FIVE INDY-WINNING TEAMS LEAD TOYOTA '500' CHARGE -- No less than five Indianapolis 500-winning teams will use Toyota power at this year's Indianapolis 500. With victories in three of the last four Indianapolis 500s, Marlboro Team Penske will lead...
FIVE INDY-WINNING TEAMS LEAD TOYOTA '500' CHARGE -- No less than five Indianapolis 500-winning teams will use Toyota power at this year's Indianapolis 500. With victories in three of the last four Indianapolis 500s, Marlboro Team Penske will lead the Toyota charge.
They are joined by fellow Indy winners Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Juan Montoya in 2000), A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Kenny Brack in 1999), Red Bull Cheever Racing (Eddie Cheever in 1997) and Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing (Buddy Lazier in 1996) to give Toyota seven of the past nine Indianapolis 500-winning teams.
TOYOTA AT INDY -- This year's Indianapolis 500 will mark Toyota's third appearance at the fabled Brickyard. The manufacturer won its first-ever attempt at Indy when Gil de Ferran led a Toyota one-two finish in 2003. In addition to the top two finishers, Toyota powered six of the top seven in 2003. In Toyota. Scott Dixon (Target Toyota) was the highest-finishing Toyota last season with an eighth-place effort in an event that saw five Toyota-powered cars eliminated by early accidents.
THE HUNT FOR A THIRD 500 -- Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Toyota) will attempt to become just the eighth three-time winner in Indianapolis 500 history this month. Castroneves won the race in 2001 and 2002 and placed second in 2003. He also won the pole in 2003. He can join A.J. Foyt (four), Rick Mears (four), Al Unser (four), Louis Meyer (three), Johnny Rutherford (three), Wilbur Shaw (three) and Bobby Unser (three) by winning a third Indy title.
Castroneves' chances should be enhanced by driving for Marlboro Team Penske. Roger Penske's squad has won three of the last four '500s' and has a record 13 overall Indianapolis 500 victories.
INDY NEWCOMERS -- Four Toyota-powered drivers will be making their first Indianapolis 500 run this year. Patrick Carpentier, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Mayer and Paul Dana all will be looking to earn this year's Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Current Toyota veterans Alex Barron (2002), Helio Castroneves (2001) and Jeff Ward (1997) all previously won Speedway Rookie of the Year honors. In addition, Tora Takagi won the rookie award in 2003 with Toyota.
TOYOTA SET TO POWER AN ALL-TIME HIGH -- A record 14 Toyota-powered cars are entered in this year's Indianapolis 500. In addition to the 10 entries that campaign the full IndyCar Series schedule, Toyota-powered entries have been filed by A.J. Foyt Enterprises for Scott Mayer and Larry Foyt, Vision Racing for Jeff Ward and Playa Del Racing for Jaques Lazier.
STEADY AS HE GOES -- Darren Manning (Target Toyota) is one of just three drivers in the series to finish in the top 10 in each of the season's first four races. Manning has finished sixth at Homestead, eighth at Phoenix, ninth at St. Petersburg and eighth at Motegi.
FOUR TOYOTA-POWERED DRIVERS RANK IN TOP 10 IN POINTS -- Four Toyota-powered drivers currently rank in the top-10 in the IndyCar Series points race. Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota) is the highest-Toyota-powered driver in third. He's followed by Penske teammate Helio Castroneves in fifth, Darren Manning in seventh and Patrick Carpentier (Red Bull Toyota) in 10th.
TOYOTA ATLANTIC GRADS OFF TO A FAST START -- Toyota Atlantic Championship graduates have swept all four of the season's first IndyCar Series events heading into the Indianapolis 500. Dan Wheldon, the 2000 TAC series runner-up, has earned victories at Homestead, St. Petersburg and Motegi, while 1999 Atlantic Rookie of the Year Sam Hornish Jr. registered the win at Phoenix.
Wheldon currently leads the IRL point standings while Hornish is third.
They are joined by former Toyota Atlantic champions Patrick Carpentier (1996), who is 10th in points, and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice (2000), who is currently in 11th place.
Toyota IndyCar Series Driver Line-Up and Position Entering Indianapolis 500 <pre> Car # Driver Car Current Point Standing (wins) #6 Sam Hornish Jr. Marlboro Toyota (Dallara) 3rd (Phoenix) #3 Helio Castroneves Marlboro Toyota (Dallara) 5th #10 Darren Manning Target Toyota (Panoz) 7th #83 Patrick Carpentier Red Bull Toyota (Dallara) 10th #51 Alex Barron Red Bull Toyota (Dallara 4th #9 Scott Dixon Target Toyota (Panoz) 15th #14 A.J. Foyt IV A.J. Foyt Toyota (Dallara) 16th #33 Ryan Briscoe Pioneer/Target Toyota (Panoz) 18th #20 Ed Carpenter Vision Racing Toyota (Dallara) 20th #91 Paul Dana Ethanol Toyota 22nd #21 Jacques Lazier Playa Del Racing Toyota (Panoz) 1st 2005 start #22 Jeff Ward Vision Racing Toyota (Dallara) 1st 2005 start #41 Scott Mayer ABC Supply Toyota (Dallara) 1st 2005 start #48 Larry Foyt A.J. Foyt Racing Toyota 1st 2005 start