Indianapolis, IN (August 30, 2000)--Team KOOL Green announced today that Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will both be back next year, and that Tracy will definitely be with the team over the long haul. Tracy, a two-time winner in 2000 and ...
Indianapolis, IN (August 30, 2000)--Team KOOL Green announced today that Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti will both be back next year, and that Tracy will definitely be with the team over the long haul.
Tracy, a two-time winner in 2000 and currently sixth in the CART point standings, has signed a contract with the team which will carry him through the 2005 racing season.
Franchitti, who recently tested in England with Jaguar's Formula One Racing Team, has elected to return to Team KOOL Green for the 2001 season.
"The signing of Paul Tracy to a long-term contract and attracting Dario Franchitti to remain for another year were both made possible by a long-term deal provided to the team by the principal sponsor, KOOL," said owner Barry Green. He added that "the contract gives the team the stability to plan and invest for both the present and the future."
A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, 3l-year-old Paul Tracy has been a CART driver since 1991 and is in his third season with Team KOOL Green. He has 17 career wins, four of them since joining Team KOOL Green, and 13 career poles ranking him second among active drivers in victories and poles. He scored a career-high 161 points in 1999, finished third in the championship and was named to the inaugural CART All-Star Team.
Franchitti, a 27-year-old native of Edinburgh, Scotland, has been in CART since 1997 and with Team KOOL Green since 1998. He has six Champ Car series wins and nine career poles. He had an outstanding season in 1999 with a series-high 11 podium finishes, including three wins -- Toronto, Detroit and Australia -- and joined Tracy on the CART All-Star Team. He tied for the 1999 season championship with 212 points but lost the title on a tie-breaker.
Franchitti's 2000 season was dealt a setback before it even began, when he suffered a fractured pelvis and hip in a testing accident at CART Spring Training on February 11. Now he is back to his best, having earned his first pole position at Road America and having qualified in the top five in seven of his last nine races.
Tracy and Franchitti have been a successful pairing, especially in 1999 when they had three one-two finishes. In Toronto and Detroit, Franchitti led Tracy across the finish line, while in Houston Tracy took the win with Franchitti claiming second place.
Commenting on his own contract, Paul said, "It's great to be back with Team KOOL Green and to know I'm going to be here for a long time. This is a quality team and they have given me everything that I could ask for as a driver -- the best equipment available, a tremendous group of mechanics and engineers, and a supportive environment to get the job done."
Describing Team KOOL Green as "the best in CART", Dario said he is "glad to be back with the people who gave me the opportunity to win races, contend for the championship and have some fun while doing it. I appreciate the faith that Barry (Green) and KOOL have in me and I plan to get on with the business of winning races for them."
Team owner Barry Green commented "I am delighted to have our 1998, 1999 and 2000 drivers back. These guys have produced for us, and their obvious competitiveness and skills are so sharp, we expect their presence to result in a highly successful 200l season for the team."