PAUL TRACY SCORES PODIUM FINISH AND DARIO FRANCHITTI FINISHES 8th Round 4 of 20 - Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix NAZARETH, Pa., (May 2, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy earned the 30th podium of his career, finishing third behind P.J. Jones...
PAUL TRACY SCORES PODIUM FINISH AND DARIO FRANCHITTI FINISHES 8th
Round 4 of 20 - Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix
NAZARETH, Pa., (May 2, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy earned the 30th podium of his career, finishing third behind P.J. Jones and race winner Juan Montoya in the 225-lap Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway. Both Team KOOL Green drivers scored points today, as Dario Franchitti started third and finished eighth.
Tracy started fourth, but moved past his teammate in Turn 2 to take over third place. He was running third when he spun on lap 11, causing him to flat-spot his tires and drop to 10th and eventually 14th. Tracy took full advantage of the third of five cautions in the race, when P.J. Jones spun while challenging Helio Castro-Neves and Juan Montoya for the lead on lap 145. Tracy was 14th when he sped onto pit lane under yellow, but he jumped nine spots to return to racing in fourth position. He moved up to finish third when Castro-Neves hit the wall on cold tires.
The same yellow that helped Tracy hurt Franchitti. He was running in fourth place when he entered the pits under green on lap 142, three laps before the yellow. By the end of the second round of pit stops and the third yellow, Franchitti had dropped to eighth place where he finished.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 4th / Finished 3rd ; Currently 10th in the PPG Cup Standings with 16 points) "I made a good start and slotted into third, then Juan (Montoya) and Helio (Castro-Neves) checked out a bit. Suddenly, my car turned into a John Deere rather than a KOOL Honda-Reynard and I started mowing down the front straightaway. I got on the gas a little early and the car came around on me. And after the spin, the car was really bad. The tires were flat-spotted, but the Firestones were great, allowing us to hang on, get the car turned around and have a good finish. Third place is great for Team KOOL Green. It's better than walking away from here with a mouth full of grass. I'm really happy for everyone at Team KOOL Green. My guys did a great job in the pits. It's a good starting point. Now we can go on to Rio with a little momentum."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 3rd / Finished 8th ; Currently 5th in the PPG Cup Standings with 35 points) "That yellow really killed us. We went from fourth to eighth. Team KOOL Green gave me a good car and great stops. Truth is, we had a third or fourth-place car. It's pretty difficult to be positive after that kind of a race. I thought I got held up by some guys who were a lap or two down. But that's probably not fair to say, because everybody was just hanging on out there. I'm really happy for Paul. It's his first podium with the team. It's about time his guys got a break. We had a good car today, but I can't say the same about our luck!"
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - RACE
Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane earned a single point in the championship standings with a 12th place result. Kane started from the final position on the grid after being forced to use his spare car following an incident in morning warm-up.
Airton Dare won today's 100-lap race, finishing 0.437 seconds ahead of Oriol Servia and Casey Mears. Dare passed the pole-winner Servia on lap 14, leading the rest of the way to the checkered flag.
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (Started 18th / Finished 12th ; Currently 12th in the standings with 7 points)
"It's unfortunate that I started at the very back after this morning's incident when someone tapped me and I went into the wall. I was forced to start in the spare Team KOOL Green car, which I haven't driven all this week. We were really up against it from the word GO. We did get a point out of it in the end, which may make all the difference in the championship at the end of the season. The boys did a great job to get the car ready and we finished in a points position."