2002 Japan Thoughts
RACE: The dueling between the top three, some of it like there was no tomorrow, was fabulous. It was
disappointing when Kanaan and Tracy dropped out, causing the excitement to diminish quite a bit. Overall a good
race -- a middle of the meter ranking.
TRACK: The combination of a better wing package and the track configuration make this oval quite racy.
JUNQUEIRA: A solid, solid weekend. Will this be the breakout race that the commentators alluded to?
Perhaps. But the five week layoff could cool Bruno off.
TOYOTA: A huge smile on their faces.
TAGLIANI: Another fine oval performance. One of these days, Alex has got to get his first win.
FRANCHITTI: No wins this year, yet, but consistency has put him on top of the standings. When he does
start winning, watch out.
KANAAN: What an opportunity spoiled by the racing gods. No doubt, Tony was the class of the field.
TRACY: The good Tracy -- controlled aggression and super fast. His wheel bearing failure didn't just
let Paul down. It let the fans down who missed out on a potentially super finish.
HONDA: So, they once again did not win a race on their own track. And worse yet, it was Toyota that beat
them this time. Normally, we would feel sorry for them. But, now that they might abandon CART, we don't feel so
JOURDAIN: Just two points out of first place in the standings. Sure, the season is young, but he already
has more points than any other season in his career. And it's only three races old. So, just how is that Herdez
ride doing these days?
TAKAGI: Gave the local fans a lot to cheer about.
PAPIS: Max always does well on ovals. However, it's either podium or bust for his car. If you want a
dark horse at Indy, Mad Max is your man.
BELL: Three races. Three crashes. Townsend is fast. No doubt about that. It's been awhile since a
promising rookie has had such a rough start. But, it's up to Bell. He has got to stop overdriving the car.
PWR: Just how much trouble is this team in? That sponsorship that Scott Dixon absolutely insisted was
going to materialize, hasn't. Bruce McCaw is spending a lot of his own money on this team. Quite frankly, with
the talent this team has between Servia and Dixon, they are doing terrible. How long can this last?
NAKANO: Hey, Shinji, I think you're missing something there.
SPEED LIMIT: The extension of the pit lane speed limit till after turn 2 led to an interesting (and
exciting!) race between Kanaan and Tracy. Just goes to show, you don't always need speed to produce fun action.
And the drag race afterwards ... maybe the NHRA should experiment with rolling starts...
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Ford - 4, Toyota - 1, Honda - 0.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Despite only having two cars on the lead lap, the streak of not having
the winner lap the entire field continues. The last time that happened was back in 1994 when Scott Goodyear
lapped the entire field to win the Michigan 500.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: To Jimmy Vasser for the understated thought when flames were beginning to engulf
him, "I got to get out of this deal."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Whatever the Honda brass is saying behind closed doors.
SCHEDULE: Again, another five week break, and then a flurry of action all through the summer. Meanwhile,
Indy is up. Eight CART drivers will be there. Will the top ten be those eight and the Penske drivers?
Copyright © 2002 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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