Uncensored CΛRT Commentary|
by Ed Donath
The Ultimate CΛRT Loyalist
ATHENS, NY—CΛRT’s ultimate Champion, [the word ultimate is being used in its most literal sense here] Paul Tracy, has officially taken possession of the Vanderbilt Cup. Under any circumstances PT deserves congratulations not only for besting his rival pilots but also for finally coming to grips with the concept of “controlled aggression”—at least to the extent that he is able—while he is still at the top of his game.
Nonetheless, what will forever be a moot point is whether the 2003 season’s results would have turned out the same if the Champ Cars had stayed more technologically advanced and/or if their drivers’ roster would have remained as deep as it was prior to the mass desertion to f-inheritor over the winter.
Sadly, this season reminds me of when Roger Maris hit 61 in ’61 after MLB had extended its schedule by eight games. Not quite as questionable as it would have been if Maris’ Ruth-bettering feat had been accomplished a year later when expansion teams entered the fray and further diluted the sport but asterisk-ed, nonetheless.
So as not to be perceived as being anti-Tracy, please remember that PT was lauded in this cyber-column last year when he announced—at the first possible moment after a contractual gag order was lifted—that he would most definitely not continue toiling for the Green Brothers and their new partners, Honda and Michael Andretti.
"I'm a road racer, and I've made my living in CART for the past 12 years," Tracy explained last August. "I like the challenges of this series, the variety it offers, and the demands it puts on a driver.
“CART is going through some hard times right now, but I'm not going to jump off the bandwagon because the grass is greener—or supposedly greener—on the other side. I owe it to CART, its fans, and myself to help push it forward, and that's what I intend to do."
Tracy not only waxed defiant but also mocked Andretti’s newly announced affiliation with clever wordplay. Talking the talk was pretty kool but the bottom line also proves that Tracy definitely walked the walk, as well.
"It was just the emotions of the hard work and the sacrifice and you know, the ups and the downs that you go through throughout a career. Some people never get the opportunity to win a race,” Tracy said as he admitted to “crying inside my helmet” upon learning he had clinched the V-Cup.
"For me, I have won so many races and led so many laps, but I have never been able to get to this point. It's never all fallen together for me. It's just a big release of joy, and it just feels like a weight has been lifted off," he added in sincere and humble tones.
Much to his credit, sheer determination—physical and mental—proved to PT’s critics, his former employers, and even to the ficklest of fans that he could indeed make the very most of his Players-Forsythe opportunity. Paul had a point to prove and did exactly that—in dominating style.
Incidentally, Tracy has already made known his intention to remain in the Champ Car World Series next year. Let’s hope that our beloved speed sport survives so PT will get the chance to defend his Championship.
Paul Tracy may not personify the Ultimate CΛRT Champion but he certainly qualifies for the title Ultimate CΛRT Loyalist.
Copyright © 2003 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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