IRL: Chicagoland: Toyota Motorsports race report

Dixon, Toyota nipped by .009 seconds at Chicago Scott Dixon (Target Toyota) made a thrilling move to dive down inside coming out of the final turn in an attempt to win the Delphi Indy 300 moving from third to second, but was nipped by Sam...

Dixon, Toyota nipped by .009 seconds at Chicago

Scott Dixon (Target Toyota) made a thrilling move to dive down inside coming out of the final turn in an attempt to win the Delphi Indy 300 moving from third to second, but was nipped by Sam Hornish, Jr. by .009 seconds at the Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.

With today's second-place finish, Toyota extends its Manufacturer's Championship lead to 34 points over second-place Honda. Toyota clinched the 2003 Engine Manufacturer's Championship last race at Nazareth and also won last year's CART Manufacturer's Championship.

Scott Dixon's second-place finish is his sixth top-two finish of the season -- matching Helio Castroneves as the highest number in the series this season.

Tomas Scheckter (Target Toyota) led late in today's race only to see a possible victory slip away due to a yellow flag coming out just after he made his final pit stop of the race after leading Lap 184. Scheckter recovered to finish fifth to give Target Chip Ganassi Racing two cars in the top five today.

Tomas Scheckter led the most laps of the race today with 66 -- pushing Toyota's series high total to 2,023 -- more than five times as many as any other manufacturer.

Despite retiring early in 20th place, Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Toyota) maintains a 12- point lead over Scott Dixon, with Tony Kanaan 14 points behind the leader and Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Toyota) slipping to fourth, 17 points behind Castroneves.

Tora Takagi (Pioneer Toyota) earned his seventh top-10 finish of the season with a ninth today.

Quotes:

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "It was a thrilling race from the most exciting racing series in the world. Tomas (Scheckter) ran an outstanding race. It was unfortunate that the luck went against him. We thought for a second that Scott (Dixon) might steal it, but it just wasn't meant to be. If you're a race fan, it would be hard not to love what we saw today."

Toyota Drivers             Start/Finish

Scott Dixon 5/2
Tomas Scheckter 2/5
Tora Takagi 11/9
Scott Sharp 20/11
Gil de Ferran 12/12
Felipe Giaffone 3/15
A.J. Foyt IV 21/17
Al Unser Jr. 17/19
Helio Castroneves 9/20

IndyCar Series Manufacturer's Points

1. Toyota     128

2. Honda 94
3. Chevrolet 86

IndyCar Series Driver's Point Standings

1. Helio Castroneves (Toyota)     439

2. Scott Dixon (Toyota) 427
3. Tony Kanaan (Honda) 425
4. Gil de Ferran (Toyota) 422
5. Sam Hornish (Chevrolet) 398

Next Race: Toyota Indy 400, California Speedway, Sept. 21, 3:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN

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