2003 Milwaukee Thoughts
RACE: Ignoring the cold weather, okay, frigid weather, by all accounts, the night race
experiment was a huge success with quite a decent crowd compared to last year and considering the no-shows
(we thought fans in Packers' country were tough), good side by side racing (also thanks to the new old aero
package), and a buzz of excitement in the air.
TRACK: After a hundred years, the track has finally moved into this Millennium with a nice facelift.
CART: They deserve credit where credit is due. As Patrick Carpentier said, "CART sometimes gets
criticized for making the wrong decisions, but tonight they made all the right decisions."
BRIDGESTONE: Major kudos!
JOURDAIN: If you are going to win your first race, do it in such a way that silences any holdout
critics. Michel went mano-a-mano with Paul Tracy and came out in front, perfectly dialed in the car for
this tough, tricky one-mile bullring, was able to run in any groove, and handled each and every restart with
the utmost calm like the eight year veteran he is. Well done!
SERVIA: Sounds like a few job threats gave this Spaniard a wake up call.
CARPENTIER: This time was as fast as his teammate. In fact faster, as Patrick got the best lap of the
MANNING: Amazing how well this Brit has done on ovals ever since his debut race at Rockingham.
TAGLIANI: Alex and his team are getting closer.
HABERFELD: Now that was one interesting non-planned pit entry.
BOURDAIS: The Frenchman was humbled by this All-American track.
VASSER: When will the frustration finally get to Jimmy?
REYNARD: At smooth Milwaukee, this chassis was finally somewhat competitive.
TRACY: Does anyone else find it kind of funny, in a black humor sort of way, that no matter who
Paul drives for, his pit crew always seems to mess things up?
SALLES: Gualter is back. Whoopie doo da.
COYNE: Glad to see Dale is back with his rotating moneybag ... eh ... driver lineup...
LAVIN: Well, look at it this way -- if the old race distance of two years ago was in effect, Rodolfo
would have finished the race.
JUNQUEIRA: You knew it was going to be somebody on the first lap. Of all people, it was Bruno, who
was the last driver to complete every lap this year.
ROOKIES: For all the talk about the new crop of rookies this year injecting some life into the series,
eight of them make up the bottom nine slots in the point standings (the other spot is Salles who only ran one
race), and two of them are no longer in the series. If it wasn't for Bourdais' spectacular performances, this
year's new drivers would be considered a dud, Manning's ninth place in the standings not withstanding.
F3000: Does anyone else find it as disturbing as we do that there are twice as many
Americans in F3000 (Bell, Hill, Giebler, Langhorne) as there are in CART (Vasser, Hunter-Reay)?
OVER/UNDER: 0 -- number of on track passes for the lead at the next race at Laguna Seca.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Party!
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Jourdain set the CART record for most laps led by a winning driver at 234,
breaking the previous mark set by Nigel Mansell at the 1993 Michigan 500 with 222.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This was not the first championship race under the lights. That
distinction goes to the 1968 Nazareth event on the then 1.125-mile dirt oval. Al Unser, Sr. won, his first
career championship victory. The following year was also run at night, won by Mario Andretti.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Patrick Carpentier on his very close duel with teammate Paul Tracy, "I
didn't want to hit him. If I'd have taken him out of the race, I would have just walked out of the race
track and kept on going!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Mario Haberfeld won't be getting many calls from IRL teams after
comparing Milwaukee to Germany, "It's a lot more enjoyable than Germany, which was full throttle all the
way and just steering the car."
SCHEDULE: "The great permanent road racing circuits in this country are a vanishing breed," Bobby
Rahal said. "Laguna Seca is equivalent to a Wrigley Field or a Fenway Park. It's where the history of the
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