CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy out, Franchitti second in Fontana rain delay

Fontana, California (October 29, 2000) - Paul Tracy's bid for the 2000 CART championship ended with a mechanical failure on lap 24 of today's season finale at California Speedway, while teammate Dario Franchitti was in second place when the race...

Fontana, California (October 29, 2000) - Paul Tracy's bid for the 2000 CART championship ended with a mechanical failure on lap 24 of today's season finale at California Speedway, while teammate Dario Franchitti was in second place when the race was stopped due to rain after 33 laps.

Franchitti and his fellow CART drivers, including race leader Juan Montoya, are slated to take the green flag to restart the race Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. (PST), depending on the weather.

Tracy entered today's race 20 points behind championship leader Gil de Ferran, thus he needed to win the race in order to have a chance at the 2000 CART title. His race was off to a good start, with Tracy moving up to sixth from his ninth-place starting position. However, as Tracy was on lap 24 of the 250-lap race, his car lost an engine, ending his race and championship run.

PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD
(Started 9th / DNF, credited with 24th):

"I don't really know what happened. There was no warning. We were just cruising, kind of taking it easy and all of a sudden we lost the engine. I looked at the car when I got out and the top of the engine was gone. It's a disappointing day, but I can't complain. There's no reason to be upset, everyone involved in Team KOOL Green has done their best and you can't foresee something like that happening. Honda has been great to me and has done a lot for me over the last three years. I've got to thank everyone involved with Team KOOL Green - the sponsors, the crew, the guys back at the shop in Indy. We had a good season, we've got a lot to be proud of and we've got some good momentum to carry into next year.

"This has been a good season. We won three races and only a couple other guys have done that (Montoya & Castroneves). All in all, I can't complain. I'd love for things to be different - I'd like to still be in the race, but we're not.

"Next year looks pretty good for Team KOOL Green. We've got a great team. Adding Michael (Andretti) is going to be a big job, but we've got three talented drivers to work with and lots of good personnel, so I think it's actually going to strengthen our program."

BARRY GREEN, TEAM KOOL GREEN OWNER:

"That's a disappointing way for Paul to finish the season. But that's a part of motor racing and we understand that. I'm real pleased with Paul's performance this year. He's given his all for Team KOOL Green over the last three years and he deserves to win a championship. He is signed up for the long term (five more years). The guy is a racer and is going to win a lot more races for Team KOOL Green."

DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA-REYNARD (Started 7th / running 2nd when race stopped):

"It was a good clean start. It was nice to actually get through the first lap - it's been a while. It was really feeling good. The KOOL car was well balanced and it seemed good in traffic. I was catching the guys in front of me and we were quite happy with the strategy we were running. I was sorry to see Paul (Tracy) go out. That was a big thing for him to be out so soon. I'm just disappointed for the team. Our first pit stop was amazing. It was one of the fastest stops I've ever seen and we took on nearly a full tank of fuel. It bodes well for tomorrow. Hopefully the track conditions will be similar to what they were before it rained, because we've got quite a good car."

Click on the following link to read the full article or to obtain additional material: http://www.koolracing.com/members/champ/articles/?article_id=2096

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti