PAUL TRACY, ...
PAUL TRACY, #26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
(Started 6th / Finished 5th at Portland in 1999; Currently 1st in the standings with 59 points)
“More often than not, the Portland race comes down to a fight to the finish, and we’re aiming to be in that battle. It’s going to feel good being on our first permanent road course of the season. But Portland is the type of track where you can’t get too carried away. You have to be patient and pick your spots.
“We were fortunate to come out of Detroit with our lead in the drivers’ standings intact, but everyone is bunched up real close so we’re going to have to come back strong at Portland if we want to solidify that lead. Team KOOL Green certainly has the car to be right up there.
DARIO FRANCHITTI , #27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
(Started 12th / Finished 3rd at Portland in 1999 ; Currently 8th in the standings with 40 points)
“We’ve made great strides with the KOOL car in the last couple of races, but we’ve still got our work cut out for us if we’re going to be serious contenders for the championship. Finishing fourth in Detroit last weekend, despite some problems that at one point jeopardized our chances of completing the race, was a huge plus. Not only did it allow us to move up the drivers’ standings but it gave us some momentum heading into this stretch of the schedule on road courses, where we’ve been quite successful in the past.
Getting on the podium in Portland last year with a third-place finish was a big morale booster because in both of our previous races there we ran into some problems and weren’t able to finish. Finding the proper balance of speed for the faster parts of the course and handling for the tighter sections is extremely important. It’s not easy to strike a balance in set-ups on this track, but I know that Team KOOL Green will be up to the task.”