Team KOOL Green Conducts Impressive Test at Nazareth Nazareth, PA (April 15, 1998) -- Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti tuned up for next weekend's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota by completing 270...
Team KOOL Green Conducts Impressive Test at Nazareth
Nazareth, PA (April 15, 1998) -- Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti tuned up for next weekend's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota by completing 270 miles of trouble-free testing at Nazareth Speedway on Wednesday, April 8. A second day of testing on Thursday, April 9 was canceled due to rain.
Tracy (KOOL Reynard Honda), the two-time defending polesitter at Nazareth, completed 165 laps on the one-mile oval. His best lap of 18.65 seconds was nearly two-tenths of a second faster than the track-record clocking of 18.831 seconds, a world record for a one-mile oval, which Tracy recorded while winning the pole for last year's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota.
That translates to an improvement of approximately three miles per hour, from last year's track record of 191.174 mph to just over 194 mph during testing. Tracy was elated with the result.
"I knew what I wanted out of the car when I got there," said Tracy, whose victory from the pole at Nazareth last year was one of only two in the FedEx Championship Series all season [Alex Zanardi had the other, at Cleveland]. "John Dick [race engineer] wanted to start conservatively and I said, 'No way. Let's get down to business.
" 'I don't need any practice getting around this track,' " added Tracy, who tested extensively at Nazareth during his six previous seasons with Penske Racing. " 'I've done 20,000 laps here, so put all the tricks on right now!' Within 30 laps, I'd done an 18.8.
"After lunch, we could see it was going to rain. So we put on a new set of tires and I did an 18.65, which is faster than I've ever run [at Nazareth]. It's too bad the rain kept us from running Thursday, because I know there's more in the car. We've just opened the envelope. I think the pole is going to be in the low 18s [seconds]."
Franchitti (KOOL Reynard Honda) completed 105 laps during the test, with a best time of 19.2 seconds (187.500 mph), seven-tenths of a second faster than his 19.9-second qualifying run during his rookie season last year.
"I got used to driving [at] Nazareth a little more," said Franchitti, who enters the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota off a career-best runner up finish at the April 5 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. "I picked up one big tip from Paul: I need to carry more speed around the track. It's all a matter of getting comfortable and I feel a lot more comfortable at Nazareth after this test."
Tracy and Franchitti are scheduled for road course testing Wednesday and Thursday at Portland International Raceway. The FedEx Championship Series visits Portland for Round 9, the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline, June 19-21.
Source: CART Online