CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Laguna Seca qualifying notes

DIXON TOPS TOYOTA QUALIFIERS WITH THIRD AT LAGUNA - Scott Dixon (Nextel/Powerware Toyota) matched a career-best third in qualifying today for Sunday's Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway. Today's performance marks the third time Dixon has qualified...

DIXON TOPS TOYOTA QUALIFIERS WITH THIRD AT LAGUNA - Scott Dixon (Nextel/Powerware Toyota) matched a career-best third in qualifying today for Sunday's Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway. Today's performance marks the third time Dixon has qualified in the top four in the last four permanent road course events. He also qualified third at Road America and fourth at Portland. Dixon has now started eight of the last 12 events in the top 10.

MORENO EARNS SEASON-HIGH FOURTH - Roberto Moreno (Visteon Toyota) registered a personal season-best fourth in qualifying today. The Brazilian's previous season-highs were sevenths registered at Detroit and Vancouver. On each of those occasions, he went on to finish on the victory podium - winning Vancouver and placing third at Detroit.

DA MATTA, TAKAGI PUT TWO MORE TOYOTAS IN TOP 10 - Cristiano da Matta (Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota) and Tora Takagi (Pioneer Toyota) made it four Toyota-powered cars starting in the top 10 for tomorrow's race. Da Matta qualified seventh, while Takagi registered a 10th. For da Matta, the seventh-place marks his fourth top-10 qualifying in five permanent road courses - with a seconds at Mexico and Portland and a fifth at Road America to go along with today's effort. His only time outside the top-10, he placed 11th at Mid-Ohio.

For the surging Takagi, it marks his third top-10 start of his rookie season along with a third at Michigan and an eighth at Cleveland. The Japanese Formula Nippon champion has finished in the top seven in three of his last four races. Takagi was the highest qualifier from today's first qualifying group.

TOYOTA SHOOTS FOR FOURTH ROAD COURSE WIN - With four cars starting in the top 10 tomorrow, Toyota will be shooting for its fourth CART road course victory of the season. Roberto Moreno won through the streets of Vancouver, Bruno Junqueira won at Road America and Cristiano da Matta was triumphant at Monterrey. <pre>

Toyota Drivers Laguna Qualifying 3. Scott Dixon 4. Roberto Moreno 7. Cristiano da Matta 10. Tora Takagi 11. Jimmy Vasser 12. Bruno Junqueira 13. Mauricio Gugelmin 18. Christian Fittipaldi 23. Memo Gidley

</pre> Scott Dixon, #18 Nextel/Powerware/Panasonic Toyota: "Our car has been good all weekend. The engine was very good today. It's going to be tough to pass these (Penske) guys, but we've been getting very good mileage, so that may play to our advantage tomorrow."

Cristiano da Matta, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota: "The car wasn't that good, but I've started worse than seventh before. We'll just try to gain some positions in the pits and put ourselves in a position to finish in the front. We still have some work to do before we are ready for the race, but we will work hard to get a good balance in the car and work to finish the season strong."

SHELL 300, ESPN, 4:00 p.m. EDT, ESPN

-TRD-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Memo Gidley , Bruno Junqueira , Roberto Moreno , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Tora Takagi , Cristiano da Matta