CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston Franchitti 2nd and Tracy 9th in qualifying

Houston (September 30, 2000) – Team KOOL Green, the only winner that the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston has ever had, will line up second and ninth for tomorrow’s 100-lap race. Dario Franchitti, winner of the inaugural Houston race in...

Houston (September 30, 2000) – Team KOOL Green, the only winner that the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston has ever had, will line up second and ninth for tomorrow’s 100-lap race.

Dario Franchitti, winner of the inaugural Houston race in 1998, will start on the outside of the front row after turning a fast lap of 58.843 seconds (93.421 mph) around the 1.527-mile street course in downtown Houston. Franchitti’s starting position is all the more impressive considering that he had to sit out the last eight minutes of today’s final qualifying session because he caused a red flag yesterday in provisional qualifying.

Franchitti’s teammate Paul Tracy, winner of last year’s race, posted a fast lap today of 59.223 seconds (92.822 mph) and will start ninth. Tracy also lost valuable time during today’s session, as he brushed the wall in the early going and had to wait several minutes while the TKG crew changed a right-rear toe-link.

Fellow Honda driver and points leader Gil de Ferran claimed the pole position with a fast lap of 58.757 seconds (93.558 mph). Jimmy Vasser will start third with a lap time of 58.844 seconds (93.420 mph).

The CART FedEx drivers have a warm-up session tomorrow morning from 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. with Sunday’s race scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. The race will be televised live on ABC. (All times are Central Daylight Time.)

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
(9th with a lap time of 59.223 seconds / 92.822 mph)

"I just didn’t get all the sections right. I’d get one section of the track right, and I’d get another section right but then I’d miss it a little bit here and there. It was just one of those sessions where nothing seemed to fall into place. It’s a little disappointing, but we’re not that far back on the grid and overall the KOOL car is pretty good. I think we’re quicker than we showed. This is going to be a tough race, a lot of guys have been in the runoff zones. I’ve gotta survive, stay on the track. There’s not a lot of passing opportunities, but you look at Dario last year. He went to the back of the field and came back to finish second. We’ve just got to have good pit strategy, good fuel mileage and stay out of the runoff area.”

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
(2nd with a lap time of 58.848 seconds / 93.421 mph)

“It’s disappointing not to be on pole, but that’s all the KOOL car had. I was pushing it to the absolute limit. We’re fighting with the car, for sure. Though we’ve qualified second and fourth in previous races, we’ve never really gotten the hang of qualifying here or had a really good qualifying car. But Team KOOL Green has always given me a good car for the race and hopefully that will be the case tomorrow. We’ve got a few things we need to address, but we should be able to run up front.”

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti