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2001 Preseason Thoughts

SCHEDULE: Hey, 22 ... er ... 21 races! Happy, happy, joy, joy.

TESTING: So, CART gets rid of most in season testing to accommodate the expanded schedule, and they turn Friday into a virtual open test day. Sounds like a great idea for the teams and fans, right? Not so fast. How frenzied and stressful with the pace be on Friday as everybody desperately tries to get up to speed? Will the result be a lot of broken cars and drivers?

PENSKE: Last year everything changed. This year, nothing changes. Why should there be? They are back on top.

GANASSI: The opposite of Penske -- changes galore. However, this year he doesn't have the guiding force of a levelheaded veteran to help the new guy. Instead, Chip has two rookies looking out for themselves in what they will perceive as a cutthroat competition to make a name for themselves and hopefully a Formula One ride. And you thought Team Green will have fireworks?

PATRICK: Quick, which team scored the most points last year? Yep, Pat Patrick, not Penske. Expect more of the same this year.

GREEN: Tracy, Franchitti, and now Andretti?! Like Mrs. Deep Throttle says, "This is going to be like watching figure-8 racing."

NEWMAN-HAAS: First time this team will ever compete in CART without an Andretti in the cockpit. Wow!

PLAYERS: This team may make a lot of noise this year. Keep your eye on them.

NUNN: Now that Mo has his driver, will Tony Kanaan quickly become the forgotten man?

DE FERRAN: You certainly get the feeling that Gil is one guy who will never let a championship get to his head. And that will probably make him even tougher to beat.

CASTRONEVES: Helio scored only 19 points on ovals last year. If he corrects that, he takes over Gil's number one spot.

VASSER: Take a driver who's style is even more suited than Fernandez for Patrick's economy run strategies, who's faster than Adrian and knows how to win, and you end up with the man who will be holding the Vanderbilt Cup at the end of the year.

DA MATTA: It won't take too long to relegate Christian Fittipaldi back to the number two driver on the team.

ZANARDI: Doughnuts! Doughnuts! Doughnuts!

FRANCHITTI: If Dario really still has aspirations to run F1, this is a make it or break it season for him.

CARPENTIER, PAPIS, JOURDAIN, HERTA: Other drivers who will be having make it or break it years. Maybe Gugelmin gets thrown in there too. In Bryan's case, we said that last year, but he never had the opportunity either way.

TRACY: Yes, he really is maturing ... well, except for his hair. But, can he really hold it together for two straight years? One thing's for sure, his devoted fans will continue to have conniption fits if you dare think otherwise.

BRACK: Without a doubt, he should win his first race this year. But then, he is on Team Rahal. Yet, Bobby won't be around.

FERNANDEZ: Adrian has always been one of the smartest drivers out there, both on and off the track. However, it's a whole different story being an owner/driver.

SERVIA: Oriol is back. Everybody watch out!

DIXON: Can you believe this guy is only 20-years-old?

TAKAGI: Watch this guy. We may finally have a real Japanese driver.

ROOKIES: At least seven rookies. Maybe as many as nine. That's a lot, and the second, third, and fourth races will be very telling for these guys. They will go from the tight confines of Long Beach to the wildly fast one-and-a-half mile superspeedway of Texas to the difficult bullring of Nazareth. It could be scary.

TOYOTA: Yeah, they proved themselves last year, but I still wonder if everybody is jumping on their bandwagon a bit too quickly.

FORD: This could be a make it or break it year for them as well.

PHOENIX-ILMOR: Don't pooh-pooh this engine just yet.

DRIVEN: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

STAT OF THE PRESEASON: Last year, there were a total of 31 drivers who took part in the CART FedEX Championship Series, including the 25 regulars, subs, and one off rides. At the opening race this season, there will already be 31 drivers lining up for the green flag.

Copyright 2001 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.


Read what others said.


Predicted Final Season Results
1. Jimmy Vasser
2. Gil de Ferran
3. Michael Andretti
4. Helio Castroneves
5. Cristiano da Matta
6. Alex Zanardi
7. Dario Franchitti
8. Paul Tracy
9. Roberto Moreno
10. Kenny Brack
11. Bruno Junqueira
12. Bryan Herta
13. Alex Tagliani
14. Tora Takagi
15. Patrick Carpentier
16. Adrian Fernandez
17. Christian Fittipaldi
18. Nicolas Minassian
19. Max Papis
20. Scott Dixon

Predicted Rookie Season Results
1. Bruno Junqueira
2. Tora Takagi
3. Nicolas Minassian
4. Scott Dixon
5. Max Wilson
6. Marcel Tiemann
7. Michael Krumm

Predicted Nations' Cup Results
1. United States
2. Brazil
3. Canada
4. Italy
5. Scotland
6. Sweden
7. Japan
8. Mexico
9. France
10. New Zealand
11. Spain
12. Germany

Other Predictions
Tony George will continue to jerk off open wheel racing. Chip Ganassi's head will explode when his drivers take each other out five times in a row. European fans will suffer whiplash experiencing high speed open wheel oval racing for the first time. Memo Gidley will sub in a race and drive to victory. God, we hope so! RPM2Nite will become an all open wheel show thanks to the arrogance of NASCAR. Adrian Fernandez will win at least one race in Europe, and then will lobby very hard for an event in Antarctica. Paul Tracy will run out of colors, so he will shave his head. Barry Green will buy a lifetime supply of Pepto-Bismol. Michael Andretti will run Indy, he will be leading with less than 10 laps to go, his car will break, and a Penske driver will win. Juan Montoya will outshine Rolf Schumacher in F1. But it won't matter, because the press will wonder why he can't beat a McLaren or Ferrari. Frank Williams will fire Montoya and keep Rolf. Tarso Marques will do absolutely nothing in the Minardi, but everybody will declare him a great driver because he is in F1. Rio gets down on their hands and knees and begs for another chance. CART will give it to them. Rio will promise to pay sometime in the future. One day before the event, the mayor moves the entire city of Rio to another country to avoid having the race. CART says they would still like to go to Rio again one day. Nazareth will be snowed out. They will reschedule the race for June. It will snow again. Bryan Herta will win Laguna Seca. Did you really expect any other prediction? Belle Isle holds their last race. Nobody notices. The movie Driven is released. It becomes imperative that barf bags need to be handed out to all CART fans who see it. And finally, Tony George will continue to jerk off open wheel racing.
 
 
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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