CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Team Kool Green race report

Franchitti earns third podium finish of the season in Portland. PORTLAND, Ore. - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti earned his third podium finish of the 2002 season and 28th career CART podium, by posting a third place finish at the G.I. Joe's...

Franchitti earns third podium finish of the season in Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti earned his third podium finish of the 2002 season and 28th career CART podium, by posting a third place finish at the G.I. Joe's 200 in Portland. Franchitti, who started the race in seventh position, jumped to fourth when the green flag dropped and remained with the lead group throughout the race. The third place finish pushes Franchitti into fourth place in the CART FedEx Championship standings. Franchitti's teammate Paul Tracy was forced out of the race early and was credited with a seventeenth place finish.

Brazilian Cristiano da Matta earned his third victory of the season on the 1.969-mile Portland International Raceway road course, taking the checkered flag a mere 0.625 seconds ahead of second place Bruno Junqueira.

Tracy's day came to an end on lap 34 when a collision with Christian Fittipaldi left Tracy's race car with a bent upright. Tracy had moved alongside of the Brazilian racer and was poised to pass when Fittipaldi turned into the TKG driver and ended Tracy's run.

Da Matta continues to lead the CART FedEx Championship Series points standings with 74 points. Bruno Junqueira is second with 54 points (by virtue of a victory at Motegi) while Michel Jourdain is third, also with 54 points. Tracy is ninth with 32 points. TKG technical partner Michael Andretti is seventh with 34 points.

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"It's good to be on the podium, we had a really good start and moved up to fourth, so that helped us a lot. The KOOL car was really good in the first part of the race but then seemed to lose a bit near the middle. We made a couple of changes, but never really seemed to get it back. The car was becoming a bit of a handful and I think we'll need to do some more homework before the next couple of road courses. The guys in front were in a different league than us today, but it certainly was a much better weekend for Team KOOL Green than it was last week in Laguna."

Warm-up
Position: 8th
Speed: 115.767 mph
Time: 1:01.230 seconds

Race
Started: 7th
Finished: 3rd
Laps Completed: 110
Laps Led: 0
Points Earned: 14
Championship Standing: 4th with 49 points

Kyle Moyer - Team KOOL Green Team Manager
"Dario had a great start that got us up front and then it was just a matter of staying there all day. The car ran great and the team had great pit stops, which allowed us to moved up to third. All in all I think we're on the right track, we're ninety percent there in understanding the Lola on a road course. I think that by the time we get to Toronto we should have things figured out."

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"Alex Tagliani came out of the pits and was kind of slowing up Christian (Fittipaldi) and I think Christian was just focused on getting by Tag. I had a good run going and when I came up alongside of Christian to take the corner, he just turned in on me. I had nowhere to go. I don't think that he saw me; he was pretty concentrated on Alex. In terms of the start of the race, the starter wanted everybody lined up properly and he wasn't going to throw the green until that happened. I had three good starts in a row and then on the one that counted, I got caught up in traffic and couldn't move anywhere. It's too bad because the KOOL car was pretty good, now we'll just have to wait until Chicago to see what we can do."

Warm-up
Position: 4th
Speed: 116.356 mph
Time: 1:00.920 seconds

Race
Started: 9th
Finished: 17th
Laps Completed: 33
Laps Led: 0
Points Earned: 0
Championship Standing: 9th with 32 points

John Anderson, Race Strategist
"I don't think that Christian knew that Paul had come up alongside him. Paul had been challenging him for a while and he should have been able to get by. It's a shame, the car wasn't too bad and we might have been able to make something out of this race."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , John Anderson , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain