CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Team Kool Green race report

Team Kool Green delivers one-two punch in Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia - What began as a great weekend for Team KOOL Green at Concord Pacific Place in downtown Vancouver ended on an even better note when driver's Dario Franchitti and...

Team Kool Green delivers one-two punch in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia - What began as a great weekend for Team KOOL Green at Concord Pacific Place in downtown Vancouver ended on an even better note when driver's Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy combined to deliver the team's second one-two finish in three years at the Molson Indy Vancouver. But instead of a repeat victory by Paul Tracy, the Canadian favorite passed the torch to Franchitti, for whom accepting the winner's trophy from the late Greg's Moore's father, Ric, was a particularly poignant occasion. When it was all said and done, Franchitti's win was able to propel him into second place in the CART FedEx Championship, while Tracy moved up five positions to sixth, after earning eighteen points on the weekend, including bonus points for the provisional pole and most race laps led.

Both Team KOOL Green drivers started behind polesitter and current CART FedEx Championship points leader Cristiano da Matta. When da Matta came into the pits on a yellow on Lap 36, Tracy, who was following close behind, jumped into the lead and ran at the front of the pack through Lap 63. Da Matta ultimately retired on Lap 64. However when Franchitti also opted to take a pit stop during the caution period, it allowed him to complete the race on only one more stop, while Tracy was forced to take his final stop of the day with less than twenty laps remaining. Franchitti retook the lead following Tracy's stop and drove to his first victory of the 2002 race season to claim his eighth CART FedEx Championship career win. It is Franchitti's second win on the Vancouver circuit.

Da Matta continues to lead the CART FedEx Championship Series points standings with 122 points. Dario Franchitti is second with 84 while Bruno Junqueira is third with 74 points. Paul Tracy is sixth with 68 points. TKG technical partner Michael Andretti is seventh with 60 points.

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"A one-two finish for Team KOOL Green, we've done this before haven't we? I do like it better this way though. The Team KOOL Green guys did a great job on the pit stops today and I'm really happy. We knew late in the race that Paul would have to pit again and it's unfortunate for him, but our strategy worked wonderfully today. Kyle (Moyer, Team KOOL Green team manager) said Paul would be strong on the restart but I made sure I stayed in the lead and built a decent gap. It is really special for me to win here in Vancouver, I've been waiting two years to see Ric Moore at the top of the podium."

Warm up
Position: 6th
Speed: 102.804 mph
Time: 1:02.367 seconds

Race
Started: 3rd
Finished: 1st
Laps Completed: 100
Laps Led: 19
Points Earned: 20
Championship Standing: 2nd

Kyle Moyer - Team KOOL Green Team Manager

"This is just fantastic. Dario drove his heart out and we also put ourselves in a position that when da Matta (Cristiano) went out of the race, we were there. A one-two finish is exactly what we wanted; we're definitely back in the championship hunt now. This is what we needed, a little bit of luck, we haven't had much of it all year and now we finally have it. Both of our drivers earned a lot of points today. The results couldn't be better for Team KOOL Green."

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone

"We were the only guys who could keep the same pace as da Matta (Cristiano). I was catching him before the pit stop and then I was catching him after the pit stop. We decided to stay out on the yellow and I really didn't think it was going to cost us, because I was pulling away from Dario like crazy. When he came out in front of me, I was pretty surprised, but it's kind of a role reversal from 2000. It's a good thing for Team KOOL Green, we've found our form, and I think we're really back to the form we had in 2000. Things are coming around for us now. The car was really good. Once I was behind Dario with six laps to go I knew that was it. I knew what the situation was, the other main contenders were out, I was going to get seventeen more points and the point for most laps led and I'm happy to take that."

Warm up
Position: 11th
Speed: 102.294 mph
Time: 1:02.678 seconds

Race
Started: 2nd
Finished: 2nd
Laps Completed: 100
Laps Led: 45
Points Earned: 18
Championship Standing: 6th

Barry Green - Team Owner

"What an awesome day for Team KOOL Green. After the last pit stop the leader usually has the right-of-way. Paul did have to protect his position because Tony (Kanaan) was right there. If Dario had made a mistake then Paul would have had the right to pass him. Both Team KOOL Green cars were even today. Paul's team just took a different strategy than Dario's and they thought they would have gained more time. Looking back it probably cost Paul a position because of the strategy. It is so tough to pass here and that is the gamble we took, if we would have gotten a yellow at the right time it could have been a different story. We needed a bunch of points today and both Dario and Paul brought back a whole lot."

-TKG-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Barry Green , Cristiano da Matta