Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, September 27, 1999

Hawaiian Super Prix

Franchitti cuts
Montoya’s lead
from 28 to 13

Star-Bulletin staff


Dario Franchitti couldn't beat teammate Paul Tracy in yesterday's Grand Prix of Houston, but both were able to make significant moves in the "Points to Paradise" chase for starting spots in the Hawaiian Super Prix yesterday.

Tracy's first place finish helped him gain 20 points on Colombian rookie Juan Montoya, who crashed.

Tracy now sits 45 points back in third place in the FedEx Championship Series season standings. Franchitti finished second to move within 13 points of Montoya.

The top 12 drivers at season's end will receive automatic slots in the Nov. 13 race at Kalaeloa Airport.

At the bottom of the top 12, Bryan Herta and Tony Kanaan were able to put some room between themselves and No. 13 Patrick Carpentier.

Herta finished fifth and Kanaan ninth. Both now stand 11 points ahead of Carpentier.

The top 15:

1. Juan Montoya -- 200
2. Dario Franchitti -- 187
3. Paul Tracy -- 155
4. Michael Andretti -- 142
5. Max Papis -- 117
6. Christian Fittipaldi -- 107
7. Adrian Fernandez -- 106
8. Gil de Ferran -- 104
9. Greg Moore -- 97
10. Jimmy Vasser -- 94
11. Bryan Herta -- 72
12. Tony Kanaan -- 72
13. Patrick Carpentier -- 61
14. Roberto Moreno -- 58
15. Helio Castro-Neves -- 48

Hawaiian Super Prix

Associated Press
Canada's Paul Tracy comes around the last turn at the
Texaco Grand Prix of Houston in first place yesterday
for his second win of the season and 15th of his career.

Team Kool Green
sees hope in
Tracy’s victory

Associated Press


HOUSTON -- Barry Green has his sights on another CART FedEx Series championship.

That's why the owner of the 1995 championship team had a really tough decision to make yesterday as his Team Kool Green drivers, Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, ran at the front of the pack in the Texaco Grand Prix of Houston.

"We had to think about having Paul let Dario past," Green said. "But we couldn't do it. Paul just ran too good a race to take it away from him."

Tracy, a 30-year-old Canadian, beat his teammate to the finish line by 13.733 seconds, earning his second win of the season and the 15th of his CART career.

Tracy, third in points and already eliminated from championship contention, was nearly a quarter of a lap ahead of Franchitti, who is chasing series leader Juan Montoya.

Montoya, the sensational rookie from Colombia, was eliminated from the race in the streets of downtown Houston when he crashed on the 13th of 100 laps. That gave Franchitti a golden opportunity to slice into the 29-point deficit he faced at the start of the day.

Second place is worth 16 points, and the winner gets 20. The extra four points could potentially be the difference in the title race.

Franchitti easily held off Michael Andretti for second place and now trails Montoya by just 13 points with two races remaining.

"It was not a day for team orders," the 26-year-old Scotsman said. "Paul was dominant. Maybe if I was right on his gearbox, we'd have talked about it."

Schmidt wins first irl: At Las Vegas, Sam Schmidt slipped inside Kenny Brack with three laps remaining and went on to win his first Indy Racing League title yesterday in a caution-filled 500 on his hometown track.

With six laps to go, Brack led Schmidt by four car lengths. Schmidt, who started on the pole for the first time, pulled side-by-side with Brack, dipped inside the Swede on the third turn and zoomed out to a lead of six car lengths.

Martin ends drought: At Dover, Del., after winning a career-best seven times in 1998, nobody figured Mark Martin would be looking for his second victory this season in September.

Yesterday, Martin won the MBNA Gold 400 for the third year in a row. The victory ended a 25-race drought, since the second event of the season at Rockingham, N.C.

This was a vintage performance by the 40-year-old from Batesville, Ark.

First, he hung on gamely as rookie Tony Stewart devastated the field for most of the first half of the race at Dover Downs International Speedway. Then, he waged a magnificent battle with Winston Cup points leader Dale Jarrett.

Martin fell back steadily after Jarrett took the lead on the 255th of 400 laps around the Monster Mile, but maintained his pace until Jarrett began to slow down.

Martin caught Jarrett on the backstretch on lap 313, passed him easily and rode off to lead by 5 seconds.

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