wins third Toyota Atlantic race
July 14, 2002
(July 14, 2002) – For the third time this season, Ryan
Hunter-Reay (Hylton Motorsports/Medlock Ames Winery/U.S. Print
Swift 014.a) dominated a CART Toyota Atlantic Championship
event on his way to a win.
The Boca Raton, Florida native
jumped out to an early lead from his number one starting spot
after winning his third $1000 Toyota “Pole Award” of the
season yesterday; and continued on to a 7.015 second margin of
victory over Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing/Thomas Fogarty
Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a). With wins in Laguna Seca by
over 8 seconds and Chicago by over 9 seconds, Hunter-Reay owns
the three largest margins of victory in the season’s eight
races to date.
At the drop of the green flag, Hunter-Reay moved to the inside
to guard the line entering the treacherous right hand Turn 1
at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport temporary street
course. Fogarty tucked in behind the leader from his outside
front row starting spot and the pair remained in those
positions for the remainder of the race.
“I had one of the best cars I have ever driven today,” said
Hunter-Reay. “It was a dream race as a driver because I had a
solid lead without anyone breathing too closely down my neck,
but it’s never easy. Once I had the gap developed, I had to
really take care of my car and just manage the pace.”
The win was the second in a row for Hylton Motorsports at the
2.106-mile Cleveland track with 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic
Champion, Hoover Orsi, winning here last year. Most important
to Hunter-Reay, is that he closed the gap on points leader,
Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a) and moved up to
second in the points chase. After the first three races of the
season, Hunter-Reay had only scored three Championship points.
But now as the season enters into its final third of the
schedule, Hunter-Reay has moved to within eight points of
Valiante with a total of 93. Fogarty, who captured his fourth
podium of the season, is only one point back of Hunter-Reay
and nine points back of Valiante.
Fogarty’s teammate, Mexico’s Luis Diaz (Dorricott Racing/Telmex
Swift 014.a) battled with Valiante for third place throughout
the race with Diaz taking the position for good on Lap 20.
Diaz completed the podium which was his second of the year
after winning earlier this season at Portland. It was also the
third time this season that Dorricott Racing has placed two of
their three drivers on podium. Fogarty and Alex Gurney
(Dorricott Racing/Behr Castrol Swift 014.a) finished on podium
at Long Beach with Fogarty and Diaz in the top three at
“It was tough to keep pace with Ryan’s car,” said Fogarty.
“Nonetheless, the weekend’s objective was to make a dent in
Valiante’s lead in the point championship and we accomplished
that. I knew Ryan was going to be tough and he was close in
points but I’m sure his objectives were similar to ours. The
team gave me a good car. I was watching my mirrors much of the
race and rooting for Luis to pass Michael. I’m very glad he
did. This makes a little up for last week at Toronto. It’s
where we should be and I’m happy to be here.”
“Cleveland is a bumpy track so it made for a tough race
especially with such a high average speed this time,” said
Diaz. “I’m happy with this result since I had an incident at
Toronto that cost a good finish. This result is great for me.
This puts me back in the championship fight. I hope to
make a repeat visit to the podium at the next race.”
Valiante continued on to finish fourth, but not before winning
the $1000 WorldCom “Fast Pace” Award setting a record fastest
lap of 1:06.235 seconds (114.465 mph), breaking the 2000
record held by Buddy Rice (DSTP Motorsports/Crane & Shovel
Sales Corp/Dynocut Swift 014.a) which was 1:08.109 seconds
(111.463 mph). Much like yesterday where 15 drivers beat the
existing track qualifying record, a total of 15 topped the
race lap record as well. It was Valiante’s sixth top-five
finish of the season.
“The Lynx team gave me a totally great car today, a podium car
in fact, but lapped traffic cost me a better finish,” said
points leader Valiante. “Still, it was a good run, and we’re
still leading the championship by a nice margin, so we’ll take
our lessons from here and go to the next one. Trois-Rivieres
is a track that I know well and like very much, so we’re
hoping to do well there, and our new generation Comptech
engines should be ready by Road America, so the rest of the
season is going to be a dogfight among the top teams.”
The race saw its only yellow flag period which came early in
the race when Alex Figge (Worldspeed Motorsports/Northern
Trust/Redline/Wine Country Motorsports/Ironclad Swift 014.a)
made contact with the rear of the car of Roger Yasukawa
(Hylton Motorsports/Autobacs/ U.S. Print Swift 014.a) on the
entry to Turn 1. Figge’s car went airborne over Yasukawa and
then collected the machine of Sepp Koster (Michael Shank
Racing/Blue Bay Golf Resort/Uitert/ Respons Swift 014.a). Both
Figge and Koster were eliminated from the race while Yasukawa
lost many laps in the pits while making repairs.
After racing in six of the past seven weekends, the CART
Toyota Atlantic Championship will take a much needed break
before returning to action in three weeks at the historic
Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres on August 4th.
1. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 32.
2. (2) Jon Fogarty, 32.
3. (4) Luis Diaz, 32.
4. (5) Michael Valiante, 32.
5. (6) Rocky Moran Jr, 32.
6. (3) Waldemar Coronas, 32.
7. (11) Jonathan Macri, 32.
8. (7) Alex Gurney, 32.
9. (8) Ryan Dalziel, 32.
10. (10) Grant Ryley, 32.
11. (12) Rodolfo Lavin, 32.
12. (16) David Wieringa, 32.
13. (15) Buddy Rice, 32.
14. (18) Stephan C Roy, 32.
15. (19) Kyle Krisiloff, 32.
16. (17) Frank Dancs, 32.
17. (21) Alex Garcia, 31.
18. (24) Eduardo Figueroa, 31.
19. (23) Carl Russo, 31.
20. (22) David Cutler, 30.
21. (13) Roger Yasukawa, 21.
22. (20) Nicolas Rondet, 18, Mechanical.
23. (9) Sepp Koster, 2, Contact.
24. (14) Alex Figge, 2, Contact.
Winners average speed: 104.987 mph
Time of race: 38:30.860
Margin of victory: 7.015 seconds
Lap Leaders: Hunter-Reay, 1-32.
Cautions: One for three laps
Point standings: 1. Valiante, 101; 2. Hunter-Reay, 93; 3.
4. Gurney, 75; 5. Diaz, 74; 6. Macri, 72; 7. Moran Jr, 70; 8.
67; 9. Lavin 63; 10. Dalziel, 51.
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