Trois Rivieres, Quebec, CAN. (July 29, 2000) - Buddy Rice and the DSTP Atlantic team will start tomorrow's CART Toyota Atlantic race at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois Rivieres from pole position, by virtue of setting a new track record time of...
Trois Rivieres, Quebec, CAN. (July 29, 2000) - Buddy Rice and the DSTP Atlantic team will start tomorrow's CART Toyota Atlantic race at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois Rivieres from pole position, by virtue of setting a new track record time of 1:00.804 (90.053 miles per hour). The pole marks the fifth of Rice's career and second of this year, as well as the second career pole for the newly formed DSTP Atlantic team.
"It's great to finally get another pole this year," said Rice, who started from pole in the first race of the 2000 Atlantic season opening doubleheader at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March. "We were able to run through everything that we wanted to in practice this morning, so we had a good idea of the set-up to use for qualifying. We also expected the track to slow down about three-tenths this afternoon. I knew that if we could keep it clean and run the full session, then we would have a good shot at getting pole. It's good to be starting the race from the front row here. The track is really hard to pass on and if there are any accidents, it will be crucial to be strong on restarts. But, we should be good. We have a great car for the race and we're all very motivated to win tomorrow."
Rice and DSTP began the day by setting the fastest time in the morning practice session (1:00.523). As the temperatures rose preceding the 1:00 pm qualifying session, the lap times dropped approximately three-tenths of a second across the Atlantic field. Rice set the provisional pole time of 1:00.967 thirteen minutes into the 30-minute session, then responded with his new record time on his twentieth lap with nine minutes remaining. Rice was the only driver to qualifying under 1:01.00.
Starting second tomorrow is Andrew Bordin (1:01.017) followed by Dan Wheldon (1:01.084), David Rutledge (1:01.343) and Alex Gurney (1:01.428). Rice earns one bonus championship point for qualifying on pole and extends his lead over Bordin to eight points. His previous poles came at Long Beach (1998), Nazareth (1998), Houston (1999) and at Homestead this year.
Tomorrow's Atlantic activities begin with a 15-minute warm-up at 9:20 a.m. The 45-lap race is scheduled for 1:45 pm and will be televised via espn2 on Saturday, August 12, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), with an encore presentation on Tuesday, August 15, at 5:00 a.m. (EDT).