CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach DaMatta, Toyota second

<pre> TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH TOYOTA POST-RACE NOTES Race Results Start/Finish Start/Finish ...

<pre> TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH TOYOTA POST-RACE NOTES

Race Results             Start/Finish                       Start/Finish
#6   Cristiano da Matta      4/2     #5  Tora Takagi           16/20
#40  Jimmy Vasser            8/5     #18 Scott Dixon           18/19
#12  Nic Minassian          14/8     #17 Mauricio Gugelmin     19/22
#4   Bruno Junqueira        28/9     #11 Christian Fittipaldi  10/24
#20  Roberto Moreno         22/11

</pre> Da Matta Puts Toyota Second At Toyota GP of Long Beach; Extends Points Lead

- Cristiano da Matta (Texaco/Havoline Toyota) was the highest finishing Toyota with a second-place finish in today's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The finish gives da Matta 37 points after two races, extending his FedEx Championship Series points lead to seven points over Gil de Ferran.

- Cristiano da Matta's second-place finish is the best-ever for a Toyota-powered Champ Car at Long Beach (bettering Jimmy Vasser's third from a year ago) - a race the manufacturer has sponsored since its inception 27 years ago. Toyota has been the title sponsor for 25 years - the longest consecutive run in American open-wheel history.

- Jimmy Vasser (Patrick Racing Toyota) earned his first top-five finish of the season with a fifth today, after running in the top three for 25 laps in the mid-portion of the race. The finish is Vasser's second consecutive top-six finish after a sixth at Monterrey, Mexico.

- Today's fifth-place finish is Jimmy Vasser's sixth consecutive top-10 finish at Long Beach. Vasser won the 1996 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, finished ninth in 1997, eighth in 1998, 10th in 1999 and third a year ago.

- Jimmy Vasser now stands fifth overall in the FedEx Championship Series points standings with 18 points.

- Today's eighth and ninth-place finishes by Target Toyota drivers Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira were career-best Champ Car finishes for each, as well as the first top-10 for each driver. Minassian was the top finishing rookie. The finish marks Minassian's second-straight points-paying finish after an 11th at Monterrey. The Frenchman currently stands 10th overall in the points race.

- With Roberto Moreno (Visteon Toyota) finishing 11th today, five Toyota drivers earned points (paid to the top 12) in today's race - the most ever for Toyota in a single-race.

Quotes:

Cristiano da Matta, #6 Texaco/Havoline Toyota: "I had a very good car today. After the second stop I tried to pressure Helio (Castroneves). The only place I had a chance to pass him was at the end of the front straightaway, but he kept me on the outside every time and there wasn't anything I could do."

NEXT RACE: TEXAS 600, Texas Motor Speedway, April 29, ESPN - 3 p.m. ET

-Toyota Motorsports

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Roberto Moreno , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Tora Takagi , Cristiano da Matta