2002 Preseason Thoughts
POOK: Chris can say what he wants, but he is the savior for CART. This year will prove it. If
not, then enjoy CART's last season.
TURBOS: Enjoy them while they last.
SCHEDULE: It's back up to 20 races. And with some of the deadwood gone, this could
be a banner year for attendance.
QUALIFYING: And all the other rule changes. Like them or not, they will inject some new energy into this
BRACK: The most successful driver in Team Rahal history (after the boss retired from the seat) is now
on the best team in CART (after Penske left). Do you smell championship? Of course.
GANASSI: The Chipster lost his way last year trying to break in two rookies at once. He's back now,
and has more teams than Roger Penske. Next, he can enter a team in the American Le Mans Series.
FRANCHITTI: Is everybody forgetting about Dario? Sure, he had an off year, but that's racing. He'll
be contending for the championship again this season.
TRACY: Paul? Oh, he'll contend as well. Right up to the three quarters mark.
ANDRETTI: Will be interesting to see how Michael drives this year. Desperate in what might be one of
his last chances to win a title or as a wily old veteran?
NEWMAN-HAAS: Solid performances this year, but no bells and whistles.
DA MATTA: Want a dark horse championship contender? Cristiano's your man. Actually, it's not much of
a dark horse at all. He's quite capable of taking the Vanderbilt Cup this year. Whether it can be done with
Newman-Haas is a question mark.
FITTIPALDI: Christian, on the other hand. Forget about it. He will surely be outdone by his teammate
JUNQUIERA: Too much was expected of Bruno. A Montoya comes along once in a blue moon. And, he had
nobody to help guide him. Now with Brack, the pressure is off Junquiera, and he can just worry about honing
FERNANDEZ: Second year around with all the bugs worked out being a team owner. Adrian is ready to
NAKANO: Shinji never has to worry about what his boss thinks, as long as he brings Honda's money.
Wait, next year, Honda might not be around.
CARPENTIER, TAGLIANI: Great improvement last year. They really started showing their stuff. Now, they
have to be serious, and we mean serious, contenders. Player's won't accept anything less.
DIXON: This year will show that Scott is the real deal.
SERVIA: Oriol and Dixon on the same team? That's going to be exciting!
PWR CHAMPIONSHIP RACING: In a sport where nearly every team is named after either the owner, manufacturer,
or sponsor, it was a pleasure for this team to be named PacWest. It was a nice name. Now, they change it to
PWR generic whatever? Blech!
VASSER: This will most likely be Jimmy's last ride. Let's hope he is able to win another championship
with Team Rahal before he retires.
JOURDAIN: Money bought this ride. No question about it. However, this is Michel's best ride ever.
No excuses anymore. He either has to prove his old sponsor wrong, or discover Herdez was correct in letting him
DOMINGUEZ: Speaking of Herdez, in comes Mario, the newest Mexican hot shoe. He has to show Herdez they
BELL: Sure it's a thin rookie year, but Townsend would probably take the Trueman Trophy is just about
any other season.
PATRICK: How many more years will Pat hang on?
KANAAN: Back to a single car, Tony will have to go it alone without his good friend, Alex Zanardi. He's
also going to have to lift his team up on his shoulders and carry them.
NUNN: Another bet hedger who is running an IRL team.
PAPIS: Relegated to the Sigma ride, this is Mad Max's last chance to stand tall.
SIGMA: And if Sigma can field a second car, this could be the year they become serious contenders.
TAKAGI: Tora did have a few good runs. A few. Somewhere between knocking other cars off the track.
Well, as long as Toyota is happy with him...
COYNE: Will he or won't he? Let's hope so. The fields could use a few more cars.
GIDLEY: Speaking of hoping, come on folks. Let's give Memo a ride!
LOLA: Back from their F1 disaster, Lola is once again the chassis to have.
REYNARD: Speaking of F1 disasters, when will racecar manufacturers ever learn? Despite their denials
every single time, entering F1 destroys the rest of their business.
TOYOTA: What a conundrum. The new kid on the block forces CART's engine decisions, and now they may
not play in the sandbox after all.
PENSKE: Is there anybody else who believes Penske will field a car or two in CART this year? We do.
We just don't know when, but if so, it will be after Indy.
INDY: If virtually all the CART drivers end up going back to Indy, what would have been the purpose of
WORD OF THE PRESEASON: This is easy -- credibility. CART needs to get it back.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE PRESEASON: Thanks to Penske, Gil de Ferran misses out on the possibility of being
only the second driver in history to win three national titles in a row, and the first ever for CART.
STAT OF THE PRESEASON: Very small grids make it pretty easy to split the field between real drivers and
QUOTE OF THE PRESEASON: Chris Pook on his confidence, "People write and talk of the doom and gloom of
2002, but anybody who wants to have a bet on how we're going to be in 2004, I'm happy to take your bets. Let's
put them in an envelope and see who picks up the money in a couple of years."
RUNNERUP QUOTE OF THE PRESEASON: Chris Pook on looking ahead, "I can't change the past, but I am going
to change the future."
Copyright © 2002 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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