PAUL TRACY FINISHES FOURTH TO EARN THIRD STRAIGHT TOP-FIVE FINISH CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 9 of 20 - MEDIC DRUG CLEVELAND GP CLEVELAND, Oh., (June 27, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy started eighth and finished fourth...
PAUL TRACY FINISHES FOURTH TO EARN THIRD STRAIGHT TOP-FIVE FINISH
CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 9 of 20 - MEDIC DRUG CLEVELAND GP
CLEVELAND, Oh., (June 27, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy started eighth and finished fourth at today's running of the Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland, which became a timed two-hour race when heavy rain caused a lengthy caution period (16 laps).
Originally scheduled for 100 laps, Juan Montoya won the race from the pole and led 76 of the 90 laps completed. Montoya collected 20 points for the victory, a point for the pole and another for most laps led to total 121 on the season. He enjoys a comfortable lead in the standings with 25-point lead over today's runner-up Gil de Ferran, who has 87 points.
De Ferran crossed the finish line 10.604 seconds after Montoya, but successfully held off Michael Andretti in the closing seconds of the race. Tracy could not mount a serious challenge on Andretti for third in the closing laps, having to deal with traffic. Tracy and Andretti raced wheel to wheel on several occasions, thanks to Tracy's aggressive start that saw him move from eighth as high as third in the opening laps. Tracy also led a single lap later in the race, when he took over the lead on lap 62 before his third and final pit stop.
Tracy's teammate, Dario Franchitti, did not enjoy a successful race today. Franchitti had only completed 19 laps when his throttle cable snapped to end his day. He fell to third overall in the championship standings with 85 points, while Tracy closed some ground but remains eighth overall with 58 points.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 8th / Finished 4th ; Currently 8th in the PPG Cup standings with 58 points)
"I made a great start. I don't want to tell my secret (He went from 8th to 4th). Well, it seems to me that everyone funnels to the inside and I always go to the outside and gain a bunch of positions. "When the rain came, it was really wet out there. My suit is soaked now. The KOOL car was great when it was dry. In the wet I think we were a little too stiff because the car was really nervous. When it was partially wet we were one of the first ones to go to dry tires. I really had to hang onto the car.
"I was fighting hard towards the end of the race. I wasn't going to take a big risk though because I wanted to finish fifth and pick up 10 points. I just kept the pressure on Bryan (Herta). I felt that if I kept enough pressure on Bryan that he would make a mistake and he did. We started eighth and finished fourth, that's great. Our goal was to finish in the top-five in all the remaining races and we did just that. We've got a good streak going."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 10th / DNF - Classified 25th ; Currently 3rd in the PPG Cup standings with 85 points)
"I'm very disappointed. The throttle cable just snapped on me. Full power was becoming less and less when I was on the throttle. The guys could see it from the pits on the telemetry. I guess the cable was stretching. I came out of the last turn and the engine cut off. I thought that I might have flicked the ignition switch off, but I hadn't and the pedal had gone to the floor. I 'm very disappointed because the rain was what we needed. I love racing in the rain because we're usually fastest every session whatever the track.
"It's just bad luck. If we could have kept going in the rain, I think we would have seen the #27 Team KOOL Green car moving toward the front."
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - RACE
Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane did not make it past the first corner in today' s 36-lap Indy Lights race at Burke Lakefront Airport. Starting from fifth on the grid, Kane darted aggressively to the inside looking to gain positions. Kane, however, missed his braking point into the first turn and made contact with pole winner Didier Andre. Derek Higgins won today's race, enjoying a comfortable margin of victory of 4.366 seconds over runner-up Oriol Servia. Felipe Giaffone finished third to claim the final position on the podium.
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (Started 5th / DNF - Classified 18th ; Currently 14th in the standings with 19 points)
"I'm afraid I must take full blame for the incident in the first turn. I was too hard on the throttle and the turn came up on me a lot sooner than I expected. The guys around me were on the brakes and I just missed the turn. I feel horrible because the Team KOOL Green guys worked very hard to give me a solid race car. We were fast all weekend, which was great considering it was my first time at this track. But, I also owe Didier Andre an apology and will try to have a few words with him to make amends.
"We'll turn our attention to Toronto now. I think there's reason for optimism in going to Toronto because Team KOOL Green found itself on the podium last year."