CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Team Kool Green Saturday recap

Tracy starting 8th & Franchitti 16th in Long Beach. LONG BEACH, Calif. - Team KOOL Green teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti are lining-up 8th and 16th for Sunday's Long Beach Grand Prix. After both drivers struggled in Saturday morning...

Tracy starting 8th & Franchitti 16th in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Team KOOL Green teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti are lining-up 8th and 16th for Sunday's Long Beach Grand Prix.

After both drivers struggled in Saturday morning practice, Tracy and his TKG crew decided to try a different suspension setup for qualifying, while Franchitti stayed with his existing setup. The result was Tracy setting a fast lap of 103.452 mph (1:08.484 seconds) around the 10-turn, 1.968-mile street course, while Franchitti's handling problems continued and his best lap was an average speed of 102.805 mph (1:08.915 seconds).

Jimmy Vasser earned the pole for tomorrow's race with a fast lap of 104.585 mph (1:07.742 seconds).

All drivers in the CART FedEx Championship Series have one more opportunity to improve their cars with a 30-minute warm-up session scheduled tomorrow morning from 8:45 - 9:15 a.m.

The 90-lap race takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and is live on FOX.

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

"We made some big changes to the car before qualifying and it was better, much better. There is still a bit more in the car, but I made a mistake on my last lap. I was trying to get a little more time out of the car than maybe I should have. But I'm happy. Team KOOL Green has done a really good job making improvements throughout the weekend. We didn't start out too good in practice Friday morning, then we had a good qualifying session. We struggled a little in practice this morning, then we made a big improvement in qualifying. We're on the fourth row and it's a long race, so we'll be all right. It's hotter than it was at the first race of the season, so fatigue will be an issue. My fitness is good, so we'll just go flat out the whole race. I'm ready for the battle."

Saturday Practice
Speed: 102.222 mph
Time: 1:09.308 seconds
Position: 16th

Final Qualifying
Speed: 103.452 mph
Time: 1:08.484
Position: 8th

STEVE CHALLIS, RACE ENGINEER: "We were able to get the car working better for qualifying. I think everyone is having an understeer problem at this particular track and I guess we solved it better than some people and so we are better than we were, but it's still going to be a challenge, for sure. I think we learned a lot today and hopefully that will help for the race."

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

"I can't really get the car to do anything I want it to. Whenever I try to push it I get unbalanced. If I try and slow down on entry (to a corner) to get a better exit then the car gets unbalanced. We're missing something. We can run around at a certain speed but if we try any harder there is nothing there. It's been a pretty bad weekend. All three of us have been off the pace (TKG teammate Paul Tracy and technical partner Team Motorola's Michael Andretti). Paul got a good lap in, but in general both Team KOOL Green cars are off the pace and we are missing something. The radio broke during qualifying. I didn't realize I'd gone over my allotted laps and lost my fastest time. The radio breaking kind of sums up the whole weekend."

Saturday Practice
Speed: 102.095 mph
Time: 1:09.394 seconds
Position: 19th

Final Qualifying
Speed: 102.805 mph
Time: 1:08.915 seconds
Position: 16th

KYLE MOYER, TKG TEAM MANAGER: "We've got a good car but when we push it extra hard - like in qualifying - we fall apart. Dario does the same speed if he goes around normally or pushes hard. We just don't have a very good car right now. Paul (Tracy, teammate) went with a little different suspension setup and maybe that's what we need to look at because he went faster than us."

-TKG-

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