CHICAGO, IL., (July 30, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti made contact on the 76th lap of today's Target Grand Prix at Chicago Motor Speedway. The teammates touched between Turns 1 & 2, sending both cars into the wall...
CHICAGO, IL., (July 30, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti made contact on the 76th lap of today's Target Grand Prix at Chicago Motor Speedway. The teammates touched between Turns 1 & 2, sending both cars into the wall on the one-mile oval track. Both cars sustained enough damage to end each driver's race.
Cristiano da Matta won the 225-lap race, earning his first career Champ Car victory by a margin of 1.69 seconds over runner-up Michael Andretti with Gil de Ferran third. Da Matta is the ninth different winner this season and the fourth driver to earn his first career victory this season.
Andretti now enjoys a 22-point advantage, leading his nearest challenger Roberto Moreno 120 to 98. De Ferran stands third overall with 84 points, while da Matta jumps from ninth to fourth overall with 82 points. Tracy falls from third to fifth with 80 points and Franchitti remains in 11th with 58.
"Obviously I'm very disappointed for Team KOOL Green. We were in the race with both cars. Paul had just lost a few spots for whatever reason. He got a bit anxious when he saw a hole to get one of those spots back. He got alongside Dario and I don't think that Dario saw Paul. It's tough to pass here and Paul was trying to make up for some spots he just lost. It's not a good day. I keep reminding my guys that there are two green and white cars out there and they need to take some consideration that they're teammates. It's tough though because I've asked them both to race hard. The championship is still fairly wide open and they both can do well if they have some success. They're trying. In this series today, it's tough."
Dario had got around me and I was trying to get the position back. I made a move on him, but he was busy trying to work on da Matta and he didn't see me coming. I was down on the edge of the apron and we just barely touched each other. It's disappointing for both KOOL cars out of the race, but we'll move on from here. It was just a racing incident. It's so hard to pass with these wings now. You've got to make such a big commitment to get by going into the corner. If the guys doesn't see you, there's no way you can stop on the entry (to the turn) and give enough room.
"It's frustrating because Dario and I have got together a couple of times. But it hasn't upset the team or our program. It cost us some points today, but there's a lot more races down the road. We'll just re-group and become a stronger team."
Paul and I discussed it and it was just one of those things -- it was a racing incident. Paul and I will look at it on tape later and talk about it a bit more. It's a shame because we had a really good race car. I'm pretty upset for everybody on Team KOOL Green. I didn't see Paul coming down the inside. I don't know how far down the inside he was at the time. It's just really unfortunate that both KOOL cars were put out of the race that early."