Sights Set On Motegi
April 14, 2004 | 9:39 A.M. EST
Defending IndyCar series champion Scott Dixon always enjoys the yearly visit to Japan’s superspeedway. "The Twin Ring Motegi oval is a unique mile-and-a-half track and fairly different from Texas or Chicago. I find it interesting and more technical and the facility itself is very impressive. It's a great place to race because the fans are so knowledgeable and enthusiastic."
"Last year, I had the pole and both Target Chip Ganassi Racing cars fought for the lead," added Dixon. "Darren and I expect to do the same this year and fight for the win for Toyota. I've had 4 second place finishes in the last 5 races dating back to Chicago last season (Chicago, California, Texas, and Phoenix) and I'd like to break that trend with a win in Japan."
Teammate Darren Manning, a newcomer to the IndyCar series, now has two races under his belt in which he finished 6th and 5th, and is looking forward to proving himself on the Twin Ring Motegi track.
"I think the season started with two of the tougher tracks and I learned a lot about the car and IndyCar racing very quickly. I think the Motegi track is wider and will be a little more forgiving, giving me the chance to use everything I have learned to date and aim for another top 5 finish."
After competing and living in Japan when he was racing in F3 during the later part of 1998 and all of the 1999 season Manning almost considers the Indy Japan a home race.
"I've very excited about being able to race in Japan again. I've even raced at the Twin Ring at Motegi but on the road course. I loved the time I spent in Japan. I still have close friends here and continue to have my helmets painted there as well. I expect to see a lot of my friends and racing fans at the Twin Ring track for the race weekend. It almost has the feel of a home track for me. The atmosphere is wonderful and I think the engine manufacturer rivalry adds to the intensity as well. Target Chip Ganassi Racing will certainly do all it can give Toyota bragging rights yet again.