CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Honda Friday qualifying report

Franchitti Fourth in First Round Qualifying Dario Franchitti led the Honda-powered field in opening round qualifying today for Sunday's G.I. Joe's 200 here at Portland International Raceway, the third consecutive race weekend for the CART FedEx...

Franchitti Fourth in First Round Qualifying

Dario Franchitti led the Honda-powered field in opening round qualifying today for Sunday's G.I. Joe's 200 here at Portland International Raceway, the third consecutive race weekend for the CART FedEx Championship Series this month. The Team KOOL Green driver and 1999 championship runner-up ended the day fourth fastest, just four-tenths of a second behind provisional pole qualifier Cristiano da Matta.

Teammate Paul Tracy also had an encouraging first day in Portland, holding down third place on the timesheet until late in the session and ending the day ninth quickest. Less than a tenth of a seconds, but two places further back, was team owner/driver Adrian Fernandez.

Tony Kanaan, Michael Andretti and Shinji Nakano struggled with handling difficulties today, qualifying together in 15th, 16th and 17th.

By being the fastest qualifier today, da Matta adds one more point to his championship-leading total and insures himself of at least a front row starting position regardless of how Saturday's final qualifying round plays out. Live television coverage on the Speed Channel cable/satellite network starts tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Dario Franchitti (#27 Team KOOL Green Honda) 4th in first-round qualifying: "We still have a bit of work to do tonight to catch up with the guys up front, but it wasn't a bad first day and definitely better than last weekend at Laguna Seca. There's still a small imbalance in the handling, that's our biggest issue at the moment."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Shinji Nakano , Cristiano da Matta