IRL: Phoenix: Toyota race report

HORNISH, CASTRONEVES GIVE TOYOTA 1-2 SWEEP AT PHOENIX - Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota) led teammate Helio Castroneves across the finish line to give Toyota a one-two finish at Saturday's XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 at the Phoenix...


- Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota) led teammate Helio Castroneves across the finish line to give Toyota a one-two finish at Saturday's XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway. Toyota-powered cars took four of the top nine spots today.

- Today's Toyota victory by Sam Hornish Jr. is the first of the season for Toyota, its second in the last three IRL races and the manufacturer's 14th in 34 IRL events.

- Today's victory is Sam Hornish's first of the season and an IRL record-13th career win. It's his second since joining Marlboro Team Penske last season and his second with Toyota power. The victory also is Hornish's second victory here at PIR after winning in 2001. He also placed third here in 2002.

- With his win today, Sam Hornish Jr. moves into the series points lead with 90 points after finishing first and second in his first two races this season. He leads second-place by six points and holds a 20-point lead over third.

- With his second-place finish, Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Toyota) has now finished first or second in three of his four events here at PIR -- winning in 2002 and finishing second in 2003 and 2005. He also had a sixth-place finish here a year ago.

- Helio Castroneves' second-place showing marks his 15th top-10 finish in his last 18 IRL races.

- Darren Manning (Target Toyota) earned his second consecutive top-10 finish with an eighth-place today after placing sixth in the season-opening Toyota Indy 300. It also marks his second consecutive top-10 here at PIR with a fifth-place finish here last season.

- Patrick Carpentier's (Red Bull Toyota) ninth-place finish gives him a second consecutive top-10 finish in his initial two IndyCar Series races. His performance was all the more impressive after being forced to start 20th after a practice crash yesterday forced him to miss qualifying. The former Champ Car stand-out was making his first start at PIR.


Sam Hornish, Jr. # 6 Marlboro Toyota: "I just picked my lane and kept with it, just like you do on the high-banked tracks. I picked the bottom coming off the corner and took it right down the front straightaway. It's hard to pass on the outside of Turn 1. I tried to go on the outside of Dario (Franchitti) a couple of times before, so I knew that when he went on the outside of me, he'd have a hard road to go. These Marlboro Team Penske guys did an awesome job for me in the pits today. We just had a lot of fun out there. We bided our time and made it to the end."

Darren Manning, #10 Target Toyota: "We were right there at the end, but when I dashed in for a splash of fuel at the end we had a slight problem and that cost us few spots. Other than that, it was a fun, a good clean race and we'll build on it. I'm really looking forward to hitting the streets of St.Pete in two weeks."

Patrick Carpentier, #83 Red Bull Toyota: "Today we had a good day. We passed some people and moved up. Iain Watt, my engineer, had a fantastic strategy. We saved a lot of fuel and stayed out of the pits longer. Two races in the top ten. We learned so much this weekend. We are going to move forward and we will get it."

Eddie Cheever Jr., Red Bull Cheever Racing team owner: "Patrick recovered very well from a bad accident yesterday. He has two races under his belt now. One on a mile-and-a-half oval and a difficult short oval. He did well on both of them . Our cars are still not quick enough, but we improved over Homestead. I am happy to see Toyota win today. We are working hard to be a part of that party very soon."

Scott Dixon, #9 Target Toyota: "All in all it wasn't that bad of a day I suppose. We were really loose at the first part of the runs. And the car seemed to come around after that when we got some laps under our belt. We really got caught back under the second to last caution period because of the gap in front of us, but that's the way it goes. The Target team did I great job. It was just a combination of things that didn't allow us to contend with the frontrunners today."

Ryan Briscoe, #33 Target/Pioneer Toyota: "I was as low as I could get on the track when (Tony) Kanaan chopped down on me and broke the wing and that upset the rest of the race for us. I fell a lap down but the car really was awesome. I really felt like I had the best car out there. I felt so confident with it that we stayed out when everyone pitted to try to make up our lap, but staying on old tires ended up working against us. I definitely learned a lot more out there today and we'll build on that."


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Series IndyCar
Teams Team Penske