CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Team Kool Green race report

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Team KOOL Green teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti finished seventh and ninth in today's Long Beach Grand Prix adding valuable points to their 2002 FedEx Championship total. Thanks to excellent pit work by their TKG...

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Team KOOL Green teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti finished seventh and ninth in today's Long Beach Grand Prix adding valuable points to their 2002 FedEx Championship total.

Thanks to excellent pit work by their TKG crews, both drivers completed three pit stops under 12 seconds and thus earned $14,000 - the maximum amount - for the 100 Black Men of America's urban technology program. The program is designed to increase access to computers, technology and training in urban communities, providing important tools for young adults to achieve their career goals.

Tracy started today's race in eighth and immediately moved into the top five where he stayed until he started having handling problems around lap 40, dropping him back a couple of positions. Just eight laps prior, on his second pit stop, Tracy noticed his clutch beginning to go. So on his third and final pit stop, he had to enter his pit box with the car out of gear and the TKG crew had to push him away after completing the stop. Nonetheless, Tracy hung on to finish seventh, claiming six valuable points, and remaining eighth in the standings after two of 20 races.

Franchitti, who battled handling problems all weekend, started back in the 16th spot and fought his way up to ninth at the end of the 90-lap race, collecting four points for the effort. Combined with his second-place finish in the season-opener in Monterey, Mexico, Franchitti is fourth in the point standings.

Michael Andretti, who drives for TKG technical partner Team Motorola, won today's race by just .466 of a second over Jimmy Vasser.

The next stop for the CART FedEx Championship Series is Motegi, Japan on April 27.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/BRIDGESTONE:

"We were running fourth in the first stint, then we started having handling problems - we picked up a lot of understeer. Then on the second stop we lost the clutch so the Team KOOL Green crew had to push me out of the pits on my next stop. We lost three or four spots because of that. Traction-control has kind of evened things out so it was tough to make up positions. The day wasn't a total loss, though. We take six points home for the effort and we will go to Motegi and try to get Honda it's second win of the season."

Morning Warm-up
Position: 17th
Speed: 100.427 mph
Time: 1:10.547 seconds

Race
Started: 8th
Finished: 7th
Points Standing: 8th with 11 points

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/BRIDGESTONE:

"In race mode, my KOOL car wasn't too bad. I think we were as quick as any one out there. The biggest problem was track position today. We went one way with the strategy and Michael (Andretti, technical partner) went another, and you can see contrasting results. That's just one of those things that happens. At least we're not leaving here empty handed. We earned four points for finishing ninth."

Morning Warm-up
Position: 13th
Speed: 101.244 mph
Time: 1:09.991 seconds

Race
Started: 16th
Finished: 9th
Points Standing: 4th with 20 points

KYLE MOYER, TKG TEAM MANAGER:

"We took a gamble at the start and needed a yellow flag around lap 10 and it didn't happen. Once we committed to that strategy and didn't get the yellow, we kind of knew where we'd end up on the day barring any unusual circumstances. I thought we might have finished higher but we lost a couple of spots there towards the end."

-tkg-

Click on the following link to read the full article or to obtain additional material: http://www.koolracing.com/members/champ/articles/?article_id=2497

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy