Lexington, OH., (August 7, 2000) - Team KOOL Green returns to action at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Aug. 11-13, afetr a rare summer weekend off. Champ Car pilots Paul Tracy & Dario Franchitti are joined by Indy Lights teammates Jeff Simmons and Jonny Kane at this demanding 2.258-mile road course.
PAUL TRACY, #26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
(Started 3rd/ Finished 2nd at Mid-Ohio in 1999; Currently 5th in the standings with 80 points)
"Racing at Mid-Ohio is a pretty cool experience. The race-track setting and the atmosphere surrounding it, with fans coming from miles around to camp and take in the action all weekend, is a throwback to another era. I've almost always performed well there, although I really need to get that first win at Mid-Ohio, after four second-place finishes. Hopefully, this is the year.
"We're looking to come back strong after the misfortune in Chicago. With the next four races on road and street circuits, a real crucial part of the season is coming up for Team KOOL Green and I think we're ready for that challenge. From race to race, it's been a really unpredictable season so far. It looks like no one is going to run away with the championship. The key is to hang tough and keep battling because despite the recent adversity, we're still only a race win or a podium from being right there in the standings."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone: Q(Started 1st / Finished 3rd at Mid-Ohio in 1999; Currently 11th in the standings with 58 points)
"I don't think there are too many road courses around that are as physically demanding as Mid-Ohio. With 14 turns, very few straights and quite a few bumpy areas to contend with, you have to be at the top of your game. The Team KOOL Green crew has excelled in the past in finding good set-ups and preparing the car for this extremely tough race. We had everything going for us last year -- winning the pole and then leading the most race laps, but we fell a little short of getting the checkered flag. So, we're aiming to take care of some unfinished business at Mid-Ohio.
"The goal right now is to continue to give everything we've got, put a string of consistently strong races together and try to work our way back up the standings. The way things have been going in the series this year, a lot can change over the course of the next three or four races."
ROUND #7 -- DAYTON INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP
JEFF SIMMONS, #26 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (Currently 8th in the standings with 42 points; Two-time Barber Dodge champion)
The TKG crew and I are really starting to gel and Mid-Ohio is a track I'm fairly familiar with from my Barber Dodge days, so I'm really looking forward to the race weekend. Plus, both Jonny and I have been very fast on the road courses, usually in the top-five for every session. I think it will be a very good weekend for Team KOOL Green. (Note: Simmons has two starts at Mid-Ohio in the Barber Dodge Pro Series -- 1998: DNF/stuck throttle; 1999: finished second)
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(Currently 10th in the standings with 32 points; Rookie of the Year in 1999)
"We've dug ourselves a pretty deep hole in the championship, but hopefully it's nothing another win or two won't fix. Team KOOL Green have proven we're fast on the street and road courses, and with the next three races on those types of circuits, we should be able to make up some ground." (Note: Indy Lights did not race at Mid-Ohio last season, Kane's rookie year in the series.)