DA MATTA EYES CART SLAM -- With a victory this weekend, Cristiano da Matta would become just the third driver in history to win on all four types of CART tracks in one season. Da Matta's won on street courses (Toronto,Miami), road courses ...
DA MATTA EYES CART SLAM -- With a victory this weekend, Cristiano da Matta would become just the third driver in history to win on all four types of CART tracks in one season. Da Matta's won on street courses (Toronto,Miami), road courses (Monterrey, Mexico, Laguna, Portland and Road America),short ovals (Chicago) and needs only a super speedway win to complete the "Slam." `The only drivers to previously turn the trick were Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989 and Al Unser, Jr. in 1994.
DA MATTA HOPES TO EXTEND QUALIFYING STREAK -- Cristiano da Matta will be attempting to register his 23rd consecutive top-10 starting position on Saturday. His current streak of 22 straight top-10 starts is the longest since Nigel Mansell posted 30 consecutive top-10 qualifying positions over two seasons (1993-94).
TARGET SHOOTS FOR TWO IN TOP FIVE --Target Chip Ganassi Racing looking to place two cars in the top five in qualifying for the 12th time in 18 races this season.
TOYOTA EYES TWO IN A ROW AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY -- With the Manufacturer's Championship wrapped up, Southern California-based Toyota can now look forward to repeating its 2001 victory atits home track. `Cristiano da Matta won last year's "The 500" Presented by Toyota, giving Toyota its second win in CART's last four 500-mile races, with Juan Montoya having won the 2000 Michigan 500. One of the drivers to interrupt Toyota's 500-mile dominance is now a Toyota-powered driver. Christian Fittipaldi, da Matta's teammate at Newman/Haas Racing, won the 2000 Fontana race just prior to the team's move to Toyota power in 2001.
TOYOTA LOOKS TO EXTEND OVAL SUCCESS -- Toyota is looking to extend a string of oval-track success this weekend in Fontana. Dating back to 2000, the manufacturer will be looking for its ninth oval victory in CART's last 18 oval-track events. During that stretch, Cristiano da Matta and Juan Montoya each earned three victories, while Scott Dixon and Bruno Junqueira have one apiece. `Over the past 17 oval events, Toyota has eight wins, Ford five and Honda four. Toyota-powered drivers have won two of the four oval events this season with Junqueira winning in Motegi, Japan and da Matta in Chicago.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING -- In addition to winning the 2002 CART Manufacturer's Championship, Toyota also leads all manufacturers in victories (nine), poles (11), front-row starts (18), laps led (1,075), road-course points (227) and oval-track points (tied with 72). Toyota-powered drivers Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira are first and second in the CART Drivers Championship.
DA MATTA LOOKS FOR RECORD-TYING WIN-- Cristiano da Matta, the defending champ of "The 500" Presented byToyota, can tie the all-time CART record for victories in a season (eight) with a win at the California Speedway this weekend. Da Matta leads the series in virtually every statistical category including victories (7), pole positions (7) and laps led, 605, which is more than twice as many as any other driver. So far this season, he has earned victories in Monterrey, Mexico; Laguna Seca; Portland; Chicago; Toronto; Road America and Miami.
JUNQUEIRA LOOKS TO CLINCH SECOND -- Bruno Junqueira could clinch a Toyota one-two finish in the CART Driver'sChampionship if he outscores Dario Franchitti by 15 points and Patrick Carpentier by nine points this weekend at "The 500" Presented by Toyota. This season, Junqueira has two wins and three pole positions; he has excelled on the high-speed ovals, winning from the pole position in Motegi, Japan and earning the pole at the Indianapolis 500.