2002 Cleveland Thoughts
TRACK: Burke Lakefront Airport once again shows its stuff with a lot of great moves throughout the
field, and hard nose driving during the whole weekend.
RACE: Some drivers complained about the extra 15 laps added to this year's race. Some even went as
far to say that it was done just for TV and the fans. Well, duh! That's exactly why it was done, and that's
exactly why it's a good idea to extend some of the races this year. Granted, there are exceptions, and perhaps
Cleveland is one that should be shortened back to it's original 100 laps. But only because Cleveland is very
hard on the drivers.
CARPENTIER: A fantastic run. Sure, da Matta and perhaps Franchitti may have been faster. But, this
is racing, and Patrick put himself in the right place, and ran a great race. A well deserved victory.
ANDRETTI: Another wonderful run, especially after the dismal Toronto weekend.
TRACY: You can't complain about the podium finishers. They all worked hard
for their spots.
DA MATTA: What a way to end the streak. It's one thing to be simply outrun and beat, but to dominate
yet another weekend and once again start running away from the field during the race, and then have the car let
him down, is a tough way to miss out on a record.
BRACK: The lone Target survivor.
TAGLIANI: Off the pace relative to his teammate. And, nice "tag" there on Dixon, Tags.
VASSER: Perhaps retook the lead for the hard luck award only because he was once again taken out in the
first lap. True, he did make a great drive back up through the field, and he did beat out Kanaan. A tough call to
make for this dubious honor.
KANAAN: Tony was quite quick all weekend, but you knew everything wasn't going to go perfect for him.
TAKAGI: With all the Bell shenanigans recently, we all forgot about Tora's propensity to bang competitors
out of races.
BELL: Speaking of Townsend, here is a question no one apparently asked -- did Bell have to abandon the
car after the shunt? It was a very light hit (Bell himself said maybe only 20 mph), if the nose cone/front wing
was damaged, that was replaceable, and no one was near the car at the time to tell him it was beyond repair, so
how did Bell know the car was not runnable unless he spotted suspension damage from the cockpit which is a
possibility. Otherwise, even though this crash was not at all Bell's fault, he may -- emphasis on the word
"may" -- have still pulled a bonehead move.
DOMINGUEZ: This is becoming a rip-roaring battle for Rookie of the Year...
FITTIPALDI: Talk about being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Where's a policeman when you need
FRANCHITTI: One of those character building weekends.
GREEN: Once again, poor pit stops cost their drivers. First, Franchitti, which lost them first place
since it allowed Carpentier to run a bunch of laps on low fuel to pull away from Dario. Then, Tracy lost three
spots on his first spot. To give them credit away from pitlane, they did incredible work to keep Franchitti's
car as fast as it was all weekend despite changing engines five times.
FERNANDEZ: An utterly horrible weekend for the whole team.
CBS: Just when you thought they couldn't outdo themselves, they did it again at Cleveland. From the
great opener to the in-car camera coverage to the audio (never has the sounds of these cars been so accurately
captured as they were in Cleveland, virtually exactly the way they sound in person, especially the acceleration
and upshifting coming out of Turn 1), CBS once again puts together one slam bang production.
WEIGHT: Why is it that just about every series in the world is able to handle the weight issue, but
CART appears to be in the dark ages over this simple problem?
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Cristiano da Matta's 50 point lead is the largest ever after nine races since the
point system changed to the current one in 1983.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This race helped kickoff Bobby Rahal's career as he gained his first
CART victory in the event's inaugural year, 1982, en route to second in the championship behind Rick Mears
and the Rookie of the Year title.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Tony Kanaan on his strange behavior to try to change his luck, "I can't check
what's going on in his [da Matta's] team, so I decided to find out what is happening at his house. You can hardly
walk through there because of all the trophies!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Patrick Carpentier on the race length before the start, "As far as the
race distance goes, this is a long one at 115 laps. Fifteen laps would be enough for me."
SCHEDULE: We never realized (okay, we're a bit slow) how many races on CART's schedule are run right
on a shoreline. There is of course Long Beach and Surfers Paradise. Toronto and Cleveland are both on the shores
of their respective Great Lakes. There will be Miami and Montreal and next year St. Petersburg. And next week,
there is Vancouver.
Copyright © 2002 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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