NAZARETH, PA. - (May 6, 2001) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy moved into a tie for the lead in the CART FedEx Championship with Cristiano da Matta, after posting a third-place finish in today's Lehigh Valley Grand Prix. Tracy's teammate, Dario ...
NAZARETH, PA. - (May 6, 2001) - Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy moved into a tie for the lead in the CART FedEx Championship with Cristiano da Matta, after posting a third-place finish in today's Lehigh Valley Grand Prix. Tracy's teammate, Dario Franchitti, finished eighth in the 225-lap race around the 0.946-mile Nazareth Speedway oval.
Both TKG drivers gambled on pit strategy during the race, however it was Tracy's that provided the greatest edge. He was called in during a caution period on lap 116 while running in 10th position, and then managed to stretch his fuel mileage for the duration of the race. When Franchitti came in for his second and final stop on lap 141, also under yellow, a late caution on lap 215 effectively negated his fuel advantage and he was unable to make up the track position.
Rookie Scott Dixon won today's race by 0.366 of a second over Kenny Brack. At age 20, Dixon becomes the youngest driver to win a race in the CART FedEx Championship Series.
PAUL TRACY, #26 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 8th / Finished 3rd / Tied for first in the championship with 40 points)
"You can't really pass when you're conserving fuel because you're just worried about making the fuel mileage number. But Team KOOL Green had a great result today and that's what we needed for the championship. The way (Scott) Dixon was running, I thought he was going to have to pit again. But then we got the yellow at the end and that was it. You've gotta make points and you've gotta be there at the end of the race. We made up some ground today and we're tied for the championship so I'm pretty happy with the day."
JOHN ANDERSON, RACE STRATEGY FOR PAUL TRACY:
"We didn't know if (Scott) Dixon would have to pit, we thought he might. We had a problem getting out of the pits on the first stop, but Paul never gives up. He got on with the job of saving fuel and that's what got him to third after coming out of the pits in 10th place. ON THE CALL TO PIT EARLY: Back in 10th, you're going to stay there. So you've got to get out of sequence. You can be hero or zero, but on that one it was the right call."
DARIO FRANCHITTI, #27 TEAM KOOL GREEN HONDA/REYNARD:
(Started 12th / Finished 8th / 9th in the championship with 17 points)
"The strategy just didn't pan out for us today. Team KOOL Green gave me a great car - the best I've had all year. Iain (Watt), my engineer, really did a good job. The car was good in traffic and was very good putting the power down. It was the best car I've ever had at Nazareth. I was able to get around da Matta and Servia on the outside of Turn 3 - you've got to have a good car to do that. It's a bit frustrating to have such a good car and not have a good result to show for it."