CHAMPCAR/CART: Team KOOL Green Gateway Preview



PAUL TRACY, #26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone: (Started 15th / Finished 26th at Gateway in 1998 ; 12th in the PPG Cup standings with 16 points)

"I'm anxious to get racing at Gateway. I like the track, we had a really good test there last month and it seems every time we go to a race or a test nowadays, we make the Team KOOL Green car better. It's all about cornering speed at Gateway. The straightaways are long and we have the smaller wings, so the car accelerates pretty freely. But it's all about getting the car slowed down for the corner and getting back on the throttle as soon as you can.

"I think I've been driving well and the team's been working well together. I've had a really good car at all the races, but we haven't netted much for it other than at Nazareth. I felt we've had a top-five car at every race, but we haven't achieved that. We know we're doing a good job. We just need to keep our heads down and keep working at it."

On the new CART-mandated wheel tethers: "I think it's a good idea and I'm surprised we didn't have them already. CART is very safety conscious and is always looking for ways to improve the safety of everyone involved."

DARIO FRANCHITTI , #27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone: (Started 5th / Finished 27th at Gateway in 1998 ; 2nd in the PPG Cup standings with 51 points)

"The Gateway oval is peculiar in that you've got two totally different corners, which means you've really got to compromise on the setup to make the car as comfortable as you can in both. Turns 1 & 2 are fairly slow - we'll downshift for them, while Turns 3 & 4 are reasonably fast and you just try to scrub off as little speed as possible. I'm optimistic we'll be on the pace. We've got a good setup for the track, Firestone is giving us great tires and the Honda engine is as strong as ever. Things are going well at Team KOOL Green at the moment. Not as well as I'd like. I mean, we've been on the podium three times and we're second in the points. But, obviously, we'd have liked to have won a race by now. The good news is we're ahead of where we were last year at this time. Montoya's the man to beat at the moment, but we're looking to change that.

On the wheel tethers: "I've seen the wheel tethers applied to a Formula One car and I definitely think it is a good idea. Obviously, CART takes safety very seriously. It's a good move in the right direction. Whatever we can do to make it safer for the fans, drivers and teams is a good thing."

KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship

ALEX GURNEY, #27 Team KOOL Green Toyota/Swift:

"I think that the oval at Gateway compares a lot better with the one in Phoenix than the Nazareth oval. I'm a little bit more excited about this race in terms of getting a good result because I tested really well with the Team KOOL Green car in Phoenix. We did pretty favorable there compared to the PPI Team, so I think that I'm feeling a lot more confident about this race. All in all, it's going to be a fun weekend for me. I'm looking forward to our practice exhibition under the lights. Gateway, I believe, is the fastest oval we will visit. So racing at night, even in a practice session, should be exciting stuff for the fans."

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Series Atlantic , IndyCar