CLEVELAND, Ohio - Dario Franchitti earned his seventh career CART Champ Car victory, and first win of the year for Team KOOL Green, with a hard-charging come-from-behind run in today's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. The win is worth $20,000 to...
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Dario Franchitti earned his seventh career CART Champ Car victory, and first win of the year for Team KOOL Green, with a hard-charging come-from-behind run in today's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland.
The win is worth $20,000 to the 100 Black Men of America, including a $10,000 bonus for a race win, as part of the partnership between the "100" organization and Team KOOL Green that is based on the team's race results. The donated funds benefit the organization's urban technology program. Franchitti and teammate Paul Tracy completed a total of 107 laps at $83 per lap, for a total of $8,881.00. However, TKG donates a minimum of $10,000 per race, with a $10,000 bonus for race win.
Franchitti started 14th, but fell to last on track after going off-course on the first lap to avoid a multi-car accident in Turn One, and then pitting for a splash of fuel. He worked his way to 12th place and then emerged from the first round of scheduled pit stops in fifth. Following the second round of stops, excellent pit work by the Team KOOL Green crew advanced Franchitti two more positions to third. He took the lead on lap 91 when leader Memo Gidley had to make a third pit stop for fuel. Franchitti finished the race just .305 seconds ahead of Gidley, with Bryan Herta taking third place.
The win, his first since Australia in 1999, further adds to Franchitti's and Team KOOL Green's history of success on temporary street courses. Franchitti has earned six of his seven victories on street circuits and TKG has a total of eight wins. He now stands third in the championship standings with 65 points.
Teammate Tracy had a much shorter day, when engine failure ended his run after just seven laps.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 26th / Finished 24th / Currently 11th in the standings with 40 points)
"I'm devastated. Everybody's disappointed. It was just a good weekend gone bad. I was just driving along and the engine failed. The car was great all weekend, it was great in warm-up, and Team KOOL Green did their usual excellent job. We've got speed, we've got good cars, we just don't have any luck."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 14th / Finished 1st / Currently 3rd in the standings with 65 points)
"It's a great victory for Team KOOL Green and it feels really good to be back. I thought going in we had a reasonable chance, starting 14th. Then in the first corner I was trying to avoid the accidents and went off, and after we pitted we were all the way to the back. But the crew did a great job in the pits today and I just drove as quick as I could. At the end, Kyle (Moyer, Team Manager) was telling me, 'Memo's catching you and Brian's coming up behind you, but you've got to save fuel' and I thought, how am I going to do that? The pressure was on. We were last at one point but we were first when it counts. We were racing again today to raise money for 100 Black Men of America and the $10,000 bonus for first makes it even better."
BARRY GREEN, TEAM OWNER:
"What a brilliant drive for Dario today. From last to first was an amazing feat. Just getting through all that traffic took a lot. That was a workout, that one. At the end we asked him to do what he had to do - save fuel and stay out front - and he got it done. It's great for everyone on Team KOOL Green to be back in victory lane."
WHAT IS 100 BLACK MEN OF AMERICA? 100 Black Men of America is a group of concerned African Americans whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the African American community. The money donated by TKG will be used to increase access to computers, technology and training in urban communities. For further information visit the TKG web site at www.koolracing.com.