HOUSTON - Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti added to his successful record on the streets of Houston, earning a second-place finish in today's Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, his third top-two finish in four years at the...
HOUSTON - Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti added to his successful record on the streets of Houston, earning a second-place finish in today's Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, his third top-two finish in four years at the event.
Based on today's race results, Team KOOL Green is donating an additional $12,292.50 to the 100 Black Men of America, as part of a partnership with the "100" organization. Total donation to date, including funds raised at previous races in Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago, is $64,470.31 with one race remaining in the program this season, the CART FedEx season finale in Fontana, California on November 4. The donated funds benefit the organization's urban technology program, which increases access to computers, technology and training for young adults in urban communities.
Franchitti started sixth on the grid for today's 100-lap race. Despite being hit at the start, his #27 KOOL Honda/Reynard was among the fastest cars in the field and Franchitti moved into fourth place by lap 10. He continued to advance and moved up to second place, but dropped back to sixth after making his second and final pit stop. After the field had completed their final stops, Franchitti was in third place, behind leader Gil de Ferran and Alex Tagliani. Franchitti chased down Tagliani in the closing laps and reclaimed second after Tagliani crashed late in the race.
Teammate Paul Tracy retired from the race due to contact after completing 49 laps.
"When Shinji (Nakano) got into the back of Bryan (Herta), they both went sideways and stopped right in the middle of the track. When I came around the corner there was nowhere to go and I ran into Shinji and bent the suspension. After that I had a problem with the gearbox, but I don't know what happened to it. I was kind of disappointed because the KOOL car was working pretty good I felt like we could make up some spots. Just one of those things. We were going for the same strategy we won with in '99, with one pit stop, and it was looking good but to no avail."
"It was tough out there today, but Team KOOL Green gave me a fantastic car and great pit stops. I'm happy to leave Houston with 2nd-place points. My biggest incident of the day came at the first corner when Castroneves hit me. From then on I was just trying to stay out of trouble. And when I didn't have to conserve fuel, it was good fun out there. My lap times were getting quicker and quicker and I was able to put pressure on de Ferran.
"I feel sorry for Tagliani because he drove a great race (before crashing late in the race). He was driving on tires that were so far past their best and he was still doing terrific lap times. It didn't look like he went into that corner any different than any other lap. By the time I got past him, Gil was too far down the road and I wasn't going to catch him with the time left. Maybe if I'd have gotten past Tags earlier in the run, I could have caught him.
"I'm obviously very happy with my day, but there is a lot going on in the world right now and our thoughts are still with everybody who is involved."
WHAT IS 100 BLACK MEN OF AMERICA? A group of concerned African Americans whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the African-American community. Money donated by TKG will be used to increase access to computers, technology and training in urban communities. For information visit www.koolracing.com.