CLEVELAND, OH., (July 2, 2000) â€“ Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy both retired early with gearbox problems in todayâ€™s running of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Roberto Moreno led 91 of 100 laps in a dominating ...
CLEVELAND, OH., (July 2, 2000) – Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy both retired early with gearbox problems in today’s running of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Roberto Moreno led 91 of 100 laps in a dominating victory from the pole, which was the first of his career. Kenny Brack closed the margin of victory to 0.826 seconds with Cristiano da Matta third.
Similar to the last race in Portland, there was another first corner incident on the opening lap. Several cars were sent spinning by contact, including Franchitti’s #27 KOOL car. Franchitti managed to keep the car running and fought his way back into contention despite dropping from fourth on the grid to 16th after the incident. Tracy, meanwhile, was able to tip-toe through the accident which took four cars from the race. Incredibly, he moved from 17th on the grid to sixth after the first lap.
Tracy and Franchitti then settled in and began to move forward through the field. Tracy had climbed to as high as second on the 34th lap before making his first stop for fuel and tires. He returned in sixth position, but retired on lap 41 with a broken gearbox. Franchitti was running 11th before the first round of pit stops, but by his second stop on lap 67 he was in third. He lost the position to Michael Andretti in the pit lane, but took it back by passing Andretti in Turn 3 on lap 81. Unfortunately, Franchitti started to experience gearbox problems with eight laps remaining and pulled off course with 94 laps completed.
Moreno collected 22 points, the maximum possible – one for winning the pole, another for most laps led and 20 for the victory. Moreno has a total of 90 points, extending his championship lead to 22 points. Michael Andretti, who has 68 points, moved from fourth to second overall by finishing fourth in the race. Gil de Ferran failed to finish, but is third overall with 67. Brack is fourth overall with 63, followed by Tracy with 59.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 17th / Finished 19th ; Currently 5th in the standings with 59 points)
“The start was a big mess. As cars started bouncing off each other, I worked my way through the accident. Then I got a good run off the corner and I was able to pick up 11 positions. I was really happy after that. We were getting great fuel mileage and I started thinking about finishing first or second. Unfortunately, the gearbox went away and I parked the KOOL car.”
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 8th / Finished 13th ; Currently 13th in the standings with 44 points)
“Certainly the start didn’t help didn’t help us. We got run into from behind. Unfortunately, that can often happen at this race track. After that, I think we had a great race strategy going. We were on a two-stop strategy, which some teams did and some teams didn’t. The car was very good. We only made one adjustment and that was on the first stop. We were looking at a podium finish up until we had the gearbox problem. This is a really tough track with a lot of bumps that really jar the car around. Team KOOL Green doesn’t usually have to worry about reliability and you make your own luck. We’re going to have to look at the gearbox and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”