CHAMPCAR/CART: Chicago: Team Kool Green Saturday qualifying report

Franchitti takes the pole in Chicago. CHICAGO - Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti earned his 11th career pole, and his first of the season, by snaring the top spot on the grid for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Chicago during...

Franchitti takes the pole in Chicago.

CHICAGO - Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti earned his 11th career pole, and his first of the season, by snaring the top spot on the grid for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Chicago during qualifying today at Chicago Motor Speedway. It is the second oval pole of Franchitti's career and gives him one valuable point toward the CART FedEx Championship. Although Franchitti was shown as quickest after all cars has completed their qualifying run, he had to endure a bit of a delay before it became official as Adrian Fernandez and Michael Andretti both elected to withdraw their primary cars and re-qualify using back-up cars. Neither driver was able to better Franchitti's fast lap of 158.118 mph / 23.428 seconds.

Franchitti's TKG teammate Paul Tracy struggled with the set-up on his KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone and will start 13th after posting a lap of 155.340 mph / 23.847 seconds. Technical partner Andretti will line up next to Tracy in 14th (155.100 mph / 23.884 seconds).

Champ Car drivers have a 30-minute warm-up session tomorrow morning at 10:15 a.m., with the 250-lap CART Grand Prix of Chicago scheduled to take the green flag at 2:30 p.m. (All times CDT.)

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"The setup wasn't right this morning so we changed it to what Dario had and the car was bad. We're starting pretty far back and it's tough to pass at Chicago, so we'll have to rely on our pit strategy to help get us moved up. It's going to be tough tomorrow but the Team KOOL Green crew can get the job done. We'll just have to see what happens and hopefully have some luck on our side. With a two-day show you have to be ready when you roll the car off the trailer."

Morning Session
Position: 10th
Speed: 157.066 mph
Time: 23.585 seconds

Qualifying
Position: 13th
Speed: 155.340 mph
Time: 23.847 seconds

John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant

"We found a little anomaly in our setup that we changed and unfortunately we went backwards. It's one of those deals where you roll the dice and this time we crapped out. We're back on the right track but we're a session behind. We have a few changes in mind for tomorrow morning, so we've got 30 minutes to sort it out."

Dario Franchitti -- #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"We had a great car this morning, but as the track picked up grip we got progressively slower. I think we have a better race car than we do a qualifying car but it is important to start up front here. We made some changes that did make the car better before qualifying but the track picked up more understeer as the day got hotter. The Lola is really good on the ovals. Paul ran great at Motegi and won at Milwaukee, and we were running well before we had the incident with the wall there. We unloaded a very quick car but we didn't get any quicker. It's bloody hot out here and that's what is forecast for tomorrow so it's going to be a long day."

Morning Session
Position: 7th
Speed: 157.654 mph
Time: 23.497 seconds

Qualifying
Position: Pole
Speed: 158.118 mph
Time: 23.428 seconds

Kyle Moyer, Team KOOL Green Team Manager

"This is kind of unexpected. We hoped we would run well here after Milwaukee, and to be on pole, especially at a place like this, is absolutely huge. It is going to be a tough place to pass and if you are up front already that makes it easier. Now it is just a matter of keeping it up front. This a brand-new car, it hadn't turned a wheel so it is a credit to the Team KOOL Green crew to unload such a fantastic car."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , John Anderson
Teams ART Grand Prix