CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Kool Green Rio Preview

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (April 30, 1998) – Team KOOL Green’s Paul Tracy returns to defend his victory from last year at the Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway, May 8-10. He is joined by teammate Dario Franchitti, who has enjoyed some solid results ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (April 30, 1998) – Team KOOL Green’s Paul Tracy returns to defend his victory from last year at the Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway, May 8-10. He is joined by teammate Dario Franchitti, who has enjoyed some solid results early in the season.

In Tracy'’s victory at the Rio 400 last season, he came from fifth on the grid to take advantage of Bobby Rahal who ran out of fuel while leading with just two laps remaining. Tracy'’s win last season was the second of three consecutive victories, all on short ovals (Nazareth, Gateway). Tracy'’s best finish this season is a pair of fifths on the ovals at Japan and Nazareth.

Franchitti has been impressive, finishing second at Long Beach and scoring points in the first three races of this season. At last year’s Rio 400, he qualified 19th but got caught in an incident on the race start and never took the green flag.

Paul Tracy, #26 Team KOOL Green Reynard-Honda (Firestone): (Started 5th / Finished 1st at Rio in 1997; Currently 10th overall with 20 points)

"Rio was one of the more unusual wins of my career. I started fifth but spun on an early restart and had to come back from 10th place, all the while saving fuel. I knew Bobby (Rahal) was tight on fuel, so I kept the pressure on. I couldn't believe my luck when he slowed. We didn't have much fuel left, but we had enough to finish, and that's all that mattered."

“To win this race, ther'’s no question the Team KOOL Green crew must come through with some quick pit stops. It's so competitive, there's probably 10 different guys who can win this race, and naturally I think I'm one of them. But we've got to have a perfect race to do it. We’ve got a good handle on getting the car setup right and I'm confident we can race up front again, we just need to work on our pit stops."

Dario Franchitti, #27 Team KOOL Green Reynard-Honda (Firestone): (Qualified 19th / DNS at Rio in 1997; Currently 6th overall with 25 points)

"Rio was not a great race for me last season. It's a shame too, because I really like the track. I was getting faster and faster each time out and I really thought I could make up some positions and get a good finish in the points."

"I'm quite pleased with the way things are going this year at Team KOOL Green. I feel like we're getting stronger as a team with every session in the car. We've had some good results this year, but I won't feel like we've really accomplished anything until I get that first win. And winning at Rio, in the homeland of my racing hero Ayrton Senna, that would be the best!"

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Ayrton Senna , Emerson Fittipaldi