CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi: Team Kool Green preview

Team Kool Green heads to Japan. MOTEGI, Japan - Team KOOL Green and drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti are off to Japan for the first CART FedEx Championship Series oval track race of the 2002 season, the CART Bridgestone Potenza 500 at the...

Team Kool Green heads to Japan.

MOTEGI, Japan - Team KOOL Green and drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti are off to Japan for the first CART FedEx Championship Series oval track race of the 2002 season, the CART Bridgestone Potenza 500 at the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA REYNARD:
Started 16th / Finished 18th at Japan in 2001; currently 9th in the standings with 11 points)

"There's nothing like racing in Japan. I don't think there are fans anywhere that are more into the whole CART thing. Their enthusiasm creates such a great atmosphere and makes it a lot of fun to race at Motegi. The facility too is a real bonus. It's like a theme park for racing and car fanatics and there's always a lot of stuff to see and do. There's no question Team KOOL Green and Honda are due for a win here. We're on the right track and I think that getting out on the ovals again is a good thing, especially as I get ready for the Indy 500. I know everybody says they want to win at Motegi, but I'm really pushing for it. I've got some personal goals this season and race wins go a long way to helping me get there. I know that my whole crew wants it, so I'm anticipating good things this weekend."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA REYNARD:
Started 2nd / Finished 17th at Japan in 2001; currently 4th in the standings with 20 points)

"I'm definitely in the hunt for my first oval win this weekend at Japan. Best-case scenario would of course be to take the pole and an additional championship point as well. Standing fourth in the championship after two races, I'm feeling fairly confident that this will be a memorable season for me at Team KOOL Green. It's a busy weekend and there's always a lot to do to thank Honda for their ongoing support. I try to balance my off-track commitments with adequate time to focus on the task at hand. I've got to say that the fans make it all the more enjoyable. Their appreciation for our work on the race track is a great motivator and I know with a great car and a little bit of luck, TKG will give them what they've come to see."

BARRY GREEN - Team Owner

"With so many of our sponsors being Japan-based, there is a great deal of anticipation going into this race at Motegi. It's a Honda-built track and Bridgestone is the event sponsor. With NGK Spark Plugs and Showa Shocks on board, there are a lot of reasons for Team KOOL Green to get Paul and Dario onto the podium. It's our task to take what we've learned about this race track to prepare the best cars and race strategies that we can in order to maximize our chances of leaving here with the win. It's no small task, but on the other hand we've learned how to utilize situations to our advantage and fully intend to exploit every opportunity to do so here in Japan."

TKG NOTEBOOK

Paul Tracy is looking forward to getting back to Japan to indulge in his favorite food. Sushi! The Team KOOL Green driver has nothing but positives to report on his time spent feasting on these exquisitely prepared delicacies.

While Paul will be driving his familiar Honda-Reynard-Bridgestone this week, TKG has entered a Lola as his backup car. The team has registered two Honda -Reynard-Bridgestones for Dario Franchitti.

Both Dario and Paul are looking forward to having a chance to perform again in front of the ever-enthusiastic Japanese race fans. These extraordinary supporters seem to have a soft spot for the Team KOOL Green contingent, and follow the drivers from paddock to pit lane and flock to the autograph session in droves.

How important would a win be for TKG at Motegi? Well, consider the fact that many of the team's technical suppliers are Japan-based, including Honda, Bridgestone, NGK (spark plugs) and Showa (shocks).

Following Japan, Tracy and Franchitti's attention will be turning to another oval race, the Indy 500.

WHERE
Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Japan

WHEN
Saturday, April 27, 2002

TV SCHEDULE - Speed Channel (All times EDT)
Thur., April 25
11:00 a.m. Practice

Fri., April 26
2:00 p.m. Qualifying
10:30 p.m. CART Friday Night

Sat, April 27
12:00 p.m. Pre-Race
12:30 p.m. Race - Tape Delay

WEEKEND SCHEDULE (All times EDT)
Wednesday, April 24
9:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Champ Car Practice 1

Thursday, April 25
1:00 a.m. - 2:15 a.m. Champ Car Practice 2
8:30 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. Champ Car Practice Group 1
9:30 p.m. - 10:15 p.m. Champ Car Practice Group 2

Friday, April 26
12:45 a.m. - 2:15 a.m. Champ Car Qualifying
8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Champ Car Warm up
11:30 p.m. Champ Car Race

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti