CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green aims for firsts at Fontana

FONTANA, Calif. (October 25, 2000) - Team KOOL Green heads to the CART FedEx season finale at California Speedway in Fontana looking for a few firsts: a first CART championship for Paul Tracy; the team's first win on an oval in 2000; Dario ...

FONTANA, Calif. (October 25, 2000) - Team KOOL Green heads to the CART FedEx season finale at California Speedway in Fontana looking for a few firsts: a first CART championship for Paul Tracy; the team's first win on an oval in 2000; Dario Franchitti's first win of the season and first oval track victory of his career.

Tracy is one of five drivers in position to capture the title, and will need a near-perfect weekend (win, pole, most laps led) to do it as he sits 19 points behind the leader, Gil de Ferran. Championship contenders aside, Tracy will have plenty of competition for the win. With $1 million on the line for the victor, Franchitti and the rest of the field will be charging hard to be first across the finish line.

PAUL TRACY, #26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard:
(Started 19th / Finished 18th at Fontana in 1999; Currently 3rd in the standings with 134 points)

"We really have our work cut out for us, but it's great to go into the final race of the season still in contention to win the championship. You can't be concerned about what the guys ahead of you in the standings are doing. It wouldn't serve any purpose, anyway, because my championship hopes rest on winning the race. Fontana is tough on both cars and drivers, and it really comes down to survival of the fittest. If anyone has a good chance to be there at the end, it's Team KOOL Green."

"The team gave me an outstanding car when we raced on the superspeedway in Michigan earlier in the season. We were able to set a record for the fastest qualifying lap in winning the pole there. Hopefully, we can do the same thing at Fontana. Winning the pole isn't usually important for a 500-mile race but I need every point I can get, and it's a great momentum-builder going into the long race."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard:
(Started 8th / Finished 10th at Fontana in 1999; Currently 12th in the standings with 92 points)

"This is the second year in a row that Team KOOL Green is going to Fontana with a chance to win the championship, and I think that's a credit to the entire organization. We came up just short in the final race last year, but maybe this time Paul can bring home the driver's title. It's a million-dollar race, so the competition is going to be fierce not only for the championship, but for the win as well."

"From a personal standpoint, this season has been a big contrast to last year, when we were in the hunt right to the end. It's been frustrating but it's also been a character-builder. I have no doubt that I'm going to come back strong next season, and doing well at Fontana will be a good way to set the tone for that comeback."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti