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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 dollar cake.

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.



RACE RESULTS
  Driver Laps
1. da Matta 220
2. Papis 220
3. Tagliani 220
4. Junqueira(R) 220
5. Kanaan 220
6. de Ferra 220
7. Andretti 220
8. Mears(R) 220
9. Barron 220
10. Carpentier 220
11. Servia 220
12. Vasser 220
13. Fittipaldi 220
14. Gidley 220
15. Takagi(R) 220
16. Jourdain 219
17. Dixon(R) 215
18. Fernandez 195
19. Moreno 188
20. Gugelmin 154
21. Nakano 119
22. Castroneves 86
23. Franchitti 74
24. Tracy 64
25. Herta 54
26. Brack 31

Time of Race
2:59:39.716

Winner's Speed
149.073 mph

Margin of Victory
0.123 sec.

Caution Flags
8 for 57 laps

Lead Changes
73 among 19 drivers

Most Laps Led
Max Papis

Pole Position
Alex Tagliani

CURRENT STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. de Ferran 199
2. Brack 163
3. Andretti 147
4. Castroneves 141
5. da Matta 140
6. Papis 107
7. Franchitti 105
8. Dixon(R) 98
9. Kanaan 93
10. Carpentier 91
11. Tagliani 80
12. Vasser 77
13. Moreno 76
14. Tracy 73
15. Fittipaldi 70
16. Junqueira(R) 68
17. Gidley 65
18. Fernandez 45
19. Servia 42
20. Jourdain 30
21. Takagi(R) 29
22. Herta 28
23. Zanardi 24
24. Gugelmin 17
25. Wilson(R) 12
26. Nakano 11
27. Minassian(R) 7
  Mears(R) 7
29. Barron 4
30. Bell(R) 1
 
 
2008 Thoughts
Long Beach

2007 Thoughts
Preseason Las Vegas Long Beach Houston
Portland Cleveland Mont Tremblant Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Road America Belgium
Holland Surfers Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2006 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Houston Monterrey
Milwaukee Portland Cleveland Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Denver Montreal
Road America Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2005 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Edmonton
San Jose Denver Montreal Las Vegas
Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2004 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Denver Montreal Laguna Seca
Las Vegas Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2003 Thoughts
Preseason St. Petersburg Monterrey Long Beach
Brands Hatch Germany Milwaukee Laguna Seca
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Mid-Ohio Montreal Denver
Miami Mexico City Surfer's Paradise Postseason

2002 Thoughts
Preseason Monterrey Long Beach Japan
Milwaukee Laguna Seca Portland Chicago
Toronto Cleveland Vancouver Mid-Ohio
Road America Montreal Denver
England Miami Surfer's Paradise
Fontana Mexico City Postseason

2001 Thoughts
Preseason Mexico Long Beach Nazareth
Japan Milwaukee Detroit Portland
Cleveland Toronto Michigan Chicago
Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver German
England Houston Laguna Seca
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

2000 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Long Beach Brazil
Japan Nazareth Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto Michigan
Chicago Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Gateway USGP Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1999 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Road America Toronto
U.S. 500 Detroit Mid-Ohio Chicago
Vancouver Laguna Seca Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1998 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Detroit Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Houston Surfer's Paradise Fontana

1997 Thoughts
Miami Surfer's Paradise Long Beach Nazareth
Brazil Gateway Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America
Vancouver Laguna Seca Fontana
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