CHAMPCAR/CART: Chicago: Toyota Motorsports race report

Da Matta, Junqueira lead 3rd straight Toyota 1-2 at Chicago. - For the third consecutive race, Toyota-powered cars finished one-two with Cristiano da Matta leading Bruno Junqueira home by .660 seconds. Tora Takagi matched a career-best fourth,...

Da Matta, Junqueira lead 3rd straight Toyota 1-2 at Chicago.

- For the third consecutive race, Toyota-powered cars finished one-two with Cristiano da Matta leading Bruno Junqueira home by .660 seconds. Tora Takagi matched a career-best fourth, while Scott Dixon made it four Toyotas in the top six with a sixth-place finish. Da Matta and Toyota also took home points for leading the most laps in the race.

- Today's victory is the fifth of the season by Toyota and the manufacturer's seventh victory in the last nine FedEx Championship Series races. It's Toyota's 16th CART victory - all coming in the last two-plus seasons. Over the last nine races, Toyota-powered cars have won on four road courses and three ovals.

- Today's one-two Toyota finish is the third straight for Toyota and the 1-2-4 finish makes it the third straight race where at last three Toyota-powered cars finished in the top-four.

- Cristiano da Matta's (Havoline Toyota) victory today is his third in a row, fourth of the season and his sixth in the last nine races. It also marks his second three-race win streak during that time period. The win is da Matta's eighth career Champ Car win - all coming with Toyota power - and his second victory at Chicago in three years. His first Champ Car victory came here in 2000.

- For the second time this season, Cristiano da Matta will get a chance to tie the all-time CART record for consecutive victories of four when he takes to the track at Toronto next weekend. Da Matta appeared to be on the way to matching the previous exploits of Al Unser, Jr. (1990) and Alex Zanardi (1998) at Long Beach, where he led 30 of the first 31 laps and held a comfortable seven-second lead before being involved in a pit-lane incident with another driver.

- Bruno Junqueira (Target Toyota) earned his second straight second-place finish and his third podium finish in the last five races with a second today. It's his fourth top-four finish in the last five races.

- Scott Dixon made it two Target Chip Ganassi Racing cars in the top six for the third consecutive race with a sixth today. Dixon has finished no lower than seventh in each of his four races since joining the Target team.

- Tora Takagi (Pioneer Toyota) matched his previous career-best finish (Houston, 2001) with a fourth today.

- Four Toyota drivers currently rank in the top six in points. Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira sit one-two in the CART points race with da Matta holding a 95-70 lead. Christian Fittipaldi is now fifth and Scott Dixon is sixth - making it four Toyota drivers in the top six in points.

"Quotes"

Cristiano da Matta, #6 Havoline Toyota: "This win, on a track that isn't necessarily our strong point is very rewarding. It shows how much work our team has done and how much we have improved. To win six of the last nine races means a lot to me because I know how difficult it is to get just one win. Right now, the whole Newman-Haas team is very strong, the Toyota engine is very strong and the Lola is very strong."

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "The Newman-Haas and Target Ganassi teams both did an incredible job today to give Toyota our third straight one-two Champ Car finish. This (Chicago Motor Speedway) can be a very tough place to pass and with the intense heat it was a demanding race for all the drivers, so when our teams can gain our drivers positions in the pits it showed today that it can be the difference between winning and losing. We're thrilled to win five of the first seven this year and we'll enjoy this one tonight, but there's no time for a let-up. We need to turn around and be ready when we hit the track in Toronto in five days."

#6 Cristiano da Matta 3/1
#4 Bruno Junqueira 5/2
#5 Tora Takagi 8/4
#44 Scott Dixon 9/6
#20 Townsend Bell 17/12
#11 Christian Fittipaldi 11/14
#12 Kenny Brack 12/18

Manufacturer's Championship: Toyota 131, Honda 106, Ford 85

Next Race: Molson Indy Toronto, July 7th, CBS, 1:30 p.m. EDT/10:30 PDT

-toyota-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Alex Zanardi , Tora Takagi , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta , Al Unser
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing