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Uncensored CART Commentary
by Ed Donath

Profilers…Or Merely Stylers?
10/28/02

ATHENS, NY—If there is anything that the compellingly tragic events of October should have taught us it is that so-called experts—particularly shrinks and people whose TV introduction tag includes the word “former”, as in former NYPD Detective or former FBI Profiler—are as worthless as anyone else when it comes to predicting outcomes where no factual data has yet been made available. Putting this theory to test in conjunction with current events in our beloved speed sport, unfortunately, does absolutely nothing to disprove it.

Speculation regarding merger and/or buy-out talk that would link such unlikely bedfellows as Gerald Forsythe, Bernie Eccelstone, Donald Panoz, Honda, Toyota and others is rife. The rumors that are being presented as gospel this time around are, of course, being served up by the very same former journalists turned know-it-all-analysts who also cooked-up the juiciest tidbits during our last period of speculation, and the one before that, etcetera, ad infinitum.

As a result of straining to win a bout with writer’s block by forcing myself to bang out the previous two paragraphs, I had worked up quite an appetite. After preparing and eating a satisfying early lunch that included habañero-spiced pasta e fagioli, roasted garlic-topped Italian bread and “samplings” from an amusing little bottle of Sangiovese di Lazio, I decided to check e-mail and the latest CART news before attempting to write more.

Not surprisingly, the opinion expressed here in my opening paragraphs appeared to be well confirmed by a CART story that had been posted on the AP wire while I was off playing Molto Mario. It quoted Grandpa Chris’ emphatic denial that his recent talks with ForMoola One’s boss were anything more than just two old pals shooting the bull.

“I'm not going to deny to anybody that I've talked with Bernie Ecclestone,” Pook said. “He's a friend. He's also the most intelligent man in motor racing in the world. And there is no doubt that I am rebuilding this series. So, it's logical that I would go to someone like that and say, ‘Hey, am I going in the right direction?’ That's what's going on.”

Although the most recent act in the Champ Car Company’s survival drama is far from approximating the life-or-death tragedy that was simultaneously being played out in the suburban environs of Washington D.C., there are, nonetheless, similarities in the way that the media spun these two stories that are perhaps worth noting. In both cases, TV face time addicts—my homey Curtis Sliwa refers to them as his fellow “lens lice”—have been allowed to be the story until their speculations become superseded by hard facts.

Chris Pook was further quoted in the aforementioned AP release as saying: “All these things are out there, and somehow or another, someone has tried to connect all the dots, and said, ‘Ecclestone is going to take over CART!’ Maybe he is…but he hasn't told me that. And he hasn't told anybody else that.”

One can argue that, like Chief Moose, Grandpa Chris is being forced to make “duck in a noose” statements to the press because of Bernie the Banker’s behind-the-scenes demands. But it is just as easily argued that the status of CART as a publicly owned corporation, at times, puts the demand of great restraint on the CEO. MPH: NYSE stockholders, like the DC-area citizenry, must occasionally be secretly served and protected.

And speaking of Molto Mario, a lucky break in the case and media spin:

Herdez PR chefs have cooked up a special hallucinogenic salsa. Take a bite and you might actually believe that Mario Dominguez “captured” a race victory and ROY honors this weekend in Australia. Not nearly enough habañeros in that batch, amigos.

Copyright © 2002 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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