TOYOTA SWEEPS TOP FOUR IN RICHMOND INDYCAR QUALIFYING Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota) led a Toyota sweep of the top four spots in qualifying for Saturday's SunTrust Indy Challenge to give Toyota its third consecutive pole position here at the...
TOYOTA SWEEPS TOP FOUR IN RICHMOND INDYCAR QUALIFYING
Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Toyota) led a Toyota sweep of the top four spots in qualifying for Saturday's SunTrust Indy Challenge to give Toyota its third consecutive pole position here at the Richmond International Raceway. Hornish's Penske Racing teammate Helio Castroneves was second, while Target Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Ryan Briscoe was third and Red Bull Cheever's Patrick Carpentier was fourth.
- Sam Hornish Jr.'s pole position is the second for Toyota this season and the manufacturer's 18th in 39 IndyCar Series events. The pole is the third consecutive for a Toyota-powered car at Richmond with Scott Dixon winning the pole in 2003 and Helio Castroneves taking the top spot last season.
- The pole is the fifth for Sam Hornish Jr. during his IndyCar Series career (he also has started first on two other occasions due to rain wiping out qualifying) and his second of the season after logging the fastest qualifying speed at Motegi earlier this year. The two-time IndyCar Series champion will be looking for his second consecutive short oval win of the season after coming out victorious at Phoenix in March.
- With his pole tonight, Sam Hornish Jr. has now qualified on the front row in three of his last four starts with poles at Motegi and Richmond and a second at Indianapolis.
- Through seven races, Sam Hornish Jr. ranks as 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 only three drivers in the series to qualify in the top-10 in each of the season's first seven races.
- Ryan Briscoe (Target Pioneer Toyota) earned an IndyCar career best third-place starting position tonight. His previous high was a 10th at St. Petersburg. He was joined by Ganassi teammate Darren Manning (10th) in the top-10.
After an early adjustment period to the oval-dominated IndyCar Series,Briscoe has come on strong in recent races with a 10th at his first Indianapolis 500, followed up by a showing as the top rookie at Texas last race. He also was the fastest in the recent IRL test at Watkins Glen.
- With his fourth-place qualifying effort, Patrick Carpentier (Red Bull Toyota) earned his highest IndyCar Series qualifying effort of the season. Red Bull teammate Alex Barron also earned his best qualifying effort of the season with a ninth to put two Red Bull cars into the top 10.