CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green in top ten at Houston qualifying

Houston (September 29, 2000) -- Dario Franchitti today continued Team KOOL Green's domination of the Houston street circuit, capturing the provisional pole position for Sunday's Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston. Franchitti's best lap around...

Houston (September 29, 2000) -- Dario Franchitti today continued Team KOOL Green's domination of the Houston street circuit, capturing the provisional pole position for Sunday's Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston. Franchitti's best lap around the 1.527-mile downtown street course was 59.394 seconds, an average speed of 92.933 mph.

TKG teammate Paul Tracy struggled with a brake problem on his KOOL car and wound up ninth in today's first round of qualifying. His fastest lap around the 10-turn temporary circuit was 1 minute, .163 seconds, an average speed of 91.372 mph.

Jimmy Vasser was second at 59.631 seconds (92.187 mph), with Christian Fittipaldi rounding out the top three at 59.634 seconds (92.182 mph).

The CART FedEx drivers have one final practice session Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. -- 11:15 a.m. Qualifying is scheduled from 1:45 p.m. -- 3:00 p.m., with Franchitti aiming to capture his third pole position of the season. Sunday's race begins at 3:00 p.m. and will be televised live on ABC. (All times are Central Daylight Time.)

PAUL TRACY , #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD: (9th with a lap time of 1:00.163 / 91.372 mph)

"We started the session with not much fuel in the KOOL car and I caught traffic immediately. I was trying to find a break in the traffic, but I couldn't put a lap together because I was running out of fuel. We were having some instability under braking that was causing me to lock up the tires. I went down the escape road and stalled the car. I saw a lot of guys off track, so I think others were having a similar problem. We had the problem a little bit in practice this morning, but I thought we'd be okay when we put new tires on the car for qualifying."

DARIO FRANCHITTI , #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
(1st with a lap time of 59.434 seconds / 92.493 mph)

"At first I thought I out-braked myself, but then I looked at the data from our telemetry and I braked at the same point I had all along. I flat-spotted the right front tire earlier in the lap and that probably had as much to do with it as anything. When I braked for the corner, that right-front tire locked and it was pulling me to the right and I wanted to go left (around the corner). That was it.”

“It’s good to be on top today. The KOOL car is getting better after we made some changes to it during the session that seemed to help. But I’m kind of upset. We ended the session by getting a penalty for tomorrow that could prove crucial. (Eight-minute penalty for causing a red flag. Must be served in Saturday’s final qualifying session). So I’m happy on one side and upset on the other.”

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti