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CANADA CORNER TROUBLES TEAM KOOL GREEN'S PAUL TRACY

CART
Source — Team Kool Green
Date Posted — August 18, 2002
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CANADA CORNER TROUBLES TEAM KOOL GREEN'S PAUL TRACY

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin -- Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy hoped that Canada corner would have been a luckier place for a native Canadian racing at Road America. But just when Tracy thought he had his best chance of a podium finish since the Champ Car race at Vancouver in late July, Kenny Brack came along to help turn Tracy's winning proposition into a losing one. On lap 39 of the 60 lap Motorola 220 the two drivers tangled in Canada corner, spinning both off into the sand and ending their chances of earning a podium finish in round 12 of the CART FedEx Championship. Tracy was credited with a thirteenth place finish in the race, while his teammate Dario Franchitti, who exited the race early with mechanical problems, was twelfth.

Cristiano da Matta won Sunday's Motorola 220 on the 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, to claim his sixth victory of the 2002 CART FedEx race season. Alex Tagliani was second, while Bruno Junqueira was third.

The race began with vintage Paul Tracy. Lined up fourth on the grid, Tracy blistered past Alex Tagliani and Cristiano da Matta when the green flag waved. He then went after polesitter Bruno Junqueira and by the time the two drivers exited Turn Five on the first lap, Tracy was in the lead. He then went on to pace the race for the next twenty-four laps, relinquishing the lead only after the first round of pit stops. Following the stop Tracy exited behind both Junqueira and da Matta and was chasing the leaders when Brack pulled alongside him to attempt a pass in Canada corner. Tracy earned one championship point for the day after leading the most race laps.

Dario Franchitti suffered handling problems for most of the race but was able to climb as high as fourth place before exiting the race early with mechanical difficulties.

Cristiano da Matta continues to lead the CART FedEx Championship Series standings with 143 points. Patrick Carpentier is second with 101 points while Bruno Junqueira is third, also with 101 points. Dario Franchitti remains in fourth place with 85 points. Paul Tracy is ninth with 69 points. TKG technical partner Michael Andretti is eighth with 77 points.

Paul Tracy - #26 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"I didn't feel that Kenny (Brack) had an opportunity to pass and then he just drove into the side of me and that was that. When we were walking back I asked him, 'what was up with that,' and he kept saying he was sorry. Sorry doesn't get me any points and it doesn't get him any points. We're both struggling for points right now. These are the type of things that you have to weigh in racing, the risk versus the reward and obviously in this case, the price was too high. The car was good, I'm not sure that our pit strategy was right on, we tried to do shorter stints and it didn't really seem to pay off. I'm really disappointed for Team KOOL Green, we definitely could have finished on the podium today."

Warm-up
Position: 13th
Speed: 136.319 mph
Time: 1:46.902 seconds

Race
Started: 4th
Finished: 13th
Laps Completed: 39
Laps Led: 24
Points Earned: 1
Championship Standing: 9th

John Anderson - Team KOOL Green Consultant
"We're all pretty ticked off right now. It was a pretty ambitious move on Kenny's part to try and pass right there. Kenny knows Paul's situation (in the points) pretty well and he wasn't going to give him any ground if he didn't have to. We just have to call it a racing accident but it's pretty disappointing. Paul didn't have the fastest car out there but his moves on the first lap were typical Tracy, just beautiful. But it all goes down the drain if you don't finish the race."

Dario Franchitti - #27 KOOL Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"The car was slow on the straight all day. I'm not sure if that was an indication of a problem, but it was certainly slow on the restart. Coming up the hill Tony (Kanaan) passed me and I knew there was a problem. Then between Turns One and Two (Patrick) Carpentier passed me and I knew it was all over, so I pulled off as soon as I could. We are not going to be able to win the championship like this. Cristiano (da Matta) is doing a good job and we are just hurting our chances with mechanical failures. I'm disappointed for Team KOOL Green."

Warm-up
Position: 8th
Speed: 137.044 mph
Time: 1:46.337 seconds

Race
Started: 6th
Finished 12th
Laps Completed: 43
Laps Led: 0
Points Earned: 1
Championship Standing: 4th

Allen McDonald - Chief Engineer
"It's good that we got a reasonable handle on the car, but it's also disappointing that we were unable to finish the race. We added some wing during the race and after that the car seemed to be handling well for Dario. It was starting to look like we might have a pretty good result. We are moving onwards and hopefully we'll have a good race in Montreal."

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See also
Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on August 18, 2002. http://www.racingwest.com

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