CHAMPCAR/CART: Franchitti, Tracy Portland qualifying

PORTLAND, Ore. - Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy took advantage of improvements to their cars from Friday practice to qualify fifth and 13th for tomorrow's Freightliner / G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International ...

PORTLAND, Ore. - Team KOOL Green drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy took advantage of improvements to their cars from Friday practice to qualify fifth and 13th for tomorrow's Freightliner / G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway.

Franchitti averaged 122.094 mph on his fastest lap around the 1.969-mile, nine-turn road course, setting the fifth fastest qualifying time. Tracy's fastest lap was 121.287 mph and places him 13th on the grid for tomorrow's race.

Max Papis will start from the pole tomorrow, after he averaged 122.669 mph (57.785 seconds) on his fastest lap. Cristiano da Matta will line up second after a quick lap of 122.497 mph (57.866 seconds), while Helio Castroneves was third fastest with a lap of 122.332 mph (57.944 seconds).

The cars will take to the track once more for a 30-minute warm-up at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. The 98-lap race starts at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, and will be televised live by ESPN.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(13th with a lap-average speed of 121.287 mph / 58.443 seconds)

"Team KOOL Green did a hell of a job getting the car right today. But I had to serve an eight-minute penalty and after Kenny Brack had his problem (off course) and brought out the red flag I wasn't able to get in even one timed lap on my second set of tires. So my best time was early in the session when I just did a conservative lap in order to post a time. We knew we could go faster later in the session, but we never got the chance. I feel good about the race. We have a really good car and we're starting ten spots better than we were last week in Detroit (started 23rd)."

Note: Tracy was assessed an eight-minute penalty in today's qualifying session for causing a red flag in the final ten minutes of qualifying last week in Detroit.

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(5th with a lap-average speed of 122.094 mph / 58.057 seconds)

"The guys at Team KOOL Green did a lot of thinking last night and we changed a lot, everything really. This morning we were pretty happy, although ultimately I probably didn't do the best lap I could have this morning, but we were still happy with it. Iain (Watt, Chief Engineer) and I are working as hard as we can to get the car to work well and we're seeing results. The timing was just wrong in qualifying. The tires came in sooner than we expected and we had too much fuel in the car. Fifth is all right and I certainly worked hard to get there. In qualifying sometimes you've got to suck it up and hang on. This is one of those tracks where some places you have to push like crazy and others where you have to drive within yourself."

KYLE MOYER, TKG TEAM MANAGER:

"We're not disappointed with Dario's qualifying, because it's pretty good for what the car is. The only reason we're fifth is because he just drove the wheels off the thing. Dario's a bit disappointed because he should be on the pole on a racetrack like this but we just haven't given him the car. Right now it's a tenth-place car he's made fifth with a good lap. The Team KOOL Green crew will be working hard tonight to get it right for tomorrow."

-TKG- k

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Max Papis , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta