Hand to start seventh in Trois-Rivieres. Joey Hand ...
Hand to start seventh in Trois-Rivieres.
Joey Hand #27 DSTP Motorsports Toyota Swift 014.a
DSTP Motorsports got the break they were looking for as the expected rain showers held off and allowed their driver, Joey Hand, a shot at the pole in Trois-Rivieres. Although Hand's time of 1:00.251 seconds (90.880 mph) moved him up the grid from yesterday's ninth place showing, it was only good enough to land him in seventh for tomorrow afternoon's 45-lap race.
After placing fifth in the morning practice session, Hand felt confident that he could contend for the pole in the afternoon or at least land himself close enough to the front to better his chances for the race.
The race weekend schedule in Trois-Rivieres has always had one of the tightest time constraints on it and today was no different. Due to another series post-race ceremonies running over their scheduled time, the 30-minute Atlantic qualifying session was delayed by four minutes. The squandered minutes would prove to be critical to DSTP's efforts to improve their standing as Hand kept laying down faster laps as the session came to a close.
Hand languished outside of the top-10 as the session went into the middle stages, but engineer, Kent Stacy, made some key changes to get Hand back on course. Hand continued to knocked time off of his laps and on the final tour of the 1.521-mile temporary street circuit, Hand set is best lap of the weekend.
There is little time left for DSTP to tune the car for tomorrow's 1:00 p.m. EST race. A.J. Allmendinger captured the pole with a time of 59:338 seconds (92.278 mph) and now Hand and the DSTP team must figure out how they are going to be able to catch Allmendinger and the other five cars that will start ahead of them. The DSTP team will get 15 more minutes of track time to iron things out in tomorrow mornings warm up session which begins bright and early at 8:45 a.m. EST.
Speed Channel will televise Sunday's race LIVE at 1:00 p.m. EST and will re-air the event the following day at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Hand on Saturday Practice:
"I don't know where we ended up, but that session went better for us than yesterday. The car is improving and that is all I care about right now. I tried not to listen to where I was on the time and just focused on making the car better. I feel like we are really not up to par as far as the setup was yesterday, so we are trying to go big because we are not racing for second. We are trying to win this thing. So we went big and it seemed to work. We just have some fine tuning to do before qualifying. Hopefully, we won't get caught out on a red like we did yesterday and we might have something for them."
Hand on Saturday Qualifying:
"Right now, we just can't seem to get a handle on the car. It seems like the car is doing good, but we always run out of time. We keep getting faster, faster, and faster every lap and then the checkered is out. We're still going to work on the car and get it better for the warm-up tomorrow morning and see if we can get something to race with. This is not where we wanted to start because it is very difficult to pass at this place. I hope we can get a race car that I can put on a show tomorrow."
Through DSTP Motorsports, Dede Rogers has established herself as a true believer in promoting talented young American drivers into professional racing. Formed in 1994, DSTP first campaigned a team in the Dodge Shelby Pro Series before moving into the U.S. F2000 National Championship in 1995. Such notable drivers as Memo Gidley, Alex Barron, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Jerry Nadeau competed in cars fielded by DSTP before Buddy Rice swept to the Atlantic title during DSTP Motorsports first season in the series in 2000.