CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi Team KOOL Green Preview

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 4, 2000) - Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will contest their next race in Japan at Twin Ring Motegi, May 11-13. Honda spent more than $400 million to remove the top off a mountain and build the Twin...

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 4, 2000) - Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will contest their next race in Japan at Twin Ring Motegi, May 11-13. Honda spent more than $400 million to remove the top off a mountain and build the Twin Ring Motegi circuit: a 3.0-mile, 14-turn, road course (ring 1) and an American-style oval (ring 2). The imperfect oval, an egg-shape track like Gateway in Madison, Illinois, features two straightaways connected to corners of varying radius. The longest straight is close to 2000 feet and the banking around the track varies from 3 degrees to 10 degrees. Nothing short of spectacular, the impressive Motegi undertaking set a new standard for the design and construction of oval tracks.

PAUL TRACY, #26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone:

(Started 10th / Finished 11th at Motegi in 1999 ; Currently 1st in the standings with 48 points)

"It's great to be leading the championship heading to Motegi, but everyone on Team KOOL Green knows that the only time it really counts is after Fontana (season finale). That's our goal, and we know we're only going to get there by taking it one race at a time. Next up is Motegi, and we're just looking to stay consistent. Our plan is to get a good setup on the car in practice, qualify as best we can and avoid making any mistakes in the race. If we can do that, and good luck continues to smile on us, we'll be there in the end with a chance to rack up some more points.

"I always enjoy racing in Japan. Twin Ring Motegi is an awesome facility and the Japanese fans are just incredible. They really follow the series and are very nice about asking for autographs and stuff. Motegi will always be a special place for me to race because it was the first place I turned laps in the KOOL car, when we went over there for a demonstration in late '97."

DARIO FRANCHITTI , #27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone:

(Started 11th / Finished 22nd at Motegi in 1999 ; Currently 18th in the standings with 4 points)

"I'd like to think we've gotten all of our bad races out of the way for the season and that we can get back on our game at Motegi. With it being Honda's home track and a Firestone-sponsored race, it certainly would be a good time to turn things around.

"But as bad as things have gone I've got to say I'm really proud of the guys on Team KOOL Green. They've not gotten down and lost their focus or any of their will to win. If anything, they miss the good times that come with winning and are that much more determined to get back on top.

"Motegi is one of the best racing events in the world in or out of Champ Car racing. The facility is second to none - and I don't just mean the circuit and garages, but the hotel, road course, dirt oval and Honda museum - it's just fantastic. And the fans always amaze you with their knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport. It really makes you feel good to be a part of this series and you want to go out and put on a great race."

BARRY GREEN, Team KOOL Green owner:

"You just can't say enough good things about racing at Twin Ring Motegi. Everyone at Team KOOL Green looks forward to the race because the organizers always do a first-class job and the fans are as devoted to Champ Car racing as any in the world. What more could you ask for? Well, I guess a win would be nice for either of our drivers. Paul has got a good season underway and you can't score too many points. For Dario, this would be the place to get that first oval win and start putting some big points on the board this season. And for Team KOOL Green, it would be especially sweet to win the race for our partners at Honda and Firestone."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti