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2001 Postseason Thoughts

CHAMPIONSHIP: A great battle between two great drivers, 11 different winners, 19 different podium finishers, and 22 different top four finishers (out of the 25 regular drivers).

DE FERRAN: Everybody knew he had potential. Some said he was too nice. Others said he was too conservative. There were some who said he would never be more than an overachiever on small teams and wasn't strong enough on ovals. They were all wrong. He's nice and shrewd. He's smart and aggressive. He's an overachiever and a force on ovals. His last turn, last lap outside move on Kenny Brack at Rockingham put any remaining critics to bed. And winning back to back championships puts Gil in unique company.

BRACK: With his road racing background in F3000 and his oval experience in the IRL, one would have figured Kenny was a shoo-in once he got on a roll. They always say you first have to lose a championship before you can win one. Brack lost this championship. Now that he is moving to Chip Ganassi's team, Kenny should be a sure thing in 2002.

CASTRONEVES: Needs more development before he can topple his teammate, but don't ask us where he is going to get that in 2002.

PENSKE: Hey Roger, don't let the door hit you in your ass on your way out.

ANDRETTI: If any driver finished third in the championship, most people would be saying great job. Then why is it that when Michael finishes third, everybody is saying he is getting too old? Andretti is still one of the best out there and still a contender for the title.

DA MATTA: A lot was expected of him when he moved to Newman-Haas, so in that respect, Cristiano's season was a disappointment. However, he did easily outdo his teammate, but then that's no surprise.

FITTIPALDI: Speaking of da Matta's teammate, let's face the truth. Yes, Christian is a decent driver who can get some results, but if his surname wasn't Fittipaldi, would he still have this ride?

PAPIS: Two victories. Sixth in the championship. And he gets fired. Mad Max has not lived up to his promise, and what could have been a breakthrough season turned out to be overshadowed by his teammate who Papis knocked out twice this year. You don't get to keep your ride after that.

RAHAL: We could say that the team did their best while Bobby was taking care of Jaguar, but that would be mean. And it probably wouldn't be true ... this time. But still, one has to wonder about this team.

FRANCHITTI: An off year, but he did finally get married to Ashley.

DIXON: The revelation of the season. This is one driver most fans can't wait to see perform next year.

JUNQUEIRA: He was the F3000 champion coming in with high praise and expectations of taking the rookie of the year, like we predicted. However, expecting Bruno to make lightning strike a third time and follow up what Zanardi and Montoya did was a bit absurd. For a rookie, Junqueira had an excellent season, winning once and running quite well at times. Sure he made rookie mistakes, but he deserves another year as he still has room to grow.

GIDLEY: Don't get us wrong, we're one of Memo's biggest cheerleaders. However, statistics can be misleading. Yes, he scored three less points than Junqueira in much less races, but generally speaking Junqueira outdrove him. Yet, that doesn't mean Gidley should be discarded. He showed moments of brilliance, and without any benefits of a testing program, he was always behind the eight ball on race weekends. Memo still has a lot of promise. If there is justice in this world, someone will give him a proper chance.

GANASSI: Well, the great rookie experiment didn't work. Now that Penske will be out of the picture again, expect Chip to be back on top.

CARPENTIER: Finally, the nice Canadian shows his stuff.

TAGLIANI: Alex may not have won a race, but like his teammate, a revelation of a season.

VASSER: A hugely disappointing season. Was it just an off year, or is Jimmy finished? Moving to Team Rahal will give us the answer.

MORENO: Critics were probably too hard on Roberto. He had a decent season, and deserves to keep his ride if there is money available.

TRACY: We're not even going to bother saying anything -- it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

FERNANDEZ: Suffered through all the growing pains of being an owner/driver. Adrian is hoping that is all past him heading into his second year.

SERVIA: Oriol was always exciting to watch, even if his team wasn't up to his talents.

JOURDAIN: Michel was given many opportunities to succeed. He never made the most of them.

TAKAGI: To many drivers, he is aptly named -- Tora, Tora, Tora.

HERTA: Was it the team or was it Bryan? It was hard to tell, during good or bad times.

ZANARDI: A Greek tragedy. Alex never got back into the groove this year, and then when he finally did, horror struck.

DRIVEN: Little did we know that our joke prediction would actually be an understatement as CART fans ran out of movie theaters screaming in horror.

RACE OF THE SEASON: Well, duh -- Michigan.

PASS OF THE SEASON: Well, duh -- de Ferran on Brack for the win in England.

STAT OF THE SEASON: Both years de Ferran won the championship, he won two races in each year, five poles in each year, and he never led the most laps.

HISTORICAL STAT OF THE SEASON: Four drivers won back to back national titles in the CART era (Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Alex Zanardi, and Gil de Ferran). Five drivers did it in the USAC era (Jimmy Bryan, AJ Foyt twice, Mario Andretti, Joe Leonard, and Tom Sneva). Three drivers did it during the AAA era (Tommy Milton, Louis Meyer, and Rex Mays). Only one driver won three consecutive national championships -- Ted Horn from 1946-1948.

QUOTE OF THE SEASON: How can it not be Paul Tracy's comment after the pit lane exit incident at Laguna Seca, "They ought to get a circus clown to run this series."

QUOTE OF THE SEASON RUNNERUP: Logically, it would be Chris Kneifel's response to Tracy, "The first time I heard what he said I cracked up."

SCHEDULE: Years from now, racing historians will look back at the 2002 season as a significant moment in CART's history. Whether it's a revival or the death knell, we'll just have to wait and see.

Copyright 2001 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.


FINAL 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
31. Krumm(R) 0
  Garcia 0

ROOKIE STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. Dixon 98
2. Junqueira 68
3. Takagi 29
4. Wilson 12
5. Minassian 7
  Mears 7
7. Bell 1
8. Krumm 0

MANUFACTURERS
  Make Pts.
1. Honda 342
2. Toyota 309
3. Ford Cosworth 297
4. Phoenix 0

CONSTRUCTORS
  Chassis Pts.
1. Reynard 378
2. Lola 335

NATION'S CUP
  Country Pts.
1. Brazil 341
2. United States 240
3. Canada 187
4. Sweden 163
5. Italy 118
6. Scotland 105
7. New Zealand 98
8. Mexico 75
9. Japan 42
  Spain 42
11. France 7

VICTORIES
  Driver Pts.
1. Brack 4
2. Castroneves 3
  da Matta 3
4. de Ferran 2
  Papis 2
6. Andretti 1
  Franchitti 1
  Dixon(R) 1
  Carpentier 1
  Moreno 1
  Junqueira(R) 1

POLE POSITIONS
  Driver Pts.
1. Brack 6
2. de Ferran 5
3. Castroneves 3
4. Tagliani 2
5. Papis 1
  Kanaan 1
  Moreno 1
  Junqueira(R) 1
  Gugelmin 1

Most Laps Led
Kenny Brack (621)

Laps Completed
Scott Dixon (2,521)
 
 
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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