<pre> Date: June 18 Broadcast: ESPN - 1:00 p.m. EDT Race Length: 75 laps for 175.95 miles Track Length: 2.346-mile circuit 1999 Winner: Dario Franchitti Toyota Best Finish: 8th, Scott Pruett, 1999 </pre> What to look for at ...
<pre> Date: June 18 Broadcast: ESPN - 1:00 p.m. EDT Race Length: 75 laps for 175.95 miles Track Length: 2.346-mile circuit 1999 Winner: Dario Franchitti Toyota Best Finish: 8th, Scott Pruett, 1999
</pre> What to look for at Detroit: CAN "MADE IN USA" ENGINE REPEAT? -- After the U.S.-designed and built Toyota RV8E won at Milwaukee, Toyota will now look to make history by having a second consecutive win by a "Made in the USA" engine. Before the June 5 victory, only one other U.S.-designed and built engine ever won in Champ Car competition when Mike Mosley went from last to first at The Milwaukee Mile on June 7, 1981.
TOYOTA POINTS ADD UP - With Juan Montoya's victory from the pole at Milwaukee, Toyota has surpassed its previous best Manufacturer's Points season total in just the sixth race of the year. The manufacturer has scored at least one fourth-place finish or better in every race this season. Overall, Toyota has scored 92 points heading into Detroit, 12 more than in any previous season.
LONGTIME DETROIT RESIDENT HELPS TOYOTA INTO VICTORY LANE - One of the key people behind the success of the U.S.-made Toyota RV8E engine is Toyota Racing Development (TRD) group vice president Lee White, a longtime Detroit area resident. White originally made a name for himself while overseeing Roush Racing's road racing program in Livonia, Mich. After making the Roush operation a champion, White led Lansing's Rocketsports Racing to an IMSA championship before moving into Champ Car racing. White has overseen day-to-day operations at TRD since Oct. 1997.
THE STREAK CONTINUES - Toyota arrives in the Motor City looking to stretch its series-high front row-qualifying streak to eight races. Over the past seven races, Toyota has won four pole positions (Juan Montoya - Motegi, Nazareth and Milwaukee; Scott Pruett - Fontana, 1999) and qualified second three times (Montoya - Miami and Rio; Jimmy Vasser - Long Beach). No other manufacturer has currently registered more than two in a row this season.
To date this season, Toyota has earned six front-row starting spots, the highest in the series. How front-row qualifying has broken down this season:
<pre> Toyota 6 Honda 3 Ford 3
</pre> FRONT ROW JUAN - Toyota driver Juan Montoya has qualified on the front row in five of six races this season. Ironically, it was Target Toyota teammate Jimmy Vasser that nudged out Montoya for the front row at Long Beach resulting in a third-place starting position for the Colombian.
LAPPING THE FIELD - With Juan Montoya leading the way, Toyota has led almost half the laps run in Champ Car competition this season (483 of 991) and 221 more than the next highest competitor.
Driver-wise, Montoya leads the FedEx Championship Series in laps led with 482 - almost three times higher than the next closest driver (139). Montoya has led 48.6 percent of all CART laps run this season. Montoya's domination goes even deeper over the past three races where he's led 70.8 percent of the laps run.
TOYOTA DRIVERS IN CHAMPIONSHIP RUN - After completing six races on the 20-race FedEx Championship Series schedule, a pair of Toyota drivers are in the thick of the title hunt. Jimmy Vasser currently sits third with 48 points, while Juan Montoya is right behind him in a tie for fourth place with 44 points. Montoya is the hottest driver on the circuit, having earned all 44 points in the last three races.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports:
"When we took on the project to design and built the RV8E engine entirely in the US, we knew it was a formidable challenge, but Milwaukee made it all worthwhile. It's great to get that win under our belts, but now it's time to get back and work even harder. We don't want to stop at one, though, and we've got 14 more races on the schedule."
Juan Montoya, #1 Target Toyota:
"We were unlucky in a few races. We were leading laps, leading laps, leading laps, but something would always happen. It was just a matter of time before we won. So many people have worked so hard with the whole Toyota program. I wish we would have won earlier - and we should have. We proved there's a lot more potential there than people thought."