Three More Toyotas into Indianapolis 500 Field; Toyota Engines to Power Race-High 12 Indy Entries INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 2, 2004) -- Past IndyCar Series winner Richie Hearn was among three Toyota-powered qualifiers to make the field today for...
Three More Toyotas into Indianapolis 500 Field; Toyota Engines to Power Race-High 12 Indy Entries
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 2, 2004) -- Past IndyCar Series winner Richie Hearn was among three Toyota-powered qualifiers to make the field today for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500, giving Toyota a race-high 12 entries.
Hearn will be piloting the Sam Schmidt Motorsports Toyota for the second straight year. Hearn also previously campaigned a Toyota in CART competition with Della Penna Motorsports.
The fastest of today's Toyota qualifiers was Jeff Simmons, who qualified the Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota with a speed of more than 214 mph. Simmons will be making his first Indianapolis 500 start. The Connecticut-native was the 2003 Pro Series runner-up and a two-time Barber-Dodge champion.
This year's race also will mark the first '500' appearance for Marty Roth (Marty Roth Racing Toyota). Both Simmons and Roth participated in Saturday's IRL Pro Series event with Simmons leading early on his way to a runner-up finish.
- While Toyota will supply engines for a race-high 12 Indianapolis 500 entries, the total is actually two less than a year ago when the manufacturer supplied 14 of the 33 race starters in its first run at the Brickyard.
- For the second consecutive year, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will be the highest starting Toyota. In three starts here at the Indy 500, Castroneves has beaten 95 of the 96 other cars entered against him -- with only teammate Gil de Ferran (last year) finishing ahead of him in those three starts.
- Seven Toyota Atlantic Championship grads qualified for this year's Indianapolis 500 including the top two qualifiers, Buddy Rice and Dan Wheldon, who finished one-two in the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Championship. Sam Hornish Jr., Roger Yasukawa, Alex Barron and Felipe Giaffone also qualified last weekend, while Richie Hearn made the field today.