FRANCHITTI FOURTH AND TRACY SEVENTH WEST ALLIS, Wis., (May 31, 1998) - Jimmy Vasser won his second race of the season and the sixth of his career in today's running of the Miller Lite 200 at The Milwaukee Mile. Vasser crossed the finish line...
FRANCHITTI FOURTH AND TRACY SEVENTH
WEST ALLIS, Wis., (May 31, 1998) - Jimmy Vasser won his second race of the season and the sixth of his career in today's running of the Miller Lite 200 at The Milwaukee Mile. Vasser crossed the finish line 7.673 seconds in front of rookie Helio Castro-Ne ves.
Pit stops and fuel strategy played a huge role in the race as the top-five drivers completed the 200-lap distance with only two stops. Vasser won comfortably, but the battle for second came down to the wire as Castro-Neves coasted home out of fuel in fro nt of Al Unser Jr. by .030 seconds. Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti was fourth and Bobby Rahal fifth.
Franchitti started from the sixth position on the grid and ran no lower than eighth at any point during the race. His first stop for fuel was completed on lap 66 in 12.3 seconds. On lap 111, Franchitti made an excellent maneuver to pass Alex Zanardi for fourth. He pitted about 10 laps later and returned in seventh place. He was able to finish fourth when Zanardi, Scott Pruett and Paul Tracy needed to make a third stop for fuel.
Tracy's third stop in his KOOL Reynard-Honda was for a small splash of fuel to make it to the finish. He was fifth when he pitted, but returned to the track in his seventh-place finishing position. Tracy led the race for 26 laps starting on lap 96 when Greg Moore pitted after hitting some debris. He pitted with the lead under the fourth and final caution of the race. Unfortunately, he lost four spots on the stop and still required a third stop.
Dario Franchitti, #27 Team KOOL Green Reynard/Honda/Firestone: (Started 6th / Finished 4th ; Currently 8th overall with 38 points)
"The car handled good all day. After the last stop, the crew told me to start saving fuel so I was running the Honda on the leanest setting possible. We were still running reasonable lap times. For the last five laps, I was running at half-throttle aro und the whole track and not braking, just trying to keep my momentum up. I probably only had half a gallon left at the end. My compliments to the Team KOOL Green guys. They gave me great stops again. This kind of helps make up to them for crashing out of the race on the first lap at St. Louis."
Paul Tracy, #26 Team KOOL Green Reynard/Honda/Firestone: (Started 14th / Finished 7th ; Currently 12th overall with 26 points)
"It was definitely a frustrating day today. The KOOL car was great and we led the race, but we just didn't make it happen in the pits. We were leading the race and came in, and then we left in sixth place. Once you get behind guys like Zanardi or Al, J r., you're not going to get by them.. We'll take the points and hopefully fix the problem for Detroit."
Barry Green, Team KOOL Green owner:
"What can I say about Dario's effort? What a great drive, in only his second year on ovals. Paul had a brilliant drive, but we struggled a little bit in the pits and with fuel mileage in the last segment. Paul is a hell of a man to work with. We should have done better for him." -