LAUSITZ, Germany - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy brought home a top-10 finish in today's inaugural race - renamed The American Memorial in honor of the victims of this week's terrorist attacks - at the new two-mile EuroSpeedway oval. Teammate...
LAUSITZ, Germany - Team KOOL Green driver Paul Tracy brought home a top-10 finish in today's inaugural race - renamed The American Memorial in honor of the victims of this week's terrorist attacks - at the new two-mile EuroSpeedway oval. Teammate Dario Franchitti did not fare as well. After running in the lead pack for much of the race, Franchitti's car suffered mechanical problems and retired while running second. He was credited with 25th.
Tracy and the #26 Team KOOL Green crew decided early on to try and go the distance with just three pit stops, which forced them to conserve fuel throughout the entire race. Even while conserving fuel Tracy was able to overtake other drivers and move toward the front. Franchitti used a different strategy and pitted on lap 81 under the second of three caution periods. The stop would have allowed him to finish the race on just one more stop while most of the field would have needed two. He worked his way up to second position after coming out of the pits in tenth place, before retiring after completing 115 laps.
Teammates Kenny Brack and Max Papis finished 1-2, and Patrick Carpentier was third. The win moved Brack into the lead in the CART FedEx driver's championship with 131 points. Gil de Ferran stands second (120) with Michael Andretti third (115).
The American Memorial is scheduled to air Monday, September 17, at 1:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 11th / Finished 10th / Currently 11th in the standings with 68 points)
"It was tough out there with competitive racing all day. We were on a strategy to finish the race with just three pit stops and that forced us to constantly save fuel. Team KOOL Green gave me a good car, once the tire pressure were up and the fuel level dropped. Early in each stint we struggled but the car improved as the fuel was used. Tire wear was never a problem, and we were able to capitalize on that by taking fuel only during our second stop. With only two yellows during the first three-quarters of the race, different strategies were being used by the teams but we elected to stay with our three-stop strategy so fuel conservation was key.
"The pre-race ceremonies honoring the victims back in America were fantastic, everyone involved needs to be commended for the wonderful job."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 5th / Finished 25th / Currently 6th in the standings with 85 points)
"We had a mechanical failure out there, and the engine started to tighten up on the car and it was best just to pull off. It's a shame because we were on a good strategy and Team KOOL Green were looking at a good result in the end. The crowd was fantastic today and the racing was competitive. It was fantastic to get back to racing (after the events in America this week). For me to get back in the car and do what I do best and do what I can to memorialize the victims in new York and Washington - that was my own way to say 'I'm thinking about you.'"
KYLE MOYER, TEAM MANAGER/RACE STRATEGY FOR DARIO FRANCHITTI:
"We had a good start moving up from fifth position to second. But we used a little too much fuel to move up and we had to pit early and that put us in the back with some backmarkers after the first stop. But from there I thought we were right on. We did a little bit different strategy than everybody else and I think it was going to put us up in the front. I don't know that it would have put us on the podium but it would have put us close."
- TKG -