2001 Fontana Thoughts
TRACK: Hello, race fans. Welcome to Fontana, home of the 500 ... better make that the 460 ... ah,
the 440 ... um, correction again, the 432. Never mind. Hello, race fans. Welcome to Fontana, home of the
race of indeterminate distance on ESPN ... damn ... ESPN2.
RACE: Usually, Fontana's race isn't as wild as Michigan, but this year sure was different. Even if it
is a bit artificial, it's still fun once in a while.
MOV: Officially, the margin of victory was 0.123 seconds. However, the real difference that determined
the winner was .007 seconds. An unofficial record.
DA MATTA: This is the Cristiano most people expected when he went to Newman-Haas. Now, he needs to win
some races in between the first and last events.
NEWMAN-HAAS: They sure do like these million dollar paydays.
PAPIS: How many hard luck ways can Mad Max lose a 500 mile race?
TAGLIANI: That first victory is waiting just around the corner.
JUNQUEIRA: Indy, Michigan, and Fontana. This neophyte on superspeedways finished them all, competitively.
KANAAN: So, he is going to stay with Nunn. At least that's the word today.
DE FERRAN: Just missed that 200 point plateau as well as a one million dollar icing on his one million
MEARS: Another fine superspeedway run, but probably hasn't shown enough in his brief stint to land a
full time ride.
CARPENTIER: Almost repeated Michigan's formula of falling a lap down early, having the yellows fall just
right, and then charge back to the front.
TRACY: Okay, let's say something nice about Paul. Let's see... Let's see... Let's see... We got it!
Tracy led his first laps of the season. Way to go, Paul!
FERNANDEZ: Left, Adrian, left.
BRACK: What a way to leave Team Rahal -- thwack!
HONDA: The racing gods are still mad at you.
NAKANO: Fastest Honda qualifier. Fastest warm up lap. But, Shinji ends up being the only CART regular
not to lead a lap this year.
FITTIPALDI: His fifth starting spot means that every CART regular qualified in the top five at least
once this year.
HERTA: One guy who is not liking Ben Franklin right now.
NASCAR: This was CART's Talladega, their version of restrictor plate racing. Yet, the speeds are way
higher when the Champ Car drivers run in a tight pack. You can have close wheel to wheel racing with finesse
and skill and not have to resort to mindless banging.
INDY LIGHTS: This series has always been an oxymoron for us. It has never caught our imagination,
whether it be the cars, sound, or racing. Toyota Atlantics is what we always considered to be the ultimate
in support series. Yet, Indy Lights produced a vast number of CART stars. You can't pooh, pooh
that. So, the demise of Indy Lights is met with mixed emotions.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Record 73 lead changes. Record 19 different leaders. And yet, the crowds at
American open wheel oval events continue to decline.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: One of the most famous board tracks existed in Southern California --
the 1.25-mile Beverly Hills track where championship racing events were held from 1920 to 1924. Jimmy Murphy won
the most times there -- eight. Many of the races were like a Handford Device drafting affair of today. In one
event, Murphy beat Roscoe Sarles by .04 seconds who in turn beat Eddie Hearne by .04 seconds.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Cristiano da Matta discussing his ongoing bet with Tony Kanaan where the winner
of a race has to buy the other a bicycle, "He's gotten two very expensive bikes from me this year, so I think
I'll go to KMart for his next one, don't you think?"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Da Matta again, showing his team who's the boss during a race, "My team
was screaming at me not to lead so much. I finally had to get on the radio and say 'Shut up!'"
SCHEDULE: Will 2002 be the last year for CART?
Copyright © 2001 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.