CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kook Green has good qualifying effort at Nazareth

NAZARETH, Pa., (April 8, 2000) -- For a second consecutive year, Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy will start from the fourth spot on the grid at tomorrow's 225-lap Bosch Grand Prix. His teammate Dario Franchitti will line-up 14th, with the green flag...

NAZARETH, Pa., (April 8, 2000) -- For a second consecutive year, Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy will start from the fourth spot on the grid at tomorrow's 225-lap Bosch Grand Prix. His teammate Dario Franchitti will line-up 14th, with the green flag on ABC-TV at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Whether the weather will co-operate is another story all together, as colder temperatures and rain are forecast.

Juan Montoya, the pole winner, will lead the 22-car field to the grid tomorrow as long the rain stays away. Montoya earned his eighth career pole position today with a lap of 19.255 seconds, averaging 176.868 mph around the 0.946-mile oval at Nazareth Speedway. He edged out Christian Fittipaldi by 0.051 seconds, who will share the front row with Montoya after a lap of 19.306 seconds (176.401 mph). Helio Casto-Neves qualified third with a time of 19.369 seconds (175.918 mph).

Tracy will be on the outside of Casto-Neves after posting a time of 19.362 seconds (175.891 mph). This marks the sixth time that Tracy will start from the second row or better at Nazareth and on each occasion he finished in the top-five, including wins in '94 & '97 and a pair of thirds in '93 and '99. Franchitti, meanwhile, struggled with the handling of his car and clocked a lap of 19.695 seconds (172.917 mph). His best finish in three starts at Nazareth is eighth last season.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (4th with a lap-time of 19.362seconds / 175.891 mph)

"I'm happy with our starting position because we had the car on a real fine edge balance-wise. We made a couple of changes after a little wiggle in practice this morning. And, I think the car was too nervous in qualifying with the wind coming up in the afternoon. We did the best we could and we're fourth. We're a lot better off than we were last race when we were 17th. Passing is always difficult here. But if we can get a good start and hold our ground through the first stop I know we can make up some positions in the pits. (Paul's crew won the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge in '99 and are the fastest crew so far this season.)

"Hopefully, we can get the race in tomorrow. I don't mind if it's cold here. After all, we're the KOOL team and I've run many laps here under cool conditions."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (14th with a lap-time of 19.695 seconds / 172.917 mph)

"I didn't feel the wind too badly, except coming off of Turn 3. I don't think the wind is causing our biggest problem at the moment. We're just struggling a little bit right now. We thought that we had a good handle on the setup of the KOOL car yesterday and the car didn't feel quite as good this morning. Also, I don't think I pushed hard enough in Turn 2, but I was on the absolute limit. We're not happy with how the car is working.

"We've learned one or two things from the setup of Paul's car, but Paul likes a more loose car than I do. He's done a great job to be up at the front. We'll have to fight our way through traffic to move up, but even at the front you're dealing with traffic all day long on this short oval."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti