ELKHART LAKE, WI (August 20, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy earned his 17th career victory with a brilliant drive in today's Motorola 220 at Road America. Tracy qualified seventh but found himself in 23rd place after the first lap when ...
ELKHART LAKE, WI (August 20, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy earned his 17th career victory with a brilliant drive in today's Motorola 220 at Road America.
Tracy qualified seventh but found himself in 23rd place after the first lap when his engine died just before taking the green flag. After resolving the problem by flicking a few switches in his cockpit, Tracy began making up nearly a position a lap and by the time he made his first pit stop on lap 15 he had worked his way up to 11th place.
By his second stop on lap 31, Tracy was up to sixth place. He moved into second place behind Alex Tagliani on lap 36, then assumed the lead for the first time on Lap 38 when Tagliani stopped on course with gearbox failure. Tracy relinquished the lead eight laps later when he made his third and final stop on lap 45.
He rejoined in fourth place, but after stops by Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack, Tracy found himself in second place behind Roberto Moreno, who had yet to stop. Tracy regained the lead on lap 51 and led the final five laps to take his second victory at Road America (first in 1993) and second win of the season (Long Beach). The win, by 7.45 seconds over Fernandez, moved Tracy into sixth place in the championship standings. Kenny Brack came home third.
TKG teammate Dario Franchitti started on the pole after setting a track record in qualifying, but had a less successful race.
After running a comfortable second to Tagliani for the first 20 laps of the race, Franchitti began encountering gearbox problems on lap 21. He eventually retired on lap 44 due to gearbox failure.
Franchitti collected two points this weekend: one for winning the pole and a second for being classified 12th in the race. He stands 13th in the championship after 14 of 20 races.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 7th / Finished 1st / 6th in championship with 100 points )
"As I was coming up the hill on the start, the car just died. I radioed the team and they told me to flick a few switches and that did the trick. At that point, I was about a quarter of a lap behind the leaders and I just put my head down and drove. I got into the zone and I was just going faster and faster with every lap. I cant' say enough about the job everyone at Team KOOL Green did all weekend. We overcame adversity throughout the weekend. And today -- after the first lap -- everything was perfect. The crew gave me awesome stops and Barry Green and the engineers called a smart race. All wins are great but this one is especially sweet. Right after I took the checkered flag, Barry came on the radio and told me to turn down the fuel. I knew we were close, but we ran out of fuel in turn two and I coasted down to turn five."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 1st / DNF-Gearbox / Classified 12th / 13th in championship with 60 points)
"It's very disappointing. Tagliani made a great start and passed me. We were just holding a consistent gap and saving fuel. Everything was going fine up through the first pit stop. Then the gearbox started to go about two or three laps after the first stop. First third gear, then second went away. But I think that I got back up to seventh place even with the gearbox trouble (note: after dropping to 11th). I guess people were having bigger problems than I was. But unfortunately the gearbox was getting worse and worse. I started to lose fourth gear, then it went altogether. It's just disappointing because even with two gears missing, we were still able to keep the pace. I went down the escape road because I tried to get second gear and it wouldn't shift. I got nothing. It was very unfortunate because Team KOOL Green gave me such a great car."