CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland Team Kool Green Saturday qualifying report

FRONT ROW START FOR FRANCHITTI 1998 CART FedEx Championship: Round 9 - Portland - 20 June PORTLAND, Ore., - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will start on the outside of row one beside pole winner Bryan Herta when the green flag falls for...

FRONT ROW START FOR FRANCHITTI

1998 CART FedEx Championship: Round 9 - Portland - 20 June

PORTLAND, Ore., - Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti will start on the outside of row one beside pole winner Bryan Herta when the green flag falls for the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. PDT.

Franchitti entered today's qualifying with the provisional pole, but Herta went faster to earn his second pole of the season (Long Beach) and establish a new track record with a lap of 58.358 seconds at 121.341 mph. Franchitti was less than a tenth of a s econd slower with a quick lap of 58.447 seconds at 121.156 mph. Last year's Portland pole winner, Scott Pruett, was third in qualifying and will start on the inside of Jimmy Vasser in row two.

Sitting out today's qualifying due to suspension, Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy will start from the 20th position on the grid. Tracy was suspended for an incident with Michel Jourdain Jr. in provisional qualifying yesterday. As a result, he was not allowed to improve upon Friday's time of 59.630 seconds at 118.752 mph.

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (2nd with a lap-time of 58.447 seconds at 121.156 mph)

"The car was fantastic. I had a little problem with the balance in turns nine and 10. You have to push the whole lap to be on the pole and I knew I had to push it through those last two turns (9 & 10). I made a mistake there on each of my last two laps. I got a little loose and slid around in turn nine on my next to last lap. Then on my final lap I went wide in turn ten and put two wheels off in the dirt. According to the telemetry we were quicker than Bryan through the first eight turns, but it's still a ten-turn race track."

DON HALLIDAY, ENGINEER FOR #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE:

"This race is going to depend a lot on fuel strategy and tire reliability. You need to have a good history on fuel and you need four good sets of tires. All weekend long, we've been very mindful of our tire situation as have a few other teams, I'm sure. We have three pretty good sets of tires for the race, so we'll see what happens.

"We could have been a little better on turns nine and 10. Without the two baubles there, I think we would have won the pole. It's easy to be disappointed and ecstatic at the same time in this game. But, hey, the reality is that second place is the front r ow and Dario and the team did a good job."

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN REYNARD/HONDA/FIRESTONE: (20th with a lap-time of 59.630 seconds at 118.752 mph)

"I think we could have qualified in the top four. We were good enough to do that this morning in practice when we were full of fuel. I'm disappointed we didn't get to qualify but that's the rules. We'll start 20th, which is about where I expected to be without getting to qualify. Obviously I'm frustrated. We've got our work cut out for us. For me the start will just be a matter of survivi ng the first couple of laps because that's when all the problems are. We've got to do the best we can, have good pit stops and hopefully we can make up some positions. I'm happy for Dario. It would have been nice to have both cars on the front row, but we 'll go to Cleveland and try to do it there."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta , Michel Jourdain