LEXINGTON, OHIO (AUGUST 12, 2000) â€“ Team KOOL Greenâ€™s Dario Franchitti made a gallant bid today for his third consecutive pole at Mid-Ohio, clocking a late-session fast lap in 1 minute, 5.665 seconds (123.792 mph) to earn the third spot on ...
LEXINGTON, OHIO (AUGUST 12, 2000) – Team KOOL Green’s Dario Franchitti made a gallant bid today for his third consecutive pole at Mid-Ohio, clocking a late-session fast lap in 1 minute, 5.665 seconds (123.792 mph) to earn the third spot on Sunday’s Miller Lite 200 starting grid. Franchitti’s teammate Paul Tracy, battling a car that was not handling well, recorded the 14th-quickest lap, covering the 2.258-mile road course in 1:06.598 (122.058 mph).
Teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves of Brazil, who were 1-2 in provisional qualifying on Friday, held those positions today. De Ferran, whose slide into the gravel trap on turn 1 brought a red flag in the closing minutes of today’s session, had a time of 1:05.347 (124.394 mph), 15 thousandths ahead of Castroneves.
Franchitti appeared to have moved into second place on the grid when he put in a fast lap of 1:15.356 prior to the red flag for de Ferran. However, CART officials withdrew the time, ruling that Franchitti had not crossed the finish line before the red flag was called. Franchitti will be making his third start from a top-3 position.
While Tracy is starting from Row 7, he has excelled this season in moving his way up the field during a race. Two of his four podiums -- one of which was a victory - have come after he surged from 17th on the grid, and he came from 12th to earn another podium.
The Miller Lite 200 will be televised on a tape delay by ABC-TV, starting at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
"It's been a very frustrating weekend. The KOOL car is just not handling well at all. We can't seem to get any grip into the car. It's going to be a long race and if we play our cards right and catch the yellows right, we could still have a good result. We came from 17th to win at Long Beach, so anything can happen. But the first thing we've got to do, is get the car handling better."
Tony Cicale, race engineer:
"We actually made some progress with the car today. The car still isn't good for Paul. We had quite a bit of understeer, but we changed it radically. We change it every session for him to try to make it more suitable. We got rid of some of the understeer and we'll change it some more overnight to try to make it a little better. Paul usually goes better in the race than he does in qualifying. All these races boil down to strategy and if we can play that part of it right and get the car a little bit better, we could be in good shape."
"We started out with a very different setup on the KOOL car than we ran yesterday and it really didn't work. So we went back to what we ran yesterday. We made a couple of small changes to that setup and it seemed to work. The car was pretty good. I'd prefer to be on the pole like we have for the last couple of years, but I think we've got a good race car and should be in good shape for the race."
"Dario was very unlucky to have completed his fast lap about one second after the red flag came out. But I've really got to hand it to Dario and the whole crew of the #27 Team KOOL Green car. On a day when the guys on the front row weren't able to improve their times, Dario did. Unfortunately, due to the timing on the red flag, he wasn't able to move up the grid."