<pre> Date: September 3, 2000 Broadcast: 4 p.m. ABC ET Race Length: 90 laps for 162.90 miles Track Length: 1.781-mile street course 1999 Winner: Juan ...
<pre> Date: September 3, 2000 Broadcast: 4 p.m. ABC ET Race Length: 90 laps for 162.90 miles Track Length: 1.781-mile street course 1999 Winner: Juan Montoya Toyota's Best Finish: 5th, Cristiano da Matta, 1999 Toyota's Best Qualifying: 14th, Scott Pruett, 1999 Track Speed Records: Qualifying: 1999, Juan Montoya, 105.730 mph Race: 1999, Juan Montoya, 65.279 mph
Manufacturer Points: Ford 242; Honda 225; Toyota 200; Mercedes Benz 57
</pre> MONTOYA OUT FRONT - At first appearance, Juan Montoya may not seem to be registering the commanding performance he turned in as champion a year ago, but a closer look reveals the same dominating driver who's simply suffered from more bad luck than anything.
On five occasions this season, Montoya was in control of a race only to be knocked out contention for the victory by a five different maladies. At Miami, he led the first 22 laps before an engine failure; at Motegi, he led 172 of 175 laps before a pit incident; at Nazareth he led 110 of the first 118 laps before running over debris from another car's accident; at Detroit he led 59 of the first 60 laps before a CV-joint failure; and at Road America he had opened up more than a 10-second lead by the half-way mark before being sidelined by a gearbox problem.
Montoya also has easily outdistanced the rest of the field in terms of leading the most laps. The reigning FedEx champ has led 702 laps this season - more than the top five drivers in points combined.
>From the manufacturer-side, Toyota-powered cars have led a series-high 835 laps in 2000 - 229 more than the next highest competitor, Ford (607) and more than 300 over Honda (524). In addition, Toyota's 200 manufacturers' points for the season exceeds its previous best total (80 set last year) by 150 percent with six races remaining in the 2000 campaign.
GIDDY ABOUT GIDLEY - After finishing in the points only once (11th at Cleveland) in the season's first 10 events, Della Penna Motorsports (DPM) has registered four straight points-paying finishes including three top-10 finishes since hiring former Toyota Atlantic ace Memo Gidley. After earning a pair of 10th-place finishes at Michigan and Chicago, Gidley finished a career-high sixth at Road America last week. Overall, Gidley has notched four top-10 finishes in seven Champ Car starts this season while driving for both DPM and Player's/Forsythe. Gidley has signed to finish out the 2000 campaign with DPM in the DirecTV Toyota Reynard.
SURVIVOR, CART-STYLE - In the popular television show, being there at the finish is the name of the game. Well, if the Champ Cars were to have their own version of "Survivor" on its road courses, Oriol Servia might end up the winner. The 1999 Indy Lights champion has scored points in more road course events than any other driver in the series. He has finished in the points in six of seven road course events this season including five top-10 finishes and a career-high third at Detroit. Only a first turn incident at Cleveland, where Servia was hit from behind and forced to retire, has kept him from a perfect seven for seven.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "Our goals for the season included consistently qualifying up front, winning some races and scoring at least 200 manufacturers points. At this point, we've won five pole positions, earned three race wins and have now reached the 200-point total. Now we need to set some new goals. Five or six wins and 300 points for the season could still be in our grasp. We've really excelled on the ovals with three wins, now we need to go out and win our first road course event. We've been in the hunt at Long Beach, Detroit and Toronto, so we feel pretty good about our chances of putting a Toyota into the Winner's Circle at Vancouver."
Memo Gidley, #10 DirecTV Toyota: "The Della Penna Motorsports team has given me a completely reliable car at every event - in four races and two test days, the DirecTV Toyota Reynard hasn't missed a lap. That is no small feat especially when you consider that we are a small team and the guys work all the time. Their dedication and skills are very impressive. That also goes along for our Toyota engines. We're really looking forward to Vancouver where the team had a great finish last year and I was in the points, as well. I also have fond memories of Vancouver from winning there in Toyota Atlantics."