dalziel raised the bar even higher surpassing yesterday's impressive time by more than two-tenths of a second as he captured the pole position for Sunday's Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Championship of Road America Presented by Yokohama (tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, Sunday, August 8 -- 1 p.m. ET).

The pole was Dalziel's fifth of the season to lead the Atlantic series and the record-breaking effort on the 4.048-mile Road America circuit enabled him to earn a championship point to draw within 11 markers of current series point leader Jon Fogarty (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment). Dalziel's record time was 1:59.504 (121.944 mph), topping the mark of 1:59.743 he established on Friday.

With 10 of the 14 drivers topping their provisional qualifying times from Friday in cooler temperatures at Road America, the top three runners remained the same and qualified in the same order. Fogarty, who saw Dalziel shatter the course record he established while winning the pole in 2002, topped his time from Friday and remained second-fastest in the field with a lap of 2:00.148 (121.290 mph). The 2002 series champion looked to be primed to challenge his Scottish rival for the top spot, but an off-course incident involving Eric Jensen (#2 Penn Capital/Konica Minolta) caused a late red flag and forced the qualifying session to end a few minutes early.

Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) remained third after the Canadian freshman posted a lap of 2:00.509 (120.927 mph) in this afternoon's qualifying. Ranger has now qualified among the top five in seven of nine races this season.

Ranger's main competition for the BG Products Rookie of the Year award, Ronnie Bremer (#4 Healthcare Privileges.com/PaySystems), will start fourth tomorrow after recording a top time of 2:00.533 (120.903 mph).

Alex Figge (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment) continued to show good speed this weekend with a fifth-place qualifying effort. The 23-year-old American was clocked at 2:00.789 (120.647 mph).

Tonis Kasemets (#6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK ind./TMI/Redline Oil) enjoyed his best qualifying result of the season. He carded the sixth-fastest time of 2:00.997 (120.439 mph).

Rahal-Letterman Racing's Danica Patrick (#24 Argent Mortgage Company) struggled with her qualifying setup. After posting a lap of 2:01.077 (120.360 mph), Patrick qualified seventh for her second-worst starting position of the season.

Bryan Sellers (#19 Lynx Racing) also had his second-worst qualifying result of the year as he was eighth in the order with a time of 2:01.320 (120.199 mph).

Rookies Josh Hunt (#15 Wright/Patton/Shakespeare/Atkinson Gore Group) and Chris Festa (#25 SpacePak/CareCentric) enjoyed top-10 qualifying efforts with Hunt posting a time of 2:01.651 (119.792 mph) in ninth position and Festa recording a fast time of 2:02.343 (119.114 mph) in 10th.

The Atlantic cars return to the track tomorrow morning for a 15-minute warm-up session, beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Sunday's Round 9 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama will take the green flag at 11 a.m. CT.

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

ATLANTIC QUALIFYING NOTES

* Ryan Dalziel (#28 ProWorks) earned his seventh career pole position this afternoon. With five poles this season, he leads all series competitors in that category.

* With both Dalziel and teammate Andrew Ranger (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) qualifying in the top three, it marks the second time this season that the two Sierra Sierra Enterprises teammates will start among the top three competitors. In Round 6 in Cleveland, Dalziel started on the pole and Ranger joined him on the front row. Dalziel went on to win that event.

* Ronnie Bremer (#4 PaySystems) might want to think about playing the #4 in the Wisconsin lottery. The first-year Polestar Racing Group pilot owned the fourth-fastest time in qualifying today, marking the fourth consecutive race that he's qualified among the top four -- in the #4 car.

Quotes from the top three qualifiers from Friday follow:

RYAN DALZIEL (#28 ProWorks), who earned his fifth pole of the season and seventh of his career, "It's been a tough week for us. We worked hard each session. The red flag came when we had more in the car. The team made an excellent call to go to the stickers early. We had a lap or two on everybody else and they were playing catch up. We got a break with the red flag. (The race) is going to be good. This is the only track we have on the calendar where there is (a lot of) overtaking. We have had momentum all year. Sierra Sierra has given us good cars. Every race, we've had a car that could win. (Of his track record,) It's nice to have a record, but records don't get you a Champ Car ride. We're enjoying the success so far, but we have to keep it up. I expected the times to be quicker (than Friday). I think the time would have gotten quicker if we had the last five minutes of the session. I think you would have seen one of us in the low 1:59s."

JON FOGARTY (#96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment), who will be starting on the front row for the seventh time in nine races this season, "The red flag was crap, really. Guys continue to run off course session after session. I was on my first quick lap on stickers. The data showed I was ahead of the best lap. I got screwed, really. You'd think guys after eight sessions would be able to keep it on course. I'm confident we have a good car. My teammate is behind me and there are a lot of fast guys up front. There's a lot of places here you can overtake. If the leaders can work together to pull away, then we can battle each other at the end. (The times dropped from Friday.) It was cooler, the air temperature was down. It took a little longer for the tires to come in - to get temperature in them, but then there was great grip."

ANDREW RANGER (#27 Tide/Charmin/Mr. Clean/Snugabye) "I'm pretty happy. The car was pretty good this session. We were pretty lucky. We got only one lap on the new tires (which was his fastest) and then the red flag came out. (Not having raced here before,) for me, it was a little bit tough because it is a very fast track. Ryan helped me a lot for the session. He helped me a lot with the line and with everything. I think it is good for tomorrow if I can pass the first corner, which has been a problem for me. (Alex) Figge starts behind me so if he doesn't come too fast at me I think we will be OK." (With Figge also starting right behind Ranger at Vancouver, the two of them were involved in a first-lap, first-corner incident that damaged both cars and affected their finish.)

-ccws-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Jon Fogarty , Alex Figge , Eric Jensen , Ronnie Bremer , Bryan Sellers , Andrew Ranger , Chris Festa , Tonis Kasemets , Josh Hunt , Danica Patrick
Teams HART