CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 14 of 20 - MILLER LITE 200 LEXINGTON, Oh., (Aug. 15, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti stood together on the podium at today's Miller Lite 200, as Tracy finished second and ...
CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 14 of 20 - MILLER LITE 200
LEXINGTON, Oh., (Aug. 15, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti stood together on the podium at today's Miller Lite 200, as Tracy finished second and Franchitti third. Tracy was 10.927 seconds behind race winner Juan Montoya, who earned his fifth victory of the season and tightened the gap on Franchitti for the championship lead.
Starting from the pole position, Franchitti jumped out to a strong lead with the green flag. Tracy slotted into second after only three laps by passing Bryan Herta. Franchitti then dominated the first half of the race, leading the first 54 of 83 laps in the race. He had built close to a four-second lead on his teammate before a slow leak in his right rear tire brought him back to the field. He pitted on the 55th lap, giving the lead to his teammate for a single lap (lap 55). Montoya, who jumped from eighth to third on his first pit stop, passed Tracy on the next lap and never looked back. A solid second stop (lap 58) and a well-running car allowed Montoya to run away to victory.
Franchitti did earn an additional point for leading the most laps today, plus 14 for third place gives him 152 points. He keeps the overall lead by one point over Montoya, who has 151. Tracy collected 16 points for second today, cutting the gap between himself and Michael Andretti from 13 to 2 points (124-122). Andretti hangs on to third overall, as Tracy continues his climb up the standings.
Next week, the championship race continues with an inaugural race at the Chicago Motor Speedway for Round 15 of the CART FedEx Championship Series. The race will be broadcast live on ABC-TV on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 3rd / Finished 2nd ; Currently 4th in the PPG Cup standings with 122 points)
"We need to get up on that top rung a little more if we want to contend for the championship. We're running very consistent races and scoring points. Hopefully, we're going to continue to move up in the standings. We need to get a couple of more wins if we're going to challenge Juan (Montoya) and Dario (Franchitti). We're happy with the performance today. The Team KOOL Green guys did fantastic work in the pits. I drove my heart out in the last half of the race. I was catching Dario and we beat him out of the pits on my second stop. That was the end of it. I was able to stay in front of him and he didn't pressure me at all. You always want to win, but I'm very happy for Team KOOL Green. This was another great result, coming on the heels of 1-2 finishes in Toronto and Detroit.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 1st / Finished 3rd ; Currently 1st in the PPG Cup standings with 124 points)
"The car was great in the first part of the race. We had everything under control. But we had a slow puncture on the right rear tire in the middle of the race (first reported on lap 45). It cost us the race, really. The tire was going down a lot. The KOOL car was oversteering through left-handers and understeering through rights. It was pretty costly, to be honest. We had to pit a bit earlier than we would have ideally liked. The backmarkers certainly didn't help; it was a bit of a joke, really. We should have been at the front today. At the end there, I couldn't run any quicker when I was stuck behind Paul and the track was starting to break up a bit. Paul was keeping a consistent gap at the end. I didn't have enough to get past him. I didn't want to disturb the order of things."
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship - RACE
Team KOOL Green's Alex Gurney started eighth, but finished 12th in today's KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race. Gurney was strong in recovering from the start after being pushed wide in the first corner. He was running eighth and closing on the front runners when he spun on lap 20 of 30. He dropped to 13th, but picked up a single point with Buddy Rice's engine failure on the final lap.
Rice had been leading until being passed on the 29th lap by Kenny Wilden, who won the race by a slim 0.767 seconds over runner-up Alex Tagliani. Wilden had started on the pole, but fell back as far as third before claiming his second KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship victory. Points leader Anthony Lazzaro led more than half the race, but finished third.
Lazzaro keeps the championship lead with 134 points, as Tagliani remains second with 100 and Wilden is third at 96.
The KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship continues next Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Chicago Motor Speedway.
ALEX GURNEY, #27 Team KOOL Green Toyota/Swift: (Started 8th / Finished 12th ; Currently 12th in the standings with 24 points)
"I was a little unlucky on the start. Starting on the outside in eighth with the KOOL car was not the ideal place. I kind of got shoved out further and then (Lee) Bentham had a problem with a tire going down. He didn't move out of the way right away, so I lost about six seconds to Rocky Moran Jr. I concentrated on running him down and I was able to do it. I then came up on a backmarker at a time when my gear shifts were getting a bit notchier on the downshift. I downshifted into second a little early, locked the rear wheels and spun out. I kept it running and just tried to finish the race when I lost four or five spots. At least I got a point out of the deal, but it was a tough point."