CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Notebook 2002-09-03

TOYOTA RECORDS THIRD 2002 PODIUM SWEEP With a one-two-three finish this past weekend in Denver, Toyota has now registered three of the four podiumsweeps in CART this season. In additionto Denver, Toyota-powered cars also swept the top three...

TOYOTA RECORDS THIRD 2002 PODIUM SWEEP With a one-two-three finish this past weekend in Denver, Toyota has now registered three of the four podiumsweeps in CART this season. In additionto Denver, Toyota-powered cars also swept the top three spots at Laguna Seca and Toronto.

TOYOTA MAINTAINS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD With just five races remaining, Toyota has extended its CART Manufacturer's Championship lead to 34 points over Honda, 248-214. Ford is a distant third with 178. Toyota has held the lead since the fifth round of the season at Laguna Seca.

TOYOTANOTCHES RECORD EIGHTH 2002 WIN With eight wins in the season's first 14 races, Toyota has established a new program record for victories in aseason. In addition, the manufacturer closed out the 2001 campaign with wins at Australia and Fontana to give Toyota 10 wins in the last 16 Champ Car events. Those victories have included every type of CART track, with street-circuit wins at Australia, Toronto and Denver; permanent road-course victories at Mexico, Laguna Seca, Portland and Road America; a short oval win at Chicago;and victories at the 200+ mph super speedways in Fontana and Motegi.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING In addition to the Manufacturer's Championship points lead, Toyota also leads all manufacturers in victories (eight), poles (nine), front-row starts (14), laps led (995), road-course points (194) and oval-track points (54). Toyota-powered drivers Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira are first and second in the CART Drivers Championship.

SEVEN DOWN, 12 TO GO With his eighth podium finish of the season this past weekend in Denver, Cristiano da Matta has now eliminated seven of his 19 fellow CART drivers from the championship race. This week, he eliminated Adrian Fernandez, Shinji Nakano, Tora Takagi and Max Papis. Even if da Matta scores no points at the next race in England, Tony Kanaan (65 points), Jimmy Vasser (70), Scott Dixon (81), Michael Andretti (82) and Alex Tagliani (83) all will be eliminated if they do not have at least 86 points after Rockingham.

Da Matta currently leads the series in points (175), wins (6), top-three podium finishes (8), laps led (526), pole positions (6), front-row starting spots (8) and road-course points (152).

ME AND MY SHADOW While Cristiano da Matta has received many of the accolades in CART competition this year, his boyhood friend from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Bruno Junqueira has been right there battling his old go-kart teammate every step of the way. Heading into next weekend's race in England, the duo rank 1-2 in CART points, wins and poles, and are first and third in laps led in 2002.

FOGARTY CROWNED AS TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMP American rookie Jon Fogarty concluded a stirring championship comeback by winning at Denver and clinching the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship. Fogarty was 14 points down to eventual runner-up Michael Valiante with two races remaining and then entered the final race weekend six points down before winning both the season finale and series title in the Mile High city.

-toyota motorsports-

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Series Atlantic , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Alex Tagliani , Scott Dixon , Tora Takagi , Shinji Nakano , Michael Valiante , Cristiano da Matta