FRANCHITTI AND TRACY EARN TOP-10 FINISHES MONTEREY, Calif., (Sept. 13, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy finished fourth and eighth respectively at Laguna Seca Raceway behind race winner Bryan Herta, who earned his...
FRANCHITTI AND TRACY EARN TOP-10 FINISHES
MONTEREY, Calif., (Sept. 13, 1998) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy finished fourth and eighth respectively at Laguna Seca Raceway behind race winner Bryan Herta, who earned his first Champ Car victory in 71 starts at the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey.
Franchitti started second on the front row alongside Herta, who led 81 laps of 83 in the race from the pole. The only other driver to lead the race was Franchitti, when he was able to stay out two more laps before his second pit stop on lap 53. The stop moved him from fourth into third chasing Herta and Alex Zanardi. Franchitti, however, had Tony Kanaan in his mirrors and was passed for third on lap 65. With only four of the final 16 laps run under green, Franchitti could not regain the spot.
Tracy put in a strong performance, climbing from 18th on the grid to finish eighth. After just two laps of green-flag racing Tracy was 13th, gaining four positions on the tight 2.238-mile road course. In the first round of pit stops on lap 22, Tracy made up another two positions thanks to the work of his crew. Having to conserve fuel, Tracy moved up to finish eighth as other drivers stopped or dropped out of the race.
Herta's margin of victory over Zanardi was 0.343 seconds, with the rookie Kanaan earning his first podium performance in third.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (Started 2nd / Finished 4th ; Currently 4th in the PPG Cup standings with 122 points)
"We just didn't have the car today to challenge for the win. I made one mistake, locking up the rears at the hairpin and Tony Kanaan got past. The only thing that saved us was the great pit work by the Team KOOL Green guys, which made up a couple of spots. Fourth isn't that bad; it helps us in the championship. But, overall a very frustrating day."
BARRY GREEN, TEAM KOOL GREEN OWNER:
"We got stuck in a fuel-saving mode there in the middle of the race and neither driver could attack. But everybody was in the same position. Then with all the yellows at the end, it didn't leave enough laps to mount a charge. But 18th to eighth for Paul is a great run. And Dario did the best he could with the car he had. We picked up valuable points for both drivers and we will be looking for more in Houston."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (Started 18th / Finished 8th ; Currently 13th in the PPG Cup standings with 61 points)
"I don't think we could have done any better than eighth. Maybe we could have got by Fernandez if we'd had some time to work on him. We had the car a little too low and we were slow on some parts of the track. But to come from 18th on the grid to eighth is pretty good considering how hard it is to pass Laguna. We've now scored points in five races in a row."
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - RACE
Didier Andre of France won from the pole, leading all 34 laps to earn his first career Indy Lights victory. He crossed the finish line 2.719 seconds in front of Spaniard Oriol Servia and Derek Higgins of Ireland. Team KOOL Green's Naoki Hattori enjoyed a strong performance, jumping from 13th on the grid to finish behind Geoff Boss in fifth place.
NAOKI HATTORI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN LOLA: (Started 13th / Finished 5th ; Currently 9th in the overall championship with 66 points)
"The car was much better than yesterday. The track conditions had changed and I picked up a little bit of oversteer, but I think everybody did. My car was very good through Turns 9 and 10, which allowed me to get a good jump off the last turn and catch some cars at the end of the straight. The last five laps were very difficult because my brakes were not working. I was pumping them, but it wasn't doing any good. The pedal just went to the floor. I'm very happy to have finished fifth."
BARRY GREEN, TEAM KOOL GREEN Owner:
"I think this is the best race Naoki has driven all year. We didn't qualify well, but he made up for it driving the race. He made some great passes and hung in there with a brake problem at the end. To finish fifth after starting 13th is a heck of a drive, especially on a track like this where it is so difficult to pass."
Barber Dodge Pro Series - RACE
Todd Snyder won today's race, finishing ahead of Jeff Simmons. Team KOOL Green's Alex Gurney started 11th on the grid, finishing 12th.
ALEX GURNEY, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN DODGE: (Started 11th / Finished 12th)
"That was a frustrating race. The guys on the front row took off a little early, which is to be expected. Then I started dropping back because I was slow down the straights from having to run more rear wing than everyone else to compensate for an oversteering car. Thomas Schie made a move on me in the corkscrew, which was definitely over optimistic. He hit the back of me; I kept going, but I lost some more positions. The car felt a little strange."