Franchitti captures first oval track victory at Rockingham. CORBY, England (September 14, 2002) - It was an emotional victory for Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti today, as he scored his first career oval track win in front of his home ...
Franchitti captures first oval track victory at Rockingham.
CORBY, England (September 14, 2002) - It was an emotional victory for Team KOOL Green driver Dario Franchitti today, as he scored his first career oval track win in front of his home crowd at the 1.5-mile Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, England. Franchitti, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, earned the win in dramatic fashion after a series of problems throughout the day, which at one point put him last on the track. A hard-charging Franchitti, assisted by fortuitous pit strategy, managed to work his way back to the front and an outstanding stop by the TKG crew put him in first place for good after the final pit stop of the day. Franchitti led a total of 58 laps, including the last 39.
Today's win is Franchitti's third of the season and 10th in the CART FedEx Championship series. Previous victories this year came at Vancouver and Montreal.
Franchitti's teammate Paul Tracy wasn't as fortunate today, as mechanical problems sidelined him after completing only 12 laps. TKG technical partner Michael Andretti finished 10th.
Cristiano da Matta finished second and maintains the series points lead with 191. Patrick Carpentier came home third. Franchitti remains third in the FedEx Championship with 126 points, behind da Matta and Bruno Junqueira with 133 points.
Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I didn't really think it would be anything different to win here, but it's very, very special. I have family and friends, and fans in the grandstands and it's a fantastic feeling. The car felt great, but after the first stop, I didn't think a win was going to happen (the car stalled exiting the pits). But then we got out of sequence on pit stops and it seemed like things might go our way. Just as quickly things turned around again after another pit problem and a tire problem, so it was a real up-and-down day. But everybody at Team KOOL Green hung in there. Kyle Moyer (Team Manager) and all the guys did a great job. That last pit stop was dynamite."
Speed: 209.721 mph
Time: 25.388 seconds
Laps Completed: 211
Laps Led: 58
Points Earned: 20
Championship Standing: 3rd
Kyle Moyer - Team KOOL Green Team Manager
"The guy's a great oval driver, it's just never all come together for a win until now. Everything but the kitchen sink got thrown at us today and when we asked the kid to drive really hard he turned the fastest laps of the race. That's what got us up front and then it came down to the last pit stop. The guys at Team KOOL Green had to do a better pit stop than everybody else and that's what they did."
Allen McDonald - Chief Engineer for Dario Franchitti
"Dario drove a great race. It was an unbelievable day. He came back from virtually last after the first pit stop and drove so hard and so well, it was fantastic. ON WINNING IN HIS HOME COUNTRY (Allen is from London): "I like to win anytime, anyplace, but it's great in front of this crowd. To be here with Dario and his first oval victory, it's certainly something I'll remember."
Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"Something went wrong in the gearbox because the car lost all drive and I was just coasting. Obviously it's disappointing. The guys at Team KOOL Green worked hard to give me a good car and it was pretty quick right off the truck yesterday. We were just trying to make the fuel mileage that we needed and then work on being there at the end for a good finish. But we just didn't get the chance today."
Speed: 207.903 mph
Time: 25.610 seconds
Laps Completed: 12
Laps Led: 0
Points Earned: 0
Championship Standing: 7th
John Anderson, Team KOOL Green Race Consultant
"We had no warning whatsoever. The Honda engineers said the engine telemetry just flat-lined. That indicates a crank sensor, which could have been caused by a failure in the transmission that's taken out the crankshaft."