Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300 on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway tri-oval is the 12th of 16 events on the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series calendar but only the second in which Mo Nunn Racing's Tora Takagi will use a Dallara chassis.

Takagi, who drove the #12 Pioneer sponsored Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force-Toyota for the first ten events of the year, switched to the Italian built Dallara chassis prior to last weekend's Emerson Indy 250 at the Gateway International Raceway and brought home a seventh place finish.

After such an encouraging start with the chassis, Takagi has elected to continue with the Dallara this weekend as Mo Nunn's team tries to defend Felipe Giaffone's victory for the team at this event last year.

Giaffone returned to his Orlando home Monday from his native Brazil, where he had been rehabilitating from his injuries under the care of renowned sports physician Dr. Moises Cohen. The Brazilian born 2001 Rookie of the Year underwent surgery to repair his broken right femur at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on July 7th, the day after his Kansas Speedway accident with Dan Wheldon.

After spending time in a Rehab hospital in Indiana and then travelling back to Brazil, Giaffone will attend a race for the first time since his crash and will continue to support his replacement driver Alex Barron next weekend at Nazareth before making his planned return to action at the following round in Chicagoland.

In last year's Belterra Casino Indy 300, Giaffone qualified third, took the lead for the first time on Lap 24 of the 200-lap race, and led 124 laps in all en-route to his first career IRL IndyCar Series win. Barron, driving for Blair Racing, started 16th and finished ninth here last season while Takagi will be a newcomer to the track.

"This will be my first time racing on the Kentucky track, but I know the team has a good history there because Felipe (Giaffone) won there last year," said the Japanese born driver, who is currently tenth in the 2003 points table despite having lost 23 points for blocking and causing an accident at the Texas Motor Speedway.

"It will be my first time racing there, but it will be my third race on that type of 1.5 mile track and we have done well on the fast tracks like Indy and Michigan all year. The Kentucky track is a little bit bumpy in places, but I think we will figure out how to be successful there.

"I had a pretty good weekend with my new Dallara chassis at St. Louis. We learned a lot, and we were able to improve the car during the race. So I had a strong car for the finish. At Kentucky, we will learn more about our new car and I think it will be even better. Our Toyota horsepower will be a good thing in the Dallara chassis and I am looking forward to getting back into the Pioneer car."

"A big, fast track like Kentucky is always something you look forward to when you have a superb package like the Toyota/(Panoz) G Force package we have on the Hollywood team," continued Barron, who failed to finish last Sunday's race after suffering a gearbox failure. "It paid off for us big-time at Michigan with a race win. We had a big disappointment at Gateway, and not because of anything that we did. It was unfortunate we got caught up in the pit lane pileup that put a hole in my gearbox and eventually ended our day there.

"But the Hollywood/Mo Nunn team did another great job for me by giving me another potential race-winning car. We got up to fourth before the gearbox eventually let go. Now, we get to go run another big, fast track and the team had a great test there at Kentucky back in June.

"Felipe (Giaffone) will be watching the team for the first time since his accident, and he'll be at Kentucky for the first time since his win there last year, and I'm sure that will motivate everybody on the team in a big way. It should be really great."