MICHIGAN'S MEMORABLE MOMENTS - Michigan International Speedway has played host to two of Toyota's most memorable wins. A year ago, Alex Barron made headlines with his "spin-and-win" at MIS. On Lap 164 of the 200-lap event, Barron touched wheels...
MICHIGAN'S MEMORABLE MOMENTS - Michigan International Speedway has played host to two of Toyota's most memorable wins. A year ago, Alex Barron made headlines with his "spin-and-win" at MIS. On Lap 164 of the 200-lap event, Barron touched wheels with Tomas Scheckter, causing Barron to spin, but he managed to keep the car off the wall and remain on the lead lap. Barron traded the lead with Sam Hornish Jr. repeatedly in the final 10 laps of the race. He then passed Hornish Jr. coming out of Turn Four on the final lap to earn the win by .00121 seconds. Barron's victory led a parade of six Toyotas in the top seven.
Just as memorable was Juan Montoya's thrilling triumph in 2000, in which he battled Michael Andretti to the finish line in a duel of two of the sport's biggest stars. The pair traded the lead back-and-forth for the final 20 laps of the race with Montoya surging ahead for the victory just before the checkered flag.
HORNISH COMING ON STRONG - With a second in Nashville and a third this past weekend in Milwaukee, Sam Hornish Jr. has moved solidly into the top-five in the IndyCar Series points race. The two-time IndyCar Series champion fell to ninth-place after Indianapolis, but rose back into contention on the strength of three top-five finishes in the last five races. His recent climb into the top-five overall is even more amazing considering that Hornish was involved in on-track incidents in five consecutive races after winning the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead.
DIXON CLEARED TO DRIVE - Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon received clearance from doctors to get back behind the wheel of his Target Toyota after missing this past weekend's race in Milwaukee. After two separate incidents on Saturday, it was determined that he sustained a left ankle sprain, as well as suffering a ligament tear and a small bone chip in his right thumb (non-displaced fracture). Dixon will be fitted for a brace on his right hand to stabilize his thumb and allow him to grip the steering wheel and drive comfortably in Michigan. He will wear the brace until next week, when he is scheduled for a minor surgical procedure, requiring a four day recovery period, to repair the ligament and secure the small piece of bone fragment in his thumb.
MICHIGAN'S A TWIN-BILL FOR TOYOTA - Michigan International Speedway will be the site of the season's third Toyota double-header when both the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series take to the track on the same weekend. Travis Kvapil is leading the way for Toyota in its first year as a competitor in the truck series. The Wisconsin native is currently eighth in points, while fellow Toyota driver David Reutimann tops the Rookie-of-the-Year standings.
DALZIEL MAKES UP GROUND IN TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP - With a victory in Vancouver this past weekend, Ryan Dalziel moved to within 13 points of series leader Jon Fogarty in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The win was the third of the season for the Scotsman, a protege of IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti. Fogarty, the 2002 series champion, placed second and has now registered four wins and a second in his last six TAC events. Danica Patrick finished fourth in Vancouver and remains in third-place overall. The Toyota Atlantic Championship is off this weekend and will return one week later at Road America with Round Nine of the 12-race championship.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "Michigan's going to be a major challenge. The key is to stay in the draft with the lead pack until the finish, while also conserving fuel. One thing is for sure - if it's Michigan, it's going to be decided on the last lap if not the last turn."