CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana Team KOOL Green Qualifying Notes and Race Preview

FRANCHITTI TO START FROM ROW 4 AND TRACY FROM ROW 10 Round 20 of 20 - California Speedway CART FedEx Championship Series FONTANA, Calif., (Oct. 30, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will start from the eighth position on the grid,...

FRANCHITTI TO START FROM ROW 4 AND TRACY FROM ROW 10

Round 20 of 20 - California Speedway CART FedEx Championship Series

FONTANA, Calif., (Oct. 30, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will start from the eighth position on the grid, while his teammate Paul Tracy will start 19th in tomorrow's season-finale at California Speedway. Sunday' s 500-mile race will be broadcast on ESPN, live at 3 p.m. ET.

Scott Pruett successfully defended the pole position he won here last year, claiming his fifth career pole and in the process the first pole ever for engine manufacturer Toyota. Pruett's lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway oval was clocked at 31.030 seconds for an average speed of 235.398 mph. Max Papis will be on the outside pole for tomorrow's race with his own quick time of 31.143 seconds (234.544 mph). The second row holds teammates Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser. Montoya is third on the grid with a qualifying time of 31.182 seconds (234.251 mph), while Vasser's time was 31.207 seconds (234.063 mph).

Gusting winds affected all drivers today. High winds certainly played a part in Tracy's qualifying lap of 31.612 seconds (231.064 mph). Franchitti, meanwhile, faired better in his run with a lap of 31.326 seconds (233.174 mph).

The 27-car field will be back on track for morning warm-up tomorrow, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The 250-lap race begins at 12 noon local time.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (19th with a lap-time of 31.612 seconds / 231.064 mph)

"Gil de Ferran crashed just before I went out and then the wind started blowing, so we put a little more wing in the KOOL car just to be safe. But the car was just really slow. It was too slow down the straightaways. We' re going to be starting way at the back tomorrow [19th], so it's going to be a long day. Where you start isn't important for the end of the race, it really doesn't mean a lot because you just have to be there at the end. Your anticipation level is so high and the fright factor is really high when you start towards the back of the field with these wings because the turbulence is horrendous. You can end up scaring yourself in the first third of the race just trying to make up the difference and move up through the pack. It's a lot nicer to start up at the front with cleaner air."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (8th with a lap-time of 31.326 seconds / 233.174 mph)

"I think we got everything out of the KOOL car that we could. The wind seemed to gust a lot when we went out. I could really feel it on the straight. If I couldn't be on the pole, I didn't want Juan [Montoya] to get it and collect that extra point. We'll be racing at the start, but we won't be going all out. I want to stay in touch with the leaders, but I won't be looking to lead every lap. It's only important to be in contention for one lap, that being the last one. We'll wait until the last 50 miles or the last pit stop or the last yellow, which ever it is."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Pruett