2004 Mexico City Thoughts
RACE: As most championship battles down to the last race end up becoming, this one, too, turned out to be anticlimactic.
TRACK: Simply a great event.
BOURDAIS: A dominating championship caliber run for the title. And a huge chunk of luck after what would have been the biggest mistake of his life.
JUNQUEIRA: Bridesmaid once again, but Bruno showed us a fighting spirit down the stretch which he had not exhibited in the past.
NEWMAN-HAAS: Granted, they are virtually the only top class team left in the series after all the defections, but they still have to produce. And produced they did, the first one-two championship finish since the Team Ganassi effort in 1998 with Alex Zanardi and Jimmy Vasser.
ALLMENDINGER: A.J. is one driver who can't wait for next season to start.
WILSON: Justin returned to fine form as he is now a hot commodity.
VASSER: A strong finish to an otherwise frustrating season. If Jim McGee returns, expect a huge leap forward for Jimmy and his team.
CARPENTIER: Did everything he needed to do this year to finish ahead of the rest of the pack, but apparently not enough to stay in the series.
SERVIA: Showed that you can run well in a Dale Coyne car.
DALE COYNE: The team's first top ten points finish.
DOMINGUEZ: Disappointing especially after such a glorious result last year in front of his home crowd.
TRACY: Who would have guessed Paul would finish behind his teammate in the final standings.
GONZALEZ: Obviously on Mexican adrenaline during qualifying, but Roberto's lack of talent throughout the year will certainly cause him to lose his PKV seat.
LAVIN: Rodolfo gets our vote for most improved driver this year.
VALIENTE: Compared to his more experienced, and quick, teammate also in a Reynard ... heck, compared to a lot of drivers out there regardless of their chassis, this was one fine debut for Michael. Many have said that Valiente is a huge talent. They are right.
PHILIPPE: "I've earned my spot in the Champ Car World Series." After two decent races, he returns to proving his statement made at the beginning of the season to be just as ridiculous now as then.
SMITH: The verdict is out. Bring back Memo or any other driver who is actually fast.
MARQUES: Start out with a backmarker, put in another backmarker, replace with yet another backmarker, bring back the original backmarker. It's all the same.
BETELGEUSE: Whatever the TV package turns out to be next year, don't bring back these guys. They are by far the worse production company in the history of sports.
DANGEROUS CURVES: However, don't lose this show. It's a winner. For those who criticized it, you don't get it. Dangerous Curves was meant to attract the casual viewer not the type of person reading these thoughts (who would tune in if they just showed a stationary Champ Car for thirty minutes). The fact that Dangerous Curves sometimes got better ratings than the race itself is proof of that.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Success.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This was the first time in CART/Champ Car history where every car finished the race.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time a driver finished second in the championship three years in a row was 1974-76 by Johnny Rutherford. In those years, Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, and Gordon Johncock won the title, respectively. Rutherford would finally win his only title four years later.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastien Bourdais on how nervous he was, "I couldn't prevent myself from thinking about a crash. I couldn't help having the picture coming through my mind."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Paul Newman on the team finding Bourdais, "From the start it was obvious that he was going to drive for us -- if the pay was right. It was."
SCHEDULE: Exactly. We'll be talking about a schedule for next year, not whether there will be a schedule.
Copyright © 2004 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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