IRL: Nashville: Toyota preview

TOYOTA LOOKS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT NASHVILLE WIN - Toyota's IndyCar Series program looks for its second consecutive victory at the Nashville Superspeedway this Saturday night. A year ago, Gil de Ferran led Scott Dixon (Target Toyota) and ...

TOYOTA LOOKS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT NASHVILLE WIN - Toyota's IndyCar Series program looks for its second consecutive victory at the Nashville Superspeedway this Saturday night.

A year ago, Gil de Ferran led Scott Dixon (Target Toyota) and Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Toyota) in a 1-2-3 Toyota finish at Nashville. Dixon won the pole with a record speed, while Toyota-powered cars led 136 of the 200 laps ran that evening. In total, Toyota-powered IndyCars took four of the top five and eight of the top-10 in Toyota's first appearance on the Nashville oval.

CASTRONEVES SHINES ON THE SHORT OVALS - With a third at the recent event in Richmond, Helio Castroneves has finished in the top-three seven times in his last nine IRL short oval events. Over that span, he's registered two wins, three seconds and two thirds on ovals under 1.5 miles in length. Castroneves also led the first 37 laps at Richmond before losing out on a fuel-economy run by the eventual winner who was aided by a number of late yellow caution flags.

TOYOTA PARTNERS WITH NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY - The 2004 season marks the first year in a newly-forged partnership between Toyota and the Nashville Superspeedway. Toyota and its local dealers serve as the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Nashville Superspeedway. In addition, Toyota is the title sponsor of the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race scheduled for August, 14.

This partnership is enhanced by Nashville's convenient location to four of Toyota's U.S. manufacturing facilities. Toyota's Princeton, Ind., truck plant is approximately 150 miles away, while its new Bodine Aluminum plant, scheduled to open in Jackson, Tenn., in 2005, is located roughly two hours away. Additionally, there are two Kentucky-based Toyota facilities, including its North American manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., along with its largest U.S. plant in Georgetown, Ky. All four facilities are located within a four-hour drive of Nashville.

FOUR TOYOTAS IN TOP NINE IN POINTS - Helio Castroneves continues to be the highest-ranking Toyota driver in the current IndyCar Series point standings. The two-time Indianapolis 500-winner is in fourth place, followed by fellow Toyota drivers Scott Dixon (sixth), Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota - eighth) and Darren Manning (Target Toyota - ninth).

FOGARTY CONTINUES TOYOTA ATLANTIC DOMINANCE - Jon Fogarty earned his fourth Toyota Atlantic Championship victory in the past five races this past weekend in Toronto. The 2002 TAC champion has opened up a 19-point lead in the championship with five races remaining. Ryan Dalziel, a protege of IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti, sits second in the championship with Danica Patrick in third.

"Quotes"

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "We haven't had a lot of success the past few race weekends, but hopefully we can get back to the winner's circle at Nashville where we finished 1-2-3 last year. A victory this weekend would be a terrific way to kick-off our new partnership with the Nashville Speedway that will see us return next month for the Toyota Tundra 200."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Jon Fogarty , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick