Street-savvy Team Kool Green heads to Miami. MIAMI - With 10 street course victories in the record books, and fully 50% of those coming in as 1-2 finishes, Team KOOL Green is certainly one of the favorites heading into this weekend's inaugural...
Street-savvy Team Kool Green heads to Miami.
MIAMI - With 10 street course victories in the record books, and fully 50% of those coming in as 1-2 finishes, Team KOOL Green is certainly one of the favorites heading into this weekend's inaugural Grand Prix Americas on the streets of downtown Miami. Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy's latest sweep came earlier this year at Vancouver. The finish marked Franchitti's 10th street course win, while Tracy has three with TKG, eight total in his career. With only four races remaining on the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series schedule, both drivers are determined to give TKG another win - another 1-2 would be even better.
The event is also the fifth of six at which TKG will raise funds for the 100 Black Men of America's urban technology program, continuing the partnership launched in 2001. To date, TKG and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. have contributed nearly $135,000 to the 100, benefiting chapters across the U.S.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/LOLA/BRIDGESTONE
(Currently 7th in the standings with 86 points)
"From what I know about the track, it should be a challenging race. The good thing is that no driver has any advantage going in. We're all in the same boat; it's a new track for every driver. Team KOOL Green has put a great effort in this season and we're definitely due for another win. Winning this one would mean a great deal to me and my crew. I'd like to give them another reason to celebrate."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/LOLA/BRIDGESTONE
(Currently 3rd in the standings with 126 points)
"If the Miami circuit is half as interesting on the ground as it was from the air (Dario flew his helicopter over the site of the Miami track in late August) it's going to be quite the race. I've had a lot of luck on street courses (seven of Franchitti's ten wins have been on street courses) and I'm always interested to see how the city streets are transformed into a racetrack. I'm really looking forward to racing in Miami. I spent some time in the area while I was getting my helicopter pilot's license and it's a great city for a race. I'd like to give Team KOOL Green another win and this would be the place to do it."
BARRY GREEN - Team Owner
"Dario has been on a bit of a tear of late. He's won three of the last six races (Vancouver, Montreal, England) and both he and Paul have given us lots of exciting moments lately. This should be a challenging event. Any time you go into a new venue you've got to settle in as quickly as possible and try to learn what the track will allow you to do. I've got great confidence in everyone at Team KOOL Green, I know they'll get down to business and put the best cars they can under Paul and Dario. I'd really like to deliver another one-two finish here in Miami."
This weekend's Grand Prix Americas marks the fifth and penultimate time this season that Team KOOL Green will use it's pit stop prowess to earn much needed funds for the 100 Black Men of America's urban technology program. With $60,000 donated so far this season and Miami and Fontana still to come, TKG is poised to surpass its 2001 donation of $74,470.31.
Hot Scot! And it has nothing to do with South Florida temperatures. With three wins (Vancouver, Montreal, Rockingham) in the last six Champ Car races, Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti is one of the hottest drivers around. Coupled with the fact that seven of Dario's victories have come on temporary street circuits, odds are in his favor for adding to the win tally this weekend. And given TKG's penchant for 1-2 finishes, don't be surprised if Paul Tracy is up front, as well!
With Dario's milestone win at England, TKG drivers now hold two of the top three spots on CART's winningest drivers list. Paul Tracy is second with 19 wins, Franchitti moves into third with 10, and TKG technical partner Michael Andretti heads the list with 42.
Florida holds a special place in the heart of TKG's Rolando Coronado, who began his journey to the CART FedEx Championship here. Coronado, a mechanic on Dario Franchitti's #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone, left his family behind in Bogota, Colombia, in 1990 and moved to Florida to study English and automotive mechanics to further his chances of establishing a career in auto racing. He went on to graduate from Mid-Florida Tech and has fast-tracked his career ever since. Following a stint in the Barber Dodge Championship, Rolando joined Team KOOL Green's Indy Lights effort in 2000. Just one year later he was bumped up to Franchitti's Champ Car. Now in his second full season with Franchitti's crew, Coronado is light years away from his origins in Grand Touring and Colombian Formula Renault. He admits it's been a lot of hard work, long hours, and countless road trips, but the rewards have been worth it.