IRL: Motegi: Toyota preview

TOYOTA LOOKS FOR THIRD MOTEGI WIN IN FOUR YEARS -- Toyota will look for its third win in the last four years at Twin Ring Motegi when the IndyCar Series resumes at the Indy Japan 300 on Saturday, April 30. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Bruno ...

TOYOTA LOOKS FOR THIRD MOTEGI WIN IN FOUR YEARS -- Toyota will look for its third win in the last four years at Twin Ring Motegi when the IndyCar Series resumes at the Indy Japan 300 on Saturday, April 30. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Bruno Junqueira was the first Toyota-powered Indy car driver to win on Japanese soil when he won the Champ Car race in 2002. The following season, Scott Sharp put a Toyota into the Motegi Winner's Circle for the second consecutive year when he drove a Toyota-powered Dallara to victory in the inaugural IRL race at Motegi in 2003.

BACK ON THE OVAL -- No driver in the IndyCar Series has had more success in the season's first two oval events than Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota). The two-time series champion finished second at Homestead, followed by his first win of the season at Phoenix. Of course, Hornish's oval track success should come as little surprise considering he's currently the series leader in all-time victories with 13 wins under his belt.

RUNNING UP FRONT -- Five different Toyota-powered drivers have led laps in the season's first three races. Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Toyota), Sam Hornish Jr. and Patrick Carpentier (Red Bull Toyota) all led at the season-opening Toyota Indy 300. Castroneves and Hornish each took a turn up front again at Phoenix where Hornish was triumphant. In the season's most recent road coarse event at St. Petersburg, rookie Ryan Briscoe earned the bonus for leading the most laps during the event. In addition, his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Darren Manning also led his first laps of the season during this race.

GETTING COMFORTABLE -- After making the move from Champ Car to the IndyCar Series during the off-season, Patrick Carpentier has registered three consecutive top-10 finishes with a seventh at Homestead, a ninth at Phoenix and an eighth at St. Petersburg while still getting acclimated to the series. Carpentier's performance at St. Petersburg was particularly impressive after starting only 14th after missing half of Friday's practice. He rebounded to run in the top five during the race and lost a probable top-five finish after being hit and spun around on the event's final restart.

FIVE TOYOTA-POWERED DRIVERS RANK IN TOP 10 IN POINTS -- After the season's most recent event in St. Petersburg, five Toyota-powered drivers currently rank in the top 10 in points. Sam Hornish Jr., the Homestead winner, leads the Toyota contingent in third place, followed by Penske teammate Helio Castroneves in fourth, Darren Manning in seventh and Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron in ninth and 10th. A sixth Toyota-powered driver, Scott Dixon, sits just out of the top 10 in 11th place.

TOYOTA ATLANTIC GRADS OFF TO A FAST START -- Toyota Atlantic Championship graduates have swept all three of the season's first IndyCar Series events. Dan Wheldon, the 2000 TAC series runner-up, has earned victories at Homestead and St. Petersburg, while 1999 Atlantic Rookie of the Year Sam Hornish Jr. registered a win at Phoenix.

Wheldon currently leads the IRL point standings while Hornish is in third. They are joined in the top-10 by former Toyota Atlantic champions Patrick Carpentier (1996) and Alex Barron (1997), who currently sit ninth and 10th in points after three races.

-toyota-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Scott Dixon , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing