CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Target Toronto preview

Toronto -- As the CART FedEx Championship Series heads to Toronto, the season's 10th race, Team Target's Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser are expecting to conclude an up-and-down first half on a high note. Both Montoya and Vasser...

Toronto -- As the CART FedEx Championship Series heads to Toronto, the season's 10th race, Team Target's Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser are expecting to conclude an up-and-down first half on a high note. Both Montoya and Vasser have experience in tight championship battles, and they plan to use that advantage during the second half of the series as they pursue their team's fifth straight title. "With the addition of the Indy 500, this team has had to work very hard the first half of the season," Montoya said. "I'm proud of Team Target for doing such a great job of figuring out a brand new car and giving me a great machine to compete with on raceday. I would love to have a few more wins this year, but I look back at these first nine races and know that the team and I have learned a lot and will be very competitive in each remaining race. Team Target had to come from behind to win the championship last year and I think that experience will help us down the stretch." Montoya plans to finish off the first half of the 2000 season by earning several championship points in Toronto, where he placed 22nd in 1999. "Toronto is a great city and a great race," Montoya said. "I was very disappointed with my result there last year, and I know we will have a great race there Sunday. It's frustrating to look at the point standings and to know that just a few problems have prevented us from a few more podium finishes. Starting with Toronto, one of my goals is to score points in each race -- and I plan to score a lot in Toronto." Vasser also has had highs and lows this season. After starting the year red-hot with three consecutive top-four finishes, he has cooled off and currently ranks sixth in the point standings with 59. "It would be nice to finish off the first half of the season with a podium finish," said Vasser, who placed eighth in Toronto in 1999. "We struggled a bit after the first few races, but we put together a nice run in Cleveland, so I think we have our confidence back. I haven't experienced a great deal of success in Toronto, but you have to start somewhere, and I have a feeling we'll put it all together this weekend." Acording to Vasser, who claimed the CART title in 1996, it's important to score point during the season's first half, but championships are won in the second half. "It takes a few races for everyone to get used to their cars and their teammates -- and some teams figure out those things sooner than others," Vasser said. "After the mid-point, however, all teams are pretty much on the same page and that's when the battle for points really begins. I like our chances heading down the stretch, and a good performance in Toronto would be a great way to conclude the first half of the year."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser