CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Chicago fast facts

<pre> Date: July 30, 2000 Broadcast: 4:00 p.m. ABC EDT Race Length: 225 laps for 232.525 miles Track Length: 1.029-mile oval 1999 Winner: ...

<pre> Date: July 30, 2000 Broadcast: 4:00 p.m. ABC EDT Race Length: 225 laps for 232.525 miles Track Length: 1.029-mile oval 1999 Winner: Juan Montoya Toyota's Best Finish: 10th, Robby Gordon, 1999 Toyota's Best Qualifying: 9th, Cristiano da Matta, 1999 Track Speed Records:

Manufacturer Points: Ford 194; Honda 169; Toyota 165; Mercedes Benz 46 </pre> THREE IN A ROW ON THE OVALS? - Juan Montoya will be looking to win his, and Toyota's, third-consecutive CART oval race when he takes to the track at the Target Grand Prix this weekend. Montoya won the two most recent oval races at the Milwaukee Mile on June 5 and at this past weekend's Michigan 500 presented by Toyota - the first two victories by Toyota in Champ Car competition. Montoya also is the defending Target Grand Prix champ as he led 132 of 225 laps last season in winning the inaugural Champ Car race at the Chicago Motor Speedway.

OVAL MEISTER - Juan Montoya has shown a rare dominance on the oval tracks this season. The defending FedEx Series champion has two victories and three pole positions in six CART oval races this season. Over the last four oval events, Montoya has two firsts, a fourth an eighth (after leading 172 of the first 175 laps at Motegi). During that span, he's led an amazing 500 of the 901 laps run. Montoya also has registered the fastest race lap at four (Homestead, Motegi, Milwaukee, Michigan) of six oval races this season.

CHICAGOLAND NATIVE PLAYS KEY ROLE AS "MADE IN THE USA" ENGINE EYES THIRD WIN -

After CART had gone almost 19 years without a victory by an engine designed and built in the USA, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-produced Toyota RV8E will be looking for its third victory in two months at the Target Grand Prix with a helping hand from a Chicagoland native.

John Faivre, a native of Joliet and a graduate of Bradley University, oversees Toyota's on-track support during race weekends, as well as playing a major role in the development of the engine's electronics system. Faivre was a long-time employee of Penske Motorsports before joining TRD in 1998.

LEADING LAPS - After leading just 14 laps from 1996 through 1999, Toyota-powered cars have led a series-high 662 laps (out of a possible 1,649) in 2000 - 149 more than the next highest competitor, Ford. Honda has led 428 laps and Mercedes-Benz 46.

TARGET GANASSI UP FRONT - Target Chip Ganassi Racing, running a Toyota/Lola combination, has led 587 laps this season -- 149 more than the second highest team (Penske) in Champ Car competition, and 384 more laps than the third-place team (Patrick).

Da MATTA HOPES TO BUILD ON TEST - Cristiano da Matta arrives in Chicago confident after a strong CART open test at the Chicago Motor Speedway two weeks ago. The second-year Champ Car driver topped the charts among 20 drivers on hand.

Da Matta, the 1998 Indy Lights champion, has moved to the forefront in CART competition over the past two months. In the last five races, he's consistently run in the top five. He dropped out at Detroit due to mechanical problems while running fifth. He registered a fifth at Portland, a career-high third at Cleveland, a fourth at Toronto and was running in the top three at Michigan when he dropped out after a pit incident due to a miscommunication with the crew. It was announced Sunday that da Matta will stay with the team through the 2001 season.

GIDLEY TO MAKE SECOND APPEARANCE FOR DELLA PENNA - After an impressive 10th-place finish at Michigan, former Toyota Atlantic ace Memo Gidley will once again be in the driver's seat for Della Penna Motorsports (DPM) at Chicago in the DirecTV Toyota. Gidley is temporarily replacing Norberto Fontana, who is expected back for Round 13 at Mid-Ohio. Gidley's strong drive at Michigan resulted in his second top-10 finish of the season, despite only five starts for two different teams. In addition, his performance in the Michigan 500 resulted in DPM's top finish of the 2000 campaign.

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "We faced the ultimate challenge in winning the 500-miler at Michigan, but the FedEx Championship is so tough, there's really no time to savor it. We need to get ready for another test at Chicago. We've had a great deal of success on the oval tracks this year and after the Michigan race, I think it's evident that we have five drivers capable of a strong finish at Chicago. I can't say enough about TRD."

Juan Montoya, #1 Target Toyota: "I think we should run really well at Chicago. We won there last year, and we've run really good on the ovals all season. We need to keep getting good finishes, and we can still be in the championship race at the end of the season."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Memo Gidley , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing