Auto Racing: Sierra Sierra’s Dalziel finishes as Toyota Atlantic runner-up
September 14, 2004
It was a somewhat anti-climactic ending to a showdown that had been built up all season between Minden-based Sierra Sierra’s Ryan Dalziel and defending champion Jon Fogarty.
Dalziel was denied the opportunity to challenge his Toyota Atlantic Series rival in the season-finale at Laguna Seca, Calif., over the weekend after he was handed a drive-through penalty in the opening laps for an alleged start-line violation as the green flag unleashed the field.
He was forced to surrender his second-place starting position and finished the 30-lap race in sixth place.
“This is a disappointing results from a championship point of view,” Dalziel said. “To decide the outcome of the series in this manner is extremely frustrating.
Fogarty maintained his lead throughout the race and won his sixth race of the season to claim the series championship. He was just five points ahead of Dalziel heading into the race.
“It’s still a great result to finish the year as series runner-up,” Dalziel said. “We’ve won races, won poles and proved ourselves when circumstances have worked against us. Overall it has been a good year and now we look to the future.”
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Dalziel finished the season with four victories, five pole positions, three second-place finishes and five fastest race laps.
Sierra Sierra teammate Andrew Ranger finished third in the race, his sixth podium finish of the season, and claimed the Toyota Atlantic Series Rookie of the Year award.