TRACY AND FRANCHITTI PACE TEAM KOOL GREEN TO IMPRESSIVE TOP-10 PERFORMANCES MOTEGI, Japan - Both Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti drove solid races to earn fifth and eighth place finishes for Team KOOL Green behind today's race winner Adrian ...
TRACY AND FRANCHITTI PACE TEAM KOOL GREEN TO IMPRESSIVE TOP-10 PERFORMANCES
MOTEGI, Japan - Both Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti drove solid races to earn fifth and eighth place finishes for Team KOOL Green behind today's race winner Adrian Fernandez of Mexico at the Budweiser 500, CART's inaugural event in Japan on the 1.549-mil e Twin Ring oval.
Tracy started from the 16th position on the grid and stormed to the front of the pack to race among the leaders after 90 laps. Engine stalls on Tracy's first two pit stops (lap 47 & lap 92) set him back early in the race. Tracy fought his way back onto the lead lap twice with a fine display of driving skill. He took the lead on lap 160 and led for a total of four laps until making his fourth pit stop. Too much time on the final stop dropped him to fifth place. On the restart after the day's third ye llow, he passed Greg Moore to take fourth but was re-passed on the final lap.
Franchitti, meanwhile, started sixth and moved up to fifth before the 20th lap. Throughout the rest of the race he fought an ill-handling car and did well to bring it home in eighth place. Franchitti, like Tracy, lost valuable time and track position in the pits when his engine stalled while exiting the pits on his first stop.
Franchitti picked up five more PPG Cup points and currently stands in 10th place in the CART FedEx Championship Series points standings with nine. Tracy moved ahead of his teammate earning 10 points in today's race to sit in ninth place overall.
Paul Tracy, #26 Team KOOL Green:
"I had a great race. The car just got better and better throughout the race. We just got killed in the pits. I thought I had fourth place when I got Greg Moore on the restart. Greg and I bumped wheels -- my back; his front. Then I had to slow for a car in front and he got me."
Dario Franchitti, #27 Team KOOL Green:
"We just didn't get it right. The car understeered all day. The problem developed during the race. We tried a lot of things - putting in more front wing. The car was just so far out of aero-balance all we could do is hang on. It was good that we fini shed again and picked up a few more points."
Barry Green, Team KOOL Green Owner on Tracy's race:
"It just wasn't our day in the pits. We stalled the engine twice and we were slow with the fuel on the last stop. We had the wrong gear in the car for the speed limiter and it was confusing the electronics and shutting down the engine - it was not a Hon da problem, it was a function of the gear we had in the car.
"We had a good car, a good engine and good tires. We were looking good until those last two yellows came out because there were four or five cars in front of us which all had to stop. So, we were unlucky in the pits and unlucky with the yellow."