TRACY LANDS ON THE PODIUM IN 3RD AND FRANCHITTI FINISHES 5TH CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 12 of 20 - U.S. 500 BROOKLYN, Mich., (July 25, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy out-duelled Michael Andretti in a sprint for the ...
TRACY LANDS ON THE PODIUM IN 3RD AND FRANCHITTI FINISHES 5TH
CART FedEx Championship Series - RACE Round 12 of 20 - U.S. 500
BROOKLYN, Mich., (July 25, 1999) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy out-duelled Michael Andretti in a sprint for the checkered flag to finish third in today's running of the U.S. 500. Dario Franchitti, meanwhile, brought home the #27 KOOL car in fifth place behind Andretti at Michigan Speedway.
Max Papis dominated the race by leading 143 laps, including 21 of the last 22. Tony Kanaan, however, led the most important one when Papis ran out of fuel on the final lap. Kanaan scooped up his first career Champ Car victory by the slimmest of margins, just 0.032 seconds over runner-up Juan Montoya. Kanaan's victory was all the more impressive in that he made one more stop than most drivers (7) and came back from being a lap down.
Tracy started eighth today, but moved up and down the leaderboard in large part due to the drafting in the 250-lap race brought about by the Handford Device (rear wing designed to slow cars on superspeedways). The lowest he ever ran was ninth, but he also led the race for two laps (lap 37-38). Franchitti faced a similar fate, beginning from ninth on the grid. He led on four separate occasions for a single lap each time in a race that saw 30 lead changes. Franchitti was in the fight for the podium until his right rear tire began to lose pressure in the closing laps.
Montoya remains the leader in the championship standings with 129 points, 13 more than Franchitti in second overall with 116. Andretti takes over third from his teammate Christian Fittipaldi, enjoying a 107-101 advantage. Adrian Fernandez, who finished sixth today, is fifth overall with 95 points. Tracy jumps two spots for eigth to sixth overall with 90 points.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 8th / Finished 3rd ; Currently 6th overall in the PPG Cup standings with 90 points)
"There at the end, I don't think you could slip a piece of paper between me and Michael (Andretti) we were that close. We had a great battle. It's the hardest that I've ever driven on a road course, street course or anything. For the last 50 laps everyone was going as hard as you can go. We got some fresh tires on the car in the final stop that made it a little loose coming off the corners. I had to hold my breath a little bit and I got pretty winded towards the end. I'm glad to bring the KOOL car home in third. It was what we needed in the points, moving up a couple of spots in the championship. We'll just keep chipping away at it.
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD/FIRESTONE: (Started 9th / Finished 5th ; Currently 2nd overall in the PPG Cup standings with 95 points)
"The whole race was a lot of fun. There were occasions when it would be a little interesting. You would be on the high side of somebody coming out of Turns 2 or 4 and you'd see their hands trying to slowly correct the understeer as they were sliding up the wall towards you. It was interesting at those points, but it was a pleasure to race these guys today.
"I certainly felt at home on the superspeedway today. It really depends on the car, especially on a superspeedway, and I think the guys from Team KOOL Green gave me a great car today. The only problem we did have was a tire going down in the last sprint to the finish. We put some front wing in to correct the understeer that we had. I thought we had a faster car for the finish, not necessarily the most consistent, but faster. That's when the tire (right rear) went down at the end. I was understeering worse than I did all day with the tire going down, so we kind of lost out in our shot at the podium.