MONTEREY, Calif., (Sept. 12, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy finished fourth, moving up seven spots from his 11th starting position at today's running of the Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway. Tracy's strong performance allowed Honda to ...
MONTEREY, Calif., (Sept. 12, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy finished fourth, moving up seven spots from his 11th starting position at today's running of the Shell 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway. Tracy's strong performance allowed Honda to clinch the manufacturers' championship. Dario Franchitti, meanwhile, did not finish because of contact with Greg Moore.
Bryan Herta led all 83 laps from the pole to successfully defend his win at Laguna Seca from last year. It was Herta's second career Champ Car victory, as he crossed the finish line 1.825 seconds ahead of runner-up Roberto Moreno. Moreno was the only to driver to gain more positions than Tracy, moving from 14th to finish second. Max Papis, Herta's teammate at Team Rahal, was third.
After the opening lap, Tracy had gained four positions from 11th to seventh and Franchitti had moved from 12th to ninth. Tracy and Franchitti then slotted into position, following the front runners. Franchitti was running eighth on lap 32 when he tried to pass, but made contact with Moore into the first corner. While his race ended, Tracy continued in seventh after 60 laps. On the re-start following the fourth and final caution, Tracy was able to pass Adrian Fernandez and gain two more spots when Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser made contact. Tracy settled in to finish fourth.
Series leader Juan Montoya finished eighth today to collect five more points. Montoya now leads Franchitti by a 28-point margin, 199 to 171, with three races left in the season (a maximum off 66 points are available). Tracy now stands third overall with 134 points, moving ahead of Andretti in fourth with 127.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 11th / Finished 4th ; Currently 3rd in the PPG Cup standings with 134 points)
"It's great that my finish today (4th) clinched Honda's manufacturers' championship. I'm the guy who brought it home. "I had a great start, the kind of start I was looking for (started 11th, moved to 7th on the first lap). The deal I had with Barry [Green] was that if Dario was alongside me on the start that I'd have to let him go by. So, I wanted to have a really good start and get by Pruett and Gugelmin, who were the guys I thought would hold up the line. From there, I just paced myself. Team KOOL Green's game plan today was that we were going to be like garbage men and pick up the points that everybody leaves behind. Michael [Andretti] left a bunch of points there for us to take. That helped us out in the championship (moved from 4th to 3rd overall)."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 12th / DNF - Classified 24th ; Currently 2nd in the PPG Cup standings with 171 points)
"Greg [Moore] was definitely holding me up a lot. We really needed to get by him to make inroads on the guys in front. There's only so many places that you can make up on a pit stop. You need to make places up on the track. A couple of times earlier, I got good runs on him [Moore]. He was braking very deep and I got the KOOL car up alongside him, but I had to get out of the pass each time. The last time I got up alongside him, I was right up against the curb. There's only so far you can back out of it. I went in there very hard and he didn't give any room. I feel bad for Greg and feel bad for my guys. It's just one of those things."
ON HIS PLACE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP (2nd with 171 points): "Of course this hurts my championship hopes. There was nothing else to be done, but attempt the pass. Given our starting position (12th), we had to pass people on the track. "
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - RACE
Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane started and finished third today at Laguna Seca Raceway. Kane fought a heavy oversteer in the latter stages of the race, while runner-up Scott Dixon's car spayed oil in his path throughout the 34-lap race.
Didier Andre won the next to last race in the 12-event PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship. Andre's margin of victory over Dixon was 0.571 seconds. Kane was 4.643 seconds behind Andre.
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (Started 3rd / Finished 3rd ; Currently 8th in the standings with 68 points)
"I didn't the make the best of starts. Then Guy Smith went off course in Turn 6. I just managed to squeeze the KOOL car between him and the wall heading into the corkscrew. That got my attention and was really a bit of a close call. After that, [Didier] Andre and [Scott] Dixon got away from me over the next few laps. Then my tires came in a bit. In the end, I may have pushed a little too hard because I was losing grip towards the end. The car was oversteering as well, but I'm thrilled to score my second podium of the season (finished 3rd at Detroit)."