IRL: Toyota Motorsports notes 2004-03-02

TOYOTA TAKES FIRST-EVER NHRA FUNNY CAR WIN Jerry Tolliver drove his Schick Quattro Toyota Celica NHRA Funny Car to victory at Pomona this past weekend in the Winternationals giving Toyota its first-ever Funny Car victory. Tolliver qualified 15th...

TOYOTA TAKES FIRST-EVER NHRA FUNNY CAR WIN Jerry Tolliver drove his Schick Quattro Toyota Celica NHRA Funny Car to victory at Pomona this past weekend in the Winternationals giving Toyota its first-ever Funny Car victory. Tolliver qualified 15th and fought his way through the field and defeated Gary Densham in the final. The race marked Tolliver's return to the sport after a two-year absence.

TOYOTA OPEN-WHEELERS FAST OUT OF THE BOX...AGAIN When Sam Hornish, Jr. edged his Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves in a photo finish to win Sunday's IRL Toyota Indy 300, it marked the fourth consecutive year that Toyota has won the opening race of the open-wheel season. Hornish follows Scott Dixon (2003-Homestead) and Cristiano da Matta (2002 and 2001 Monterrey, Mex.). In each of the last two seasons, the Toyota driver that won the season-opening race also went on to earn the series championship.

TOYOTA ON TOP OF IRL STANDINGS With the season-opening win at Homestead, Toyota resumes a familiar spot at the top of the IRL Engine Manufacturer's Championship standings. Through 17 races in the series, Toyota has never trailed since joining IndyCar Series competition in 2003.

IRL BY THE NUMBERS Sunday's Toyota victory is its 12th in 17 IndyCar series races....The one-two Toyota finish on Sunday marks the sixth for Toyota in 17 IRL events....With Sunday's win, Sam Hornish becomes the seventh different driver to win with Toyota power in the 12 IRL victories...Hornish's triumph is the sixth for Team Penske in 17 races with Toyota power.

FAST START FOR TOYOTA/LEXUS PROGRAMS In the four racing series that Toyota or Lexus competes in, the manufacturer has had at least one entry finish in the top-two in their respective season-openers. Sam Hornish (IRL) and Jerry Tolliver (NHRA Funny Car) won their first race of the season, while Travis Kvapil (NASCAR Craftsman Truck) and Doran-Lista Racing (Lexus Grand-Am) both placed second in their season debuts.

TOYOTA PROGRAMS DESCEND ON VALLEY OF THE SUN Three of Toyota's four on-going programs will race next in Phoenix. The NHRA Funny Cars head to Firebird International Raceway, March 5-7, while the IRL and Grand-Am each will head to Phoenix International Raceway next with the IndyCars racing March 19-21 and the Lexus Daytona Prototypes competing in Grand-Am competiton April 8-10.

TOYOTA RACE CALENDAR
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK: Atlanta 200, Atlanta Motor Speedway, March 13, 1 p.m. SPEED
IRL: Copper World Indy 200, Phoenix International, March 21, 4 p.m., ABC
NHRA: Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals, March 8, 7 p.m. ESPN2
GRAND-AM: Phoenix 250, Phoenix International Raceway, April 10, SPEED

*All times Eastern time zone

-trd-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am , IndyCar , NASCAR Truck , NHRA
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Gary Densham , Travis Kvapil , Cristiano da Matta , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske