IRL: Kansas: Toyota preview

TOYOTA AT KANSAS -- The Kansas Speedway is one of just four IndyCar tracks where Toyota hasn't previously won in open-wheel competition. The manufacturer's best results at the track came in 2003 when Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott...

TOYOTA AT KANSAS -- The Kansas Speedway is one of just four IndyCar tracks where Toyota hasn't previously won in open-wheel competition. The manufacturer's best results at the track came in 2003 when Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Tomas Scheckter qualify first and second, with Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran finishing second and third in a race decided on fuel consumption.

NO BULL -- The Red Bull Cheever Racing team will enter Kansas City coming off its finest showing of the season. After registering a season-best fourth in qualifying at Richmond, Patrick Carpentier (Red Bull Toyota) went on to earn his first podium finish of the 2005 campaign with a fast-closing third-place finish. The result was Carpentier's fourth top-10 effort of the season and catapulted him back into the top-10 overall in points..

Alex Barron made it two Red Bull Toyotas in the top-six at Richmond strong sixth-place showing. After a steady start from the ninth position, Barron climbed into the top-six only to fall back to 16th after a miscommunication during a scheduled pit stop. He steadily climbed back into the top 10 and moved into sixth late in the race for his third top-10 finish of the season.

UP FRONT - Through seven races, two Toyota-powered drivers rank as the highest-averaging qualifiers in the series. Sam Hornish Jr. is the top average qualifier in IndyCar Series competition this year with an average starting position of 4.0. His Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves is second with an average starting spot of 4.7. The Penske duo are two of three drivers in the series to qualify in the top-10 in each of the season's first seven races.

After winning the pole at Richmond, Hornish Jr. has now qualified in the top four in each of the last four races. During that streak, he has two poles (Richmond and Motegi), a second (Indianapolis) and a fourth (Texas). Three of the four tracks have been at least 1.5 miles in length, the distance around the Kansas Speedway oval.

LEADING THE WAY -- After leading 42 laps at Richmond last weekend, Sam Hornish Jr. is the only driver in the series to lead at least one lap at each of the six oval events run on the 2005 schedule. Hornish has led 163 laps this season and an IRL record 2,314 over his career.

Hornish isn't the only Toyota-powered driver to regularly run upfront this season. Richmond winner Helio Castroneves led 112 laps on his way to victory last weekend giving him 177 for the season. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner needs to lead just three more laps to pass Tony Stewart for second-place behind Hornish on the IndyCar Sereis all-time record list.

NUMBERS ON THE RISE -- With a win and a pole position at Richmond, Toyota-powered open-wheel cars have now won a total of 35 races and 40 pole positions over the past six years. Included in those totals are 15 wins and 18 pole positions in 39 IRL IndyCar Series events.

BUSY WEEKEND -- This weekend will mark one of the busiest of the year for TRD, U.S.A (Toyota Racing Development). In addition to this weekend's IndyCar Series event, the Kansas Speedway also will play host to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where nine Toyota Tundras are expected to compete. In addition, the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will be running on Thursday evening at the Daytona International Speedway featuring Lexus Daytona Prototypes. TRD-prepared engines campaign in each of the three series.

-toyota-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Patrick Carpentier , Scott Dixon , Alex Barron , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Toyota Racing