IRL: Homestead: Toyota preview

TOYOTA EYES THIRD STRAIGHT HOMESTEAD WIN - After victories by Scott Dixon in 2003 and Sam Hornish Jr. in 2004, Toyota will set its sights on a third straight victory at the Toyota Indy 300. Not only has Toyota won each of the last two races at...

TOYOTA EYES THIRD STRAIGHT HOMESTEAD WIN - After victories by Scott Dixon in 2003 and Sam Hornish Jr. in 2004, Toyota will set its sights on a third straight victory at the Toyota Indy 300. Not only has Toyota won each of the last two races at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, but the manufacturer also swept all three podium spots in 2003 and took home a one-two finish in 2004.

HORNISH AIMS TO MAKE IT FOUR OF FIVE AT HOMESTEAD - A lot of drivers have success at a particular race track, but few drivers can match the success that Sam Hornish Jr. has had at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he's won three of the four IndyCar Series races run on the 1.5-mile oval. He won the 2001 and 2002 events in dominating fashion and then garnered the victory last season with a dramatic last-lap pass on teammate Helio Castroneves. Overall, in his four appearances at Homestead, the Ohio native has qualified an average of third with a low of seventh, and has led 314 laps.

CASTRONEVES LOOKS FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE POLE - After tying an IndyCar Series record with four consecutive pole positions to close out the 2004 campaign, Helio Castroneves will attempt to make it five in a row at the season-opening Toyota Indy 300.

Making Castroneves mark even more impressive is that he won his four consecutive pole positions on a variety of different types of tracks. He took the point position on the 1-mile oval at Nazareth, the 1.5-mile tracks at Chicagoland and Texas, and the 2.0-mile California Speedway. He also won the pole on the three-quarter D-shaped oval at Richmond earlier in the year for a series-high five poles for the season.

THREE NEW TEAMS TO CAMPAIGN TOYOTA IN 2005 - Red Bull Cheever Racing, Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing and Vision Racing all have joined the Toyota camp new for 2005. Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier will each be behind the wheel for Red Bull Cheever Racing, while Paul Dana is with Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing and Ed Carpenter will campaign Toyota power for Vision Racing. Red Bull Cheever Racing was the top-finishing Chevrolet team a year ago. Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing re-joins the IndyCar ranks after competing in the Pro Series a year ago, while Vision Racing is a new entrant for the 2005 season.

THREE NEWCOMERS SET TO MAKE INDYCAR SERIES DEBUT - Three members of the 10-driver Toyota contingent will be making their IndyCar Series debut at this weekend's Toyota Indy 300. Patrick Carpentier has moved over from Champ Cars and will drive for Red Bull Cheever Racing. The 1997 Toyota Atlantic champion made four CART starts at Homestead with three top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place showing in 2000. He also started third at the track in 1999. Due to his past experience, Carpentier won't be classified as an IndyCar Series rookie.

On the other hand, both Ryan Briscoe and Paul Dana are expected to battle for Rookie of the Year honors in 2005. Briscoe comes to the Chip Ganassi Racing team after serving as the test driver for the Toyota F1 program. He's a past Formula 3 and Formula Renault champion in Europe. Dana will be making the move to IndyCars after placing second in the IRL Pro Series last season. He will campaign for Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing, the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winners.

TOYOTA INDY 300 TO MAKE HISTORY WITH CONTINUOUS RACING COVERAGE ON ESPN - The Toyota Indy 300 will make history as the IndyCar Series' first race with ESPN's new "Side-By-Side" coverage featuring a split screen of the race and the broadcast's commercials. The coverage will allow ESPN to stay with race action during all of the national commercials with the screen split into two pictures with the race action on the left and the advertiser's commercials with audio in a larger box on the right. The race's five local commercial breaks, however, will be full screen with no race coverage.

-www.toyotamotorsports.com

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Patrick Carpentier , Scott Dixon , Alex Barron , Ryan Briscoe , Paul Dana , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter