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2002 Long Beach Thoughts

RACE: Typical for a street race. If someone has it dialed in, you better hope something happens to him, or it is going to be a bit boring. The first half of the race was just that. The second half, thanks to Fernandez, was a lot more interesting.

TRACK: We've always believed the original layout was the best one of all.

ANDRETTI: Who said pit strategy would go out the window with the new rules? Leave it to a veteran driver with a veteran team to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. And once he was in the lead, an absolutely brilliant piece of driving to stay there.

VASSER: Hey, Jimmy, when you see the pace car, then slow down.

TEAM RAHAL: Did they yet again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for their driver?

PAPIS: Is it just our imagination, or is Max having more fun with Sigma then he ever did with Team Rahal?

SIGMA: Their first podium finish. This team may be one to keep an eye out. They may surprise some people this year despite their somewhat limited budget.

DA MATTA: With all due respect to Andretti and Vasser, let's not kid ourselves here. This was Cristiano's race, pure and simple. He simply dominated. It was his to lose, and even da Matta didn't do that. Fernandez lost it for him.

FERNANDEZ: Was this a case of simple brain fade? Did Adrian forget how fast these cars accelerate, and just assumed because he zipped by da Matta that he wouldn't expect the black car next to him when Adrian slowed down for his pit stall? Maybe. Adrian usually doesn't make these bonehead mistakes.

JOURDAIN: Looked good again. Just maybe his first victory is awaiting him this year.

TRACY: Always have to keep an eye on Paul at the start when he doesn't qualify well. He's guaranteed to excite you.

BELL: Someone needs to sit Townsend down and explain what will happen if he continues this banzai driving. Either that, or someone is going to take a wrench to his head. A big wrench.

JUNQUEIRA: Bruno set the fastest lap of the race one lap previous to his crash. Hmmm, do you think he discovered the limit the next time around?

CARPENTIER: A weekend to forget.

FOX: Murphy's Law strikes again. With plans to bring you coverage like none before, including an absolutely breathtaking camera angle inside Tracy's helmet, weather keeps the helicopter grounded for most of the race. Then, on top of that, Tiger is winning the Masters, keeping viewers away from Long Beach. Nonetheless, a refreshing presentation from the stale past.

STAT OF THE WEEKEND: There were more people there Friday (50,000), a work day, than the entire IRL season to date.

HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The only point-to-point race that counted for championship points started in Southern California. In 1909, a 480-mile event from Los Angeles to Phoenix was won by Joe Nikrent in a Buick at an average speed of 24.98 mph. It took him over 19 hours to complete the course, over four hours ahead of the second place car.

USELESS STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Racing is full of stats. And, racing fans love to talk about stats. However, sometimes you can carry this stat thing a bit too far. Like the one mentioned in the official CART press release after the race -- It marked the first time that a Champ Car driver led the last lap of the season-opener and the first lap of the second race of the season since Rick Mears led the final lap of the season opening race at Phoenix and the opening lap of Round Two in Atlanta in 1982. To put it bluntly, who cares?!

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Cristiano da Matta on the possibility of needing to squeeze everything out of him after just missing the pole by .003 seconds, "I guess after looking at how close things ended up, I should have gone to the bathroom before I went out,"

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Jimmy Vasser on the one downside of the new qualifying procedure, "Maybe in the first 20 minutes of qualifying, we need some jugglers and fire engines on the front straight to keep the fans happy."

SCHEDULE: Back to another venue that loves open wheel racing -- Japan. And the first oval race of the season. Will Honda finally get a victory on their own track before they leave the series?

Copyright 2002 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.


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RACE RESULTS
  Driver Laps
1. Andretti 90
2. Vasser 90
3. Papis 90
4. Brack 90
5. Jourdain 90
6. Takagi 90
7. Tracy 90
8. da Matta 90
9. Franchitti 90
10. Fernandez 90
11. Servia 79
12. Nakano 73
13. Fittipaldi 67
14. Dominguez(R) 62
15. Bell(R) 57
16. Tagliani 55
17. Junqueira 51
18. Dixon 30
19. Carpentier 20
20. Kanaan 16

Time of Race
1:02:14.542

Winner's Speed
86.935 mph

Margin of Victory
0.466 sec.

Caution Flags
6 for 20 laps

Lead Changes
8 among 4 drivers

Most Laps Led
Michael Andretti

Pole Position
Jimmy Vasser

Provisional Pole
Cristiano da Matta

CURRENT STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. da Matta 27
2. Andretti 22
  Jourdain 22
4. Franchitti 20
5. Papis 18
6. Vasser 17
7. Fittipaldi 14
8. Brack 12
9. Tracy 11
10. Tagliani 10
11. Takagi 8
  Dixon 8
13. Carpentier 6
14. Servia 5
  Fernandez 5
16. Junqueira 2
17. Nakano 1
 
 
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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