FRANCHITTI FINISHES ON THE PODIUM TO CLOSE ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 6 of 20 - Motorola 300 MADISON, Ill., (May 29, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti finished third at today's running of the...
FRANCHITTI FINISHES ON THE PODIUM TO CLOSE ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 6 of 20 - Motorola 300
MADISON, Ill., (May 29, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti finished third at today's running of the Motorola 300, marking his fourth appearance on the podium in six races this season. Over the final laps Franchitti was closing on the leaders, but he could not catch runner-up Helio Castro-Neves or race winner Michael Andretti.
Andretti held off a hard charge from Castro-Neves, crossing the finish line by a mere 0.329 seconds. Franchitti was on his own charge up the field, picking up three positions over the last 30 laps of the race. He finished only 1.407 seconds behind Andretti.
Franchitti's teammate, Paul Tracy, was having his best race of the season before an incident with Franchitti on lap 148 (of 236) put him out of the race. Tracy, who started second, was running second and Franchitti was third when the two came together entering the third turn. Tracy's car hit the wall and he was unable to continue. Franchitti's car went into a slide, but he was able to keep it off the wall.
With Franchitti earning 14 points for his third place finish, and championship leader Juan Montoya only scoring two points for his 11th place finish, Franchitti moves into second place, just four points behind Montoya (69 - 65). Tracy is 13th in the PPG Cup standings with 16 points.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 5th / Finished 3rd ; Currently 2nd overall in the PPG Cup standings with 65 points)
ON THE CONTACT WITH PAUL TRACY "I got a run on Paul out of Turn 2. He came down across the track to hold his line. I got alongside him and we turned into the corner which didn't allow much room. There's a big bump in Turn 3. The front of my car hit the bump and skipped up into his car. After that I was just hanging on. I didn't really want to go into the wall because I wanted to finish the race. I feel sorry for Paul because he was running well all day and it's about time that he got a break. These things happen and we'll sit down to talk about it and sort it out."
ON THE TEAM'S PERFORMANCE "You know, the guys on both sides of Team KOOL Green did a great job this weekend. Paul and I both had great cars and were running up front. I think if we if employed a different strategy that we could have won. But, we're going to take the points."
ON THE PODIUM FOR HOGAN RACING "I'm very happy for the guys at Hogan Racing. They've been waiting for a race like this since really when I was with the team here at Gateway two years ago when we almost won the race. They deserve a podium and so does Helio (Castro-Neves)."
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 2nd / DNF - Classified 19th ; Currently 13th overall in the PPG Cup standings with 16 points)
"Well, I'm not very happy right now. I'm not sure exactly what happened. I have to talk to Dario. Obviously, it's all the more disappointing considering how well the car was working and what a great job the Team KOOL Green guys did on the pit stops."
WHAT TEAM OWNER BARRY GREEN HAD TO SAY:
"It looked like it was just one of those racing incidents. The two of them got together and just touched. It wasn't a big hit. I think Paul probably thought Dario had backed off, and Dario was sort of trying to get out of there but he was too committed (to the corner). It's too bad. They were both running very well. It would have been a great finish."
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship - RACE
Team KOOL Green's Alex Gurney, who was running in just his second oval race ever, finished 11th in today's 50-lap race. Anthony Lazarro won the race from the pole, leading every lap to finish ahead of David Rutledge and Alex Tagliani.
ALEX GURNEY, #27 Team KOOL Green Toyota/Swift: (Started 9th / Finished 11th)
"I had a good start. But the main thing that hurt me in the race was that we ran too much downforce. We thought it might be the way to go with the way the track conditions were. It definitely wasn't because I was just getting killed on the straights. It's hard to make up ground when you're all alone and the others guys will just suck up behind you (draft). I had a horrible restart (after the yellow). I got pushed wide going into turn one and lost a bunch of positions. I guess a finish is better than not finishing. I was starting to come back, but I was hampered by too much downforce. Lesson learned I guess.
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