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The Incredible Shrinking Grid

Here's a multiple choice question for our hardcore race fans. How many CART drivers will line up at the season opener in Monterrey, Mexico on March 10?

  1. 20 Drivers.
  2. 19 Drivers.
  3. 21 Drivers.
  4. We won't know until Monterrey weekend.

I'll give you a hint. I attended Sneak Preview and there were 20 drivers listed on the "Official Entry List." Think the right answer is A? Well, maybe yes, maybe no.

If you check the official CART.com web site, you'll see 19 drivers listed. Oriol Servia, listed as driving the #17 car for PWR Championship Racing (formerly PacWest Racing) on the "Official Entry List" at Sneak Preview two short weeks ago, is nowhere to be found on that web site's driver listing.

The hard working staff at Deep Throttle, in our never ending quest to answer really tough questions, asked CART.com about the absence of Mr. Servia. We were told that CART.com only lists "official drivers" and that the Spaniard is "not officially with PWR."

Just what does the man from Catalonia need to do to become an "official driver?" Is there some sort of bizarre initiation ritual or secret handshake that PWR has, known only to Mauricio Guglemin, Mark Blundell, and Scott Dixon? All we know for sure is that, as far as CART is concerned, Oriol Servia was only testing with PWR, in spite of him being "officially" on the Entry List two weeks ago.

Of course, all this may be cleared up once PWR does any combination of the following, a) launches its web site (which we are told is "coming soon"), b) announces its sponsor (which "official driver" Scott Dixon assured me is "coming"), c) announces its real "official driver lineup," or d) explains why the name is being changed.

I don't know, maybe it's me, but isn't this starting to look like "the stealth team?" Is it being sold, perhaps? According to seventhgear.com, PWR has a sponsor, the name of which is not being announced awaiting an okay from the sponsor. Is this sponsor shy? A reluctant-to-be-announced sponsor would really be a first. Maybe it's the CIA?

Assuming all the foregoing mysteries are solved before Monterrey, including the "official" status of Oriol, the right answer might be C) 21 drivers. There is still much speculation that either Johnny Herbert or Roberto Moreno will be teamed with Max Papis at Sigma. Eventually.

However, just to end your suspense, the correct answer, for now, is actually D) we won't know until Monterrey weekend. Again, according to CART.com, the teams have until this weekend to come up with their "official entries."

I don't know about you, but as of now, I am "officially" confused.

Copyright © 2002 by Lisa Davidson and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

 
 
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