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2002 Laguna Seca Thoughts

RACE: It's a shame such a wonderful driver's track produces very little in the way of racing. The Canadian Grand Prix had more action and intrigue than Laguna Seca. And that shouldn't be.

TRACK: Good to see a massive renovation project taking place. It's long overdue for a track that is so old. Now, if they could find a way to make the track racier.

POLE: As always, there are two sides to a story. On the one hand, Cristiano da Matta had to protect his pole position by not causing a red flag, and thus was forced not to pull over. However, and this is a big however, on the other hand, that is no excuse for running in the line, making it appear that you are purposely oiling the track. Then, on top of that, there were reports that his engine was sounding quite ill in the Corkscrew on the previous lap, so he had to know he had no hope of going faster, and it was time to pull in before starting another lap. It is for these reasons that what should have been accolades heaped on Cristiano for getting his first CART pole instead turns out to be a pole that is "soiled."

DA MATTA: Aside from the situation, the only flaw in Cristiano's weekend was not getting the point for Friday's provisional pole. Pole position, fastest lap, led 82 of 87 laps -- just complete domination.

FITTIPALDI: A very strong run for Christian. But still, one can't help notice that he was outdone by his teammate. Again.

NEWMAN-HAAS: Carl just bought himself another box of Cubans.

TOYOTA: Their first podium sweep. But even more importantly, this is a rare occurrence for the engine manufacturers, such is the competition. We'll miss that next year.

BRACK: Kenny is starting to jell with his new team. Watch out as an exciting title battle between various contenders is starting to brew.

CARPENTIER: Goes off fast, slides through the sand trap, doesn't get stuck, keeps the engine running, and manages to finish fifth. Sometimes the luck is with you.

BELL: Was this a job saving run?

DIXON: Feeling real comfortable with Team Ganassi.

JOURDAIN: No longer the points leader, but the only driver to finish every race. All in the top ten. Despite being in the thick of the first lap melee.

KANAAN: Finally, Tony got to finish a race.

ANDRETTI: Michael has never been one of the strongest qualifiers. But last?! The switch to Lola wasn't as easy as hoped.

TAKAGI: At least he didn't ruin anyone else's race when he insisted on ruining his own.

TRACY: This is getting a bit sickening. Paul's crew messes up, causing him to crash when his wheel came off, and he is not only not angry, but blasé about it. Would the aliens please return the real Paul Tracy...

FERNANDEZ: After such a fine run last week, he ends this week by causing the first lap crash.

PATRICK: As in Danica, not Pat. Anyone who has followed her exploits in karts and Europe, and seen her finish second in the Formula Ford Festival -- tying the best finish for an American with Danny Sullivan -- knows that she is the real deal. Whether she continues to impress as she moves up the ladder, only time will tell. We sure are glad that Bobby Rahal is willing to help her find out.

STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Though common in Formula One, this was the first time two teams occupied the first four spots since the 1999 Mid-Ohio event.

HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The first CART race at Laguna Seca in 1983 was won by Teo Fabi with an average speed of 106.943 mph.

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Patrick Carpentier explaining one of the limitations of traction control, "The traction control is good, but not when you are sliding backwards."

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Also to Patrick Carpentier on why he wasn't worried after his crash in qualifying, "It's easily fixable, and after all, there are plenty of Reynards lying around. So, it shouldn't be a problem."

SCHEDULE: Portland. Bring your rain tires.

Copyright 2002 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.


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RACE RESULTS
  Driver Laps
1. da Matta 87
2. Fittipaldi 87
3. Brack 87
4. Junqueira 87
5. Carpentier 87
6. Dixon 87
7. Bell(R) 87
8. Vasser 86
9. Jourdain 86
10. Tagliani 86
11. Andretti 86
12. Kanaan 86
13. Papis 86
14. Nakano 86
15. Dominguez(R) 84
16. Takagi 83
17. Tracy 15
18. Fernandez 0
19. Franchitti 0

Time of Race
1:55:28.745

Winner's Speed
101.164 mph

Margin of Victory
19.087 sec.

Caution Flags
2 for 8 laps

Lead Changes
3 among 3 drivers

Most Laps Led
Cristiano da Matta

Pole Position
Cristiano da Matta

Provisional Pole
Kenny Brack

CURRENT STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. da Matta 51
2. Jourdain 46
3. Fittipaldi 43
4. Junqueira 38
5. Franchitti 35
6. Tracy 32
  Papis 32
  Brack 32
9. Andretti 30
10. Tagliani 29
11. Fernandez 28
  Carpentier 28
  Dixon 28
14. Vasser 26
15. Takagi 13
  Servia 13
17. Bell(R) 6
18. Nakano 4
19. Dominguez(R) 2
  Kanaan 2
 
 
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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