DARIO FRANCHITTI FINISHES SECOND AND PAUL TRACY SUFFERS A DNF LONG BEACH, Calif., (April 18, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti finished second in today's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, marking his eighth visit to podium over the...
DARIO FRANCHITTI FINISHES SECOND AND PAUL TRACY SUFFERS A DNF
LONG BEACH, Calif., (April 18, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti finished second in today's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, marking his eighth visit to podium over the last two seasons. His teammate Paul Tracy completed 48 laps, but did not finish the race after contact in the pit lane with another car.
Juan Montoya earned his first career FedEx Champ Car victory by a margin of 2.805 seconds over Franchitti, while Bryan Herta finished third. Montoya took over the lead on the 46th lap when pole-winner Tony Kanaan slid into a tire barrier at Turn 6. He led the next 40 laps, but the fifth caution flag of the race did set up a dash to the finish. Montoya held on for the win, averaging 87.915 mph to complete the race in 1:45:48.688.
Greg Moore still leads the championship standings with 39 points, followed by Adrian Fernandez and Gil de Ferran with 33 points. Michael Andretti is fourth overall with 32 points, while Franchitti is fifth with 30 points. Tracy is currently 18th with 2 points from Japan.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 10th / DNF - Classified 21st ; 18th overall in the PPG Cup standings with 2 points)
"The Team KOOL Green crew gave me a great second pit stop and I think we had made up a couple of positions. But then as I was leaving the pit lane someone pulled out in front of me and I got hit. It broke the rear suspension. We can't fix it in the pit lane. It's a shame; Team KOOL Green gave me a great car. We were quicker than everyone down the straights, but it's so hard to pass here and I just couldn't get by anyone."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 2nd / Finished 2nd ; 5th overall in the PPG Cup standings with 30 points)
"I gave it everything that I had today, but we just didn't have the car to challenge for the win. That's unusual because normally we have the best car on the street circuits. We were lacking a little bit, but the guys from Team KOOL Green gave me great stops and kept me in the hunt all day. On the track however, we just weren't fast enough today. I'm quite pleased though that we got second place and a lot of points (16) for the PPG Cup."
BARRY GREEN, TEAM KOOL GREEN OWNER: "It was a pretty good day for Team KOOL Green. Paul got stuck in a pack of cars and even though he was faster, he couldn't make up any positions on the track. His guys gave him great pit stops, particularly the second one when we picked up several places. Unfortunately, we encountered what Paul called an L.A. traffic jam midway down the pit lane and met up wheel-to-wheel with a couple of cars and bent the suspension, which put him out. But Dario carried the colors for Team KOOL Green today. He had great pit stops today and was working the car pretty hard. I think that Montoya's car was just slightly better today. But at this time of the year, second place points are big, big points, so it was a great day for Dario."
PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship
Team KOOL Green's Jonny Kane only completed two laps before being knocked out by contact in the first turn. Kane had managed to survive the opening lap melee in the tight first corner. He did have some contact with Airton Dare on the first lap, but he was able to continue. Unfortunately, contact with a slower car on his third trip into the first turn took Kane from the race.
Philipp Peter won today's 41-lap race by a margin of 1.359 seconds over Scott Dixon, while Geoff Boss claimed third spot on the podium. Pole-winner Felipe Giaffone had dominated the race, leading the first 38 laps of the race before an engine failure.
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20: (Started 7th / DNF - Classified 16th)
On the start of the race: "I made a pretty good start. I think I was fourth or fifth when I got hit by someone at the first corner. After that, the bodywork was rubbing on one of the rear tires and I thought I'd have to come in, but it all broke away. I'm pretty disappointed because Team KOOL Green gave me a really fast race car today. It's just a shame that it ended so soon."
On being knocked out of the race: "The car in front of me (Andy Boss) was defending his line in the middle of the road and I pulled out to pass on the left. When he saw me move further left, then he moved again. There's supposed to be a rule that you're only allowed to move once. He's out of the race as well, so there wasn't much point to it. The contact put me out with a broken steering arm."