2004 Las Vegas Thoughts
RACE: Interesting how this was flat out pack racing with clumps of cars running within inches of each other for lap after lap, and yet not one single crash occurred, or even to our knowledge any bumping. Now, why can't the IRL do that?
TRACK: The aero package didn't work which the final fight for the win proved as Junqueira clearly had the faster car, but couldn't do anything with it.
YELLOW: Twelve laps of yellow for one minor spin in the pit entrance lane?! Ridiculous!!
OFFICIALS: Champ Car officials should be spanked – and soundly – for squandering such a wonderful opportunity to show NASCAR fans how terrific open wheel racing can be. We watched as fully half of the remaining fans left as they dithered over the Tagliani affair. As Gomer Pyle would say, for shame, for shame.
BOURDAIS: Luck, skill, and talent as shown by his ability to bounce back from a bad pit stop will result in a Vanderbilt Cup in his future. All Sebastien needs is one clean race in the last two events.
JUNQUEIRA: Bruno’s got talent and plenty of drive, but the man is a public relations nightmare. So, we will say, congratulations on your second place and providing a good show, but lose the whining and the refusing to wear the correct hats during the "hat dance." There are plenty of drivers who would kill for your ride.
CARPENTIER: A very solid third place performance by someone who apparently will be leaving Champ Car because he cannot afford to work cheap. Au revior, mon ami.
LAVIN: Fourth place at a race presented by his sponsor, Corona Beer. Neil Micklewright told us earlier in the season that Rodolfo would surprise us this year. He has.
VASSER: It should have been a classic Jimmy oval race. Fifth place is an okay finish, but we were expecting better from the 1996 champion.
ALLMENDINGER: We’ve said it before, it’s amazing how quickly Dinger is becoming a factor in nearly every race, especially on a track he confessed he wasn't comfortable on.
WILSON: The breakout performance of the weekend. Justin was awesome and we think that maybe he even surprised himself. With better tires during the final stint, he could have podiumed.
PHILIPPE: "I've earned my spot in the Champ Car World Series." We must say, a very decent rookie performance. Really.
JOURDAIN: Celebrating his 150th Champ Car start. Very little else went Michel’s way at this race.
TAGLIANI: Alex got hosed.
SERVIA: Oriol got screwed.
HUNTER-REAY: There's always one guy who has the embarrassing spin coming into our out of the pits on an oval.
HABERFELD: The weaknesses of the Reynard chassis were painfully obvious in this race. Quick, someone buy him a rich daddy.
SMITH: We didn’t see anything this weekend that would make us want to have him come back next year.
TRACY: Paul just seems to be fading away at the end of this season. A real heartbreaker to go out so quickly in this race before his adopted hometown.
BENJAMIN: What a pleasure to listen to a consummate professional mixing excitement and reserve just right instead of sounding like a screaming hyena trying to calm the horses down.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Inside.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Gaston Mazzacane matched his best Champ Car qualifying effort of 16th, but one car didn't even post a time. When you think about this stat, it's pretty darn sad.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The first time the champ cars ran in Las Vegas was on a one-mile dirt oval in 1954 won by Jimmy Bryan. That place is now the Las Vegas Hilton.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Patrick Carpentier's priceless description of his gearbox problem, "Let me tell you what that meant by making the sounds of accelerating: ehhhh, ehhhh, ehhhh, brrrrrr, EHHHHHH, ehhhhh, ehhhhh."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Chris McClure stumbling for words when interviewing a inconsolable Bruno Junqueira, "Second place is nothing to sneeze at." Ahh, Chris, Bruno was sneezing at it!
SCHEDULE: Four weeks off, and then to Surfers Paradise, the overseas race every Champ Car fan would love to go to.
Copyright © 2004 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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