VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (September 3, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti dominated today's Molson Indy Vancouver, as Tracy took the checkered flag .384 seconds ahead of Franchitti. Adrian Fernandez came home third, a ...
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (September 3, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti dominated today's Molson Indy Vancouver, as Tracy took the checkered flag .384 seconds ahead of Franchitti. Adrian Fernandez came home third, a distant 19.031 seconds back.
The TKG duo was strong the whole weekend, with Franchitti leading every practice session, taking the pole and leading 50 of the race's 90 laps. He led the first 40 laps today, before briefly losing the lead to Gil de Ferran for two laps during the first round of pit stops. He regained the lead on lap 43 and held it through lap 52 when his engine stalled while leaving the pits on his second and final stop. That allowed Tracy, who stopped at the same time as Franchitti, to move in front of his teammate and lead the final 38 laps of the race.
While this was the first all Team KOOL Green front row, the win was the fourth 1-2 finish for the team. Franchitti led Tracy across the line at Toronto and Detroit in 1999, while Tracy led Franchitti in a 1-2 finish at Houston last year.
Tracy becomes the first driver to win three races this year (Long Beach, Road America and Vancouver) and the first driver to win back-to-back races in the 2000 season, having taken the win two weeks ago in Road America. TKG swept maximum points for the weekend. Tracy earned 20 points for the win, which moves him into second place in the standings, six points behind Michael Andretti. Franchitti, besides earning 16 points for finishing second, earned an additional two points -- one for winning the pole and a second for leading the most laps.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 2nd / Finished 1st ; 2nd in the standings with 120 points)
"Dario was definitely quick at the beginning of the race and we were having a hard time staying with him. I was catching him in the second stint and then he stalled on the stop and that gave me the opportunity to take the lead. I've got to thank Team KOOL Green, Honda, Firestone and everybody else involved in the effort. I'm re-signed for the next five years, Dario's on for next year, so we're looking forward to the future. We (Paul and Dario) were going to fight in the beginning and however we ended up after the last pit stop, that's how we were going to run. He was pressuring me so I was just asking, 'Hey, is this what the deal is?' Barry came on the radio and told me we had a deal and not to worry about Dario. I really like our chances for the championship. The rest of the tracks on the schedule are ones I really like and I've been successful at. I've won at four of the remaining five tracks. We're not taking anything for granted, but the confidence level at Team KOOL Green is sky high."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 1st / Finished 2nd ; 11th in the standings with 78 points)
"It's great to be on the podium but I really wanted to win today. Team KOOL Green gave me a great car and we could have won this one." On team orders: "We agreed that we'd fight it out until the last pit stop, then whoever was ahead would stay there. When Paul came out ahead of me after the last stop, I might have been quick enough to pass, but team orders are team orders. We agreed to them before the start and we stuck to it. But it's a great day for Team KOOL Green. I'm really happy for Paul to win here in front of all his fans and I know it really helps him in the championship. But again, I'm disappointed not to have won." On the car stalling on his last pit stop: "We just got bogged down trying to leave the pit and it stalled. We'll have to sit down and take a look at what happened."