DETROIT, Mich., (Aug. 8, 1999) - Team KOOL Green teammates Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy finished first and second in today's running of the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. Only three weeks ago, Franchitti and Tracy performed a...
DETROIT, Mich., (Aug. 8, 1999) - Team KOOL Green teammates Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy finished first and second in today's running of the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. Only three weeks ago, Franchitti and Tracy performed a similar feat, rolling into victory circle together in Round 11 of the CART FedEx Championship Series at Toronto.
Franchitti's victory today was his fifth in 48 starts, crossing the finish line 0.136 seconds in front of his teammate Tracy and Greg Moore in third. The race became a timed two-hour race (2:02.24.662) under CART rules, ending under the sixth yellow caution of the day and after 71 of the 75 laps originally scheduled. Tracy and all other competitors were denied the chance to race Franchitti to the finish. The final caution flag flew on lap 67 when Cristiano da Matta wrecked heavily at the exit of Turn 2, scattering debris across the track. Any chance of racing to the finish was further ruined when Helio Castro-Neves hit Juan Montoya from behind under the caution.
Franchitti takes over as the leader in the championship standings with 136 points, replacing Montoya who drops to second with 131. Andretti's fourth-place finish today keeps him third overall with 119 points. Tracy, meanwhile, jumps another two spots from sixth to fourth overall with 106 points.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 2nd / Finished 2nd ; Currently 4th in the PPG Cup standings with 106 points)
"I had to let Dario go by early in the race because I was struggling with my tires. They were the set that I'd qualified on and I had to use them up to set my fast time. I was really hanging on trying to stay in front of Dario, but I had to let him go. I thought we'd get him later on in the race. I'm a little disappointed we couldn't race to the end because I was staying with him. But I'm really happy for Team KOOL Green. Dario takes the points lead and I'm up to fourth."
BARRY GREEN, Team Owner: "It was an anti-climatic win there at the end. But I tell you, I'll take it any time. It was just a fabulous effort by everybody at Team KOOL Green. No mistakes today and that's what it takes. Qualifying is so important here. We made a great effort and started second and fourth - you had to start up front to be in contention. Then just look what happened in the race. Great teamwork and great pit stops made for another great day for Team KOOL Green."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 4th / Finished 1st ; Currently 1st in the PPG Cup standings with 136 points)
"I told the guys on the radio it was a pretty ugly way to win a race, but we'll take it any way we can. I was a little worried that (Juan) Montoya might catch us, but we'd been conserving so much fuel that we were ready to go for it at the end. So there really wasn't too much worry at that point. I just had to come through some traffic. It was a great day for Team KOOL Green. Another 1-2 finish for us, Honda and Firestone. "Under yellow I looked up at the jumbo screen and saw Juan walking away. It 's great to be leading the Championship now, but the time to do it is after the last race at Fontana. I hope I can keep it until then."
GENERAL MANAGER KIM GREEN SAID: "It was a great day for Team KOOL Green. The day was full of ups and downs. I don't think we had quite as good a car as Montoya. But we just worked hard all day. We had great pit stops and great support from Honda and Firestone. Things do happen in a race and you've just got to stay out there, focus and work at it every lap. We got a little bit lucky with circumstances today, but we'll take the points and the win. It's tightened up the championship and made it exciting."
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - RACE
Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane earned his first career podium today, finishing third in the 32-lap Detroit News Challenge on Belle Isle. Kane started from the front row beside pole winner Oriol Servia. Kane battled with Servia throughout the race, but Derek Higgins dominated the event. Higgins came from seventh on the grid to pass six cars, including Kane and Servia for his third victory of the season. Servia was able to finish second, despite a strong challenge from Kane on the final lap.
Servia extends his lead in the overall championship with 112 points, 20 more than his teammates Philipp Peter and Casey Mears with 92. Kane, meanwhile, draws even in points with Scott Dixon for the rookie title with 50 each. Dixon is eighth and Kane ninth in the overall standings.
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Toyota/Swift: (Started 2nd / Finished 3rd ; Currently 9th in the standings with 50 points)
"It's so good to finally put Team KOOL Green on the podium. It has been a long time coming for my guys and me. We were fast all weekend and thankfully rewarded with our best result of the season. We've been fast everywhere though, so it has been frustrating not have some better results. Still, we're headed in the right direction. I was way quicker here than any other rookie. And now, I'm right back in the fight for rookie of the year.
"It was a great for Ireland! My congratulations to Derek Higgins for running such an impressive race. To come from seventh on the grid to win is really incredible. He got past me on one of the restarts and then he made short work of Oriol (Servia). The race was his today."