Franchitti column

Autosport.com columnist Dario Franchitti's race in Chicago ended after a collision with team-mate Paul Tracy

Franchitti column

There's not a great deal for me to report from Chicago. I could just sum it up by saying that Sunday wasn't the best of days.

The car was never really right the whole weekend. I was surprised that we were that quick in qualifying to get 11th on the grid. I think the chassis itself was the problem, I felt the Honda engine was very good. But one consolation from this year is that we have usually ended up working the car into a good one for the races. Through the weekends the guys at Team Kool Green don't give up, and again for the race we got a good balance on the car.

We were making good progress through the field, and had no significant problems,

I made up a couple of places at the start, I'd worked my way up to well inside the top 10, and five of the guys in front of me had to pitstop, so I was probably second or third at that point. We were running on pace with the leaders, and we were saving a lot of fuel. A lot of the strategies were going different ways, and people were taking gambles. But I think we were looking pretty good.

Then we had the incident with Paul (Tracy). I didn't see Paul coming down the inside. I don't know how far down the inside he was at the time. It's just really unfortunate that both KOOL cars were put out of the race that early. We discussed it and it was just one of those things - it was a racing incident. Paul and I will look at it on tape later and talk about it a bit more. It's a shame because we had a really good race car. I'm pretty upset for everybody on the team.

After the race a few of us went out for dinner in Chicago. I had a few friends over, and we were joined by Jimmy Vasser, Max Papis and some of Max's family and friends. It was good to get the boys out, and relax a bit as we finally have a weekend off between now and the next race!

On Monday Jimmy and I flew up to Elkhart Lake. Most of the teams are testing there, although we're not until Wednesday and Thursday. That's probably good, as I seemed to have picked up a little bit of a throat infection. Well any excuse to lay in the sun for a couple of hours!

I must say it's interesting - and amusing! - reading all these different reports and rumours in the papers over where I'll be racing next year. So many different opinions! All I can say is what I said last time. Nothing is decided, but we have some very good offers from some very good teams, including Team Green.

The next race is at Mid-Ohio, the first of the two consecutive road course races of the season, as we're back at Elkhart Lake the following week for the race. I've been on pole for the last two races at Mid-Ohio, and I scored my first ChampCar win at Elkhart, so they both hold some pretty good memories for me.

They are both very enjoyable circuits to drive on too, so I'm very much looking forward to the races there.

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