CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Rockingham post race notes

Toyota Race Results Start/Finish ...

Toyota Race Results Start/Finish #6 Cristiano da Matta 7/4 #40 Jimmy Vasser 16/7 #19 Townsend Bell 26/12 #20 Roberto Moreno 9/13 #12 Memo Gidley 19/18 #17 Mauricio Gugelmin 23/20 #18 Scott Dixon 5/22 #11 Christian Fittipaldi 13/24 #4 Bruno Junqueira 15/25 #5 Tora Takagi 22/26

- Cristiano da Matta was the top finishing Toyota and appeared to be on the way to a podium finish, only to be passed under yellow by Helio Castroneves on the pit lane after the final pit stop. Da Matta had entered the pits in third and replays showed he clearly crossed the exit blend line in third in front of Castroneves only to be passed for the position. Da Matta went on to finish fourth, but a protest has been filed by Newman-Haas in conjunction with the event. It is da Matta's fourth top-five performance of the 2001 season and his first since the Michigan 500 presented by Toyota.

- Cristiano da Matta's strong fourth-place showing moved him back into the top-five in points with 90 after entering the race in seventh-place.

- Rookie Townsend Bell, in just his second Champ Car debut, earned the first points-paying finish of his FedEx Championship Series career with a 12th today. The Californian was impressive throughout the 140-lap event as he started last in the 26-car field after the starting grid was determined by championship points. Bell made a tremendous start, gaining eight eight spots on the first lap. Then he continued to gain throughout the race before finally finishing 12th.

- Jimmy Vasser climbed from 16th to seventh today to earn his best finish since Motegi in May. The finish gave Patrick Racing two cars in the top-10 along with Townsend Bell.

- Scott Dixon suffered only his third DNF of the season after being hit from behind by another driver with approximately 40 laps remaining. Dixon ran the first third of the race in the top six before dropping to 13th after a lengthy first pit stop. He had climbed back up to 11th, only to be hit from behind and sidelined for the day. The incident caused Dixon to fall from fifth to seventh in the points chase.

- After earning a career-best sixth a week ago at Germany, rookie Tora Takagi's day came to end very early on Saturday after he was hit from behind after Max Papis' spin caused much of the field to check up behind him. Also caught up in the same incident was fellow rookie Bruno Junqueira, who finished one spot ahead of Takagi in 25th.

NEXT RACE: Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, Oct. 7, ESPN, 2:00 p.m. ET


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Jimmy Vasser , Memo Gidley , Bruno Junqueira , Max Papis , Roberto Moreno , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Tora Takagi , Townsend Bell , Cristiano da Matta