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Ivan "Ironman" Stewart TakeS Victory in Baja 1000

14 November 1998

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. - Ivan "Ironman" Stewart and the MCI WorldCom/Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI) off-road team completed a Baja sweep by conquering the Baja 1000, one of the world's most grueling off-road events. The team also won the Tecate Beer Baja 500 in June of this year to win both of the crown jewel off-road events.

Stewart, driving the MCI WorldCom/PPI-prepared Toyota Trophy-Truck powered by a Tundra Racing V8, waged a competitive duel throughout the race with Chevrolet driver Larry Ragland, as well as Ford driver Dave Ashley, before taking his third career Baja 1000 victory. This win is also the second Baja 1000 victory for the PPI off-road team. As is customary for the "Ironman," Stewart drove the 1000 mile race solo.

While the challenge of Baja took its toll on all of the more than 200 competitors, including Stewart, he was able overcome and conquer the un-conquerable. Stewart crossed the finish at 4:08 a.m., five minutes ahead of Ragland.

"I want to thank the amazing contributions from James DeGaine, Tom Morris, Mark Johnson, Peter Miles, Jim Blackmore and the 100 other staff members that have worked so diligently to complete this Baja sweep," said team owner Cal Wells III. "And of course another tremendous job from the Ironman."

"This is a fantastic victory for both Ivan Stewart and the entire PPI team," said Jim Aust, vice president Motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, and president and CEO for Toyota Racing Development U.S.A. "To accomplish twin victories, both the Baja 500 and 1000, in the same year, is truly a superhuman effort and clearly defines the title 'Ironman.' Toyota is proud to be part of and proud to have contributed to this winning effort."

"Congratulations to Ivan Stewart and his crew on winning the 1998 Baja 1000," said Andy Deas, director of MCI WorldCom Sports Marketing. "Winning this difficult race is a testament to Ivan's and PPI's commitment to teamwork and performance."

The results are provisional until Saturday.