CHAMPCAR/CART: Chicago: Team Kool Green race report

Franchitti scores second straight podium finish in Chicago. CICERO, Ill. - Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti earned his second straight podium, and fourth of the year, today with a third-place finish in the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. The...

Franchitti scores second straight podium finish in Chicago.

CICERO, Ill. - Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti earned his second straight podium, and fourth of the year, today with a third-place finish in the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. The finish moves Franchitti into third in the CART FedEx Championship. Franchitti's TKG teammate Paul Tracy finished ninth and sits eighth in the championship.

Franchitti started from the pole and built a four-second lead by the first round of pit stops on lap 68. Miscues on his first two stops of the day dropped him to third. Tracy also had a strong start and had advanced to fifth place until contact with Alex Tagliani caused both cars to spin. Tracy continued, but fell one lap down while the car was restarted.

Cristiano da Matta took his third straight win, followed by Bruno Junqueira and Franchitti. Da Matta continues to lead the championship with 95 points while Junqueira lies second with 70 points and Franchitti is third with 64. Tracy has 36 points and TKG technical partner Michael Andretti is 10th with 34 points.

Team KOOL Green will donate $10,000 to the 100 Black Men of America for today's race, bringing the total monies raised to date in 2002 to $48,000. The funds are used to increase access to computers, technology and training in urban communities.

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"I think the guys did a great job preparing the car today but we need to get better on our pit stops to start winning races. Team KOOL Green had the car to win today so it's pretty disappointing to finish third. We built a good lead at the start and then we had the same problem with traffic as everyone else so that closed the gap. We've had some good races but we need to get it together and cut down on our mistakes to challenge for the championship."

Warm-up
Position: 8th
Speed: 151.644 mph
Time: 24.425 seconds

Race
Started: 1st
Finished: 3rd
Laps Completed: 250
Laps Led: 67
Points Earned: 15
Championship Standing: 3rd

Kyle Moyer - Team KOOL Green Team Manager

"I think we had the fastest race car out there this weekend. We proved that in the first stint (of the race) when Dario just took off, and then we told him to just take it easy on the tires. We had a four-second lead and were just biding our time. We had a couple of problems on the first two pit stops and lost some positions in the pits. You're not going to pass here, so we didn't have much opportunity to get them back. But we came here with a car that hadn't turned a wheel until Saturday morning, got the pole, and came away with 15 points."

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"I had a great start and picked up some positions so that put us in pretty good shape for the race. ON THE INCIDENT ON LAP 156: I made a good restart and I got by Dario (Franchitti) and Alex (Tagliani) and I had a wheel up on Bruno (Junqueira). I guess Alex got into my left rear tire and spun us both out. It's frustrating. The KOOL car handled well and we moved up a few positions but it was just a struggle after I spun. We just had to keep going and get some points out of the day."

Warm-up Position: 4th Speed: 152.244 mph Time: 24.332 seconds

Race
Started: 13th
Finished: 9th
Laps Completed: 249
Laps Led: 0
Points Earned: 4
Championship Standing: 8th

John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant

"Paul had an excellent start and drove a good, solid, aggressive race. On the restart, (Alex) Tagliani was obviously behind and Paul was on the outside and it looks like Tag pushed up into him. That put us a lap down and that makes it very difficult on a track like this. We had to start looking for a yellow, but unfortunately one didn't come. The points have been rather scarce the last couple of races so let's hope that we're on the upswing."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , John Anderson , Cristiano da Matta
Teams ART Grand Prix