FRANCHITTI 13TH AND TRACY 14TH FOR TEAM KOOL GREEN IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFY PORTLAND, Ore., (June 18, 1999) - Heavy rain disrupted the first half of provisional qualifying today at Portland International Raceway, as Dario Franchitti was 13th and...

FRANCHITTI 13TH AND TRACY 14TH FOR TEAM KOOL GREEN IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFY

PORTLAND, Ore., (June 18, 1999) - Heavy rain disrupted the first half of provisional qualifying today at Portland International Raceway, as Dario Franchitti was 13th and Paul Tracy 14th for Team KOOL Green in preparation for Sunday's Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200. The 98-lap race will be broadcast live on ABC-TV at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Richie Hearn won the provisional pole on the 1.969-mile, 12-turn road course after posting a lap of 1:00.394 seconds at an average speed of 117.369 mph. Hearn was among the top-12 drivers, who took advantage of the dry track during the second half of qualifying. Patrick Carpentier was second fastest with a lap of 1:00.576 (117.017 mph), while Robby Gordon was third with a time of 1:11.138 (115.941 mph).

Franchitti and Tracy were among the first group of drivers, who were forced to qualify in the rain. Of those 13 drivers, however, Franchitti and Tracy were the quickest with their wet set-up. Franchitti's time was 1:11.211 (99.541 mph), while Tracy's was 1:11.289 (99.432 mph). Franchitti's quick lap came after serving an eight-minute penalty for causing a red flag when he slid off course into a tire barrier.

Tomorrow the 27-car field returns to the track for practice at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, while the final qualifying session is scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (13th with a lap-time of 1:11.289 / 99.432 mph) "The Team KOOL Green car was phenomenal in the wet. The Firestone tires worked so well, it kind of makes me wonder if our dry setup was too soft because the car handled so well. The lack of dry track time shouldn't hurt us too much going into tomorrow. We have an advantage because we tested so well here. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. If the car's good in the wet, it's good in the dry."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (14th with a lap-time of 1:11.211 / 99.541 mph) "At one point the rain was way too bad and I thought we shouldn't have been out there. They stopped the session for a while, but not before I went off on one of my out laps. The Team KOOL Green crew fixed the car right away, but we had to sit on pit lane and serve an eight-minute penalty for causing a red flag. We didn't get back out on track until four and a half minutes left in the session. Then it was really just a matter of hanging on, seeing where the puddles were and trying to go as fast as we could. It was pretty tricky, especially with the spray, you couldn't really see that much. We're ready for whatever tomorrow brings - wet or dry. Paul (Tracy, teammate) tested very well here a couple of months ago, so whatever happens we'll give it our best shot."

PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING

Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane was fourth in provisional qualifying at Portland International Raceway with a time of 1:06.708 seconds (106.260 mph). Kane was out-paced by PacWest teammates Didier Andre and Tony Renna, as well as Oriol Servia. Andre holds the provisional pole with a time of 1:06.551 (106.511 mph), followed closely by Servia with a lap of 1:06.637 (106.373 mph). Renna's quick lap was clocked as 1:06.693 (106.284 mph).

JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (4th with a lap-time of 1:06.708 / 106.260 mph) "It's my best qualifying position for Team KOOL Green so far this year. We're not that far off with the set-up of the car. We just need to get the rear of the car a little more under control. Tomorrow, there's another qualifying session and another chance to get the pole. I'll sit down with my engineer tonight for a little think about our set-up. Perhaps we'll come up with a few changes for tomorrow."

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Series General
Drivers Robby Gordon , Didier André , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Richie Hearn , Jonny Kane , Tony Renna