MOTEGI, JAPAN - It was a tough day at Twin Ring Motegi for Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, as both saw strong runs evaporate when mechanical problems took them out of the Firestone Firehawk 500. Tracy had charged from...
MOTEGI, JAPAN - It was a tough day at Twin Ring Motegi for Team KOOL Green drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, as both saw strong runs evaporate when mechanical problems took them out of the Firestone Firehawk 500.
Tracy had charged from his 16th starting position to run with the leaders, before a gearbox problem took him out of the race on lap 77 of 201. Franchitti, who'd started second and stayed with the front-runners, fell out of the race when a header (exhaust pipe) broke on lap 126.
Kenny Brack earned his first career win in the CART FedCx Championship, crossing the finish line 3.650 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves. Third place went to Tony Kanaan.
Brack's win moves him into the championship lead with 49 points, while Castroneves is in second with 47 points. Tracy is tied for third place with 40 points, along with Cristiano da Matta and Jimmy Vasser. Franchitti sits in 11th place with 17 points.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
2(Started 16th / Finished 18th, tied for 3rd in the CART Fed Ex Championship with 40 points)
"I downshifted to fifth and lost all the gears except third. It's really disappointing for everyone at Team KOOL Green. They gave me an awesome car all weekend. We didn't get a chance to show it in qualifying (pop-off valve problem), but we showed it today in the race - the car was handling great and we had a lot of power out of the Honda engine. Unfortunately, a mechanical problem took us out."
ERIC HAVERSON, CHIEF MECHANIC FOR PAUL TRACY:
"Paul lost a gear and that must have taken some of the others with it - he could only find one gear. We had no indication of any gearbox problems all weekend. We're not sure what caused it, but obviously we'll have a close look at it when we get back to the shop. We were having a great race right up until then. The car was handling well, Paul looked like he was on a mission today and the Team KOOL Green crew did an awesome job on the first stop to get Paul up to third place. We all know there will be days like this, but it doesn't make it any easier."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD:
(Started 2nd / Finished 17th / 11th in the CART FedEx Championship with 17 points)
"I was going into turn one and the car started sounding bad so I got out of the power and came in to the pits. It looks like it was a broken header. It's very frustrating because Team KOOL Green gave me an excellent car today. Everything was working well up until that point. It felt good to be running up front and I was hoping to at least get on the podium."
GEORGE KLOTZ, CHIEF MECHANIC FOR DARIO FRANCHITTI:
"I feel really bad for Dario and the crew. We gave Dario a really good car and he was certainly making the most of it. We'd made one minor wing adjustment on the first pit stop, but other than that the KOOL car was perfect. There was no indication that anything was wrong until the end."