Franchitti leads Honda sweep in Vancouver. Neatly reversing the results from two years ago, the Honda-powered Team KOOL Green duo of Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy dominated today's Molson Indy Vancouver, only this time it was Franchitti taking...
Franchitti leads Honda sweep in Vancouver.
Neatly reversing the results from two years ago, the Honda-powered Team KOOL Green duo of Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy dominated today's Molson Indy Vancouver, only this time it was Franchitti taking the victory after Tracy led the way for much of the 100-lap event. Tony Kanaan also came on strongly in the second half of the race to make it a 1-2-3 finish for Honda today.
In the 2000 race, Franchitti led most of the day only for a mechanical problem during his final pit stop to drop him to second behind the victorious Tracy. Today, it was Tracy taking command of the race on lap 36 and leading a total of 45 laps. But the Canadian was forced to make a final pit stop on lap 86, handing the lead back to Franchitti for the final time.
For his part, Kanaan fought off a strong challenge from both Michel Jourdain and Patrick Carpentier to record Mo Nunn Racing's best result so far this season. Michael Andretti lost several laps in the pits after contact with Tora Takagi, but the former series champion persevered for a sixth place finish.
Adrian Fernandez escaped serious injury despite a high-speed crash on the curving back straight on lap 91 that was precipitated by a spinning Patrick Carpentier. Shinji Nakano ran as high as fourth at one point, but also crashed out of the contest and was credited with an 11th place result.
Today's race marked the mid-point in the 2000 CART FedEx Championship season, and the series now takes a week off before running races on four consecutive race weekends, starting at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 11.
Dario Franchitti (#27 Team KOOL Green Honda) Started 3rd, finished 1st:
"It was a perfect weekend for the team. I'm sure that Paul would like [the finish order] to be reversed today, but the way I look at it this is my turn after two years ago (when Tracy won in front of Franchitti). We made no mistakes, and when we pitted and came out behind Paul I knew it was just a matter of time. When we had the red flag, I was a bit worried because I went from having a 12-second lead to having Paul right behind me. But I knew that he wasn't going to do anything to put us out of the race. With all of these other guys having fallen out. Both of us had too much to gain. The toughest thing out there today was the falling temperatures. As they fell during the afternoon it really played with the tires and the car. But the team adapted at each pit stop and the car was definitely its best at the end of the race. Coming here isn't like coming to any other track, since this was Greg Moore's hometown. It was really nice to win this one here with Rick (Moore) and his family."
Paul Tracy (#26 Team KOOL Green Honda) Started 2nd, finished 2nd:
"I'm happy for Dario and the team, but I'm sad because I was dominating the race. I got the lead and was able to pull away. I thought everything was going fine and then I pitted and lost a spot to Dario. I knew after that it would be a huge risk to do anything on cold tires. I didn't want to do anything to put any of us in jeopardy. My car wasn't good on cold tires anyway, it was much better on used and worn tires. It was great to see Rick [Moore] on the podium so filled with emotion and it was a great win for Dario in Canada. We've now got some momentum going for the whole team and now is the time to really build on that and attack. We're qualifying in the front now and really finishing strong. To go from 11th to 6th in one week in the championship is huge so we have to keep on this roll."
Tony Kanaan (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda) Started 6th, finished 3rd:
"To be on the podium with my friends is great. The first half of the season has been filled with a lot of disappointments. Today I stayed in there and let things play out and ended up scoring more points today than I have the whole rest of the season. There was so much going on out there today but thankfully not with me! Michel (Jourdain) was pushing me so hard today at the end. But I knew that I was going to be on that podium - not him - and I just kept on going. It was a good move for CART to red flag the race, but I think they should have given us some extra laps to get all the "pick up" off of the tires. I was looking at Paul's tires thinking 'Wow look at all that' then I looked at mine and went 'Wow, mine are worse' then I figured Michel was behind me doing the same thing. But It was good for the fans for the race to finish under green."
Michael Andretti (#39 Team Motorola Honda) Started 5th, finished 6th:
"It was a long day, I'll tell you. I felt like a pinball out there for awhile. I thought we were going to be okay, we kept coming in and topping off and then [Tora] Takagi had a run on me and he didn't pull it off and I ended up in the tires. I thought we were done but they were able to get me going and the team got things fixed. We were very lucky today, but you take what you get."