NAZARETH, Pa., - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti turned the quickest lap in the first half of a split-run practice session today at Nazareth Speedway. Franchitti's time of 20.750 seconds (164.125 mph) on the 0.946-mile oval was the sixth ...
NAZARETH, Pa., - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti turned the quickest lap in the first half of a split-run practice session today at Nazareth Speedway. Franchitti's time of 20.750 seconds (164.125 mph) on the 0.946-mile oval was the sixth fastest when practice was over. Franchitti's teammate, Paul Tracy, concentrated on set-up of the race car on a full tank of gas. His time of 21.196 seconds (160.672 mph) was 24th fastest.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
"The first practice session went okay for Team KOOL Green. We ran on full tanks just to get a feel for the car, because we didn't really have a good test here earlier this year. It's really slippery out there and when you get behind another car, it's not very comfortable. It's going to make for a very tough race. The goal is going to be to keep it between the walls and try to survive the race -- that's how tricky the cars are to drive. I think if you can survive, you'll get a good finish."
NOTE: Paul Tracy was examined by the doctors at the CART Medical Unit this morning and was diagnosed with Strep Throat. Doctors have placed him on antibiotics and will monitor his condition throughout the weekend.
FAST FACTS ON TRACY:
. He will make his 116th career start this weekend (ninth start at Nazareth) . Won at Nazareth in 1994, starting from second on the grid. (led 192 laps) . Four podium appearances in eight career starts at Nazareth . Started from the pole position in 1996 and 1997 . Won in 1997, leading 186 laps. . Only driver to break 190 mph-barrier in 1996 and 1997 on a one-mile oval . 13 career wins and 12 pole positions
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE:
"It's incredibly slippery out there. Obviously, having no downforce (with the new speedway wings), there's no grip. Which is not a big deal, you can drive around that, you've just got to feel what the car is doing. But there are a few points on the track where you've got grip and then suddenly you've got no grip. So it makes it pretty interesting and you've got to get used to that. It's probably 20 degrees warmer today than it was when we tested. Which means we're getting heat in the tires faster. I'm happy with the tires Firestone has for us this weekend. I'll work with the Team KOOL Green engineers on the car and we'll try to develop it a little bit before tomorrow. The track is just going to get faster this weekend and other teams are going to develop their cars, so we've got to keep pushing and trying to make the car go faster and hopefully stay on top. For the race, it's going to come down to passing. It's okay when you're running on your own, but when you get 27 other cars out there, it's going to get pretty interesting."
FAST FACTS ON FRANCHITTI:
. He will make his 39th career start this weekend (third start at Nazareth) . Best finish at Nazareth came as a rookie in 1997 when he started 18th and finished 13th . On the podium twice in 1999 so far, finishing third at Homestead and second at Long Beach . Eight podium performances in his career . Three career wins and six pole positions