2004 Portland Thoughts
RACE: Though the top five qualifiers nearly finished in that exact order, thanks to the pit rules actually working for once combined with the optional tire, this was a race with enough intrigue, suspense, and mystery to keep you interested. However, this was due to it being essentially a green flag race.
TRACK: We don't understand the big tug-of-war over this track. OWRS says this is an important market, but has also said they will abandon any race which is not supported. And, the crowds have been diminishing for several years. Which is why we don't understand the IRL's interest -- besides being a nag -- of wanting to take over a race that has seen declining attendance. The IRL has even less hope of reversing that trend.
BOURDAIS: Tommy Kendall is right. When Sebastien is in front, he runs his best, and is very difficult to beat.
JUNQUEIRA: Bruno doing some smack talking...
TRACY: Ever since Long Beach, Paul hasn't quite had it, at least by Tracy's standards.
CARPENTIER: Considering his qualifying position, another very strong run by Patrick.
WILSON: Remember, it's just a matter of time.
ALLMENDINGER: At this rate, A.J. may soon have people forgetting Ryan Hunter-Reay.
TAGLIANI: If only Alex could qualify better.
GONZALEZ: If Roberto actually turns out to be a respectable race car driver, it will surely cement Jimmy Vasser as the greatest mentor in racing history.
SERVIA: Is it just us, or is Oriol the most invisible driver on the circuit this year?
PHILIPPE: "I've earned my spot in the Champ Car World Series." Not even on Father's Day to honor the person who bought you this ride.
SPERAFICO: Actually had a chance to finish ahead of Philippe. Then, he threw it away in this thrilling weekly battle for the bottom of the finishing order.
DOMINGUEZ: What a complete bonehead. Not for spinning out on the restart (though that could classify for the title), but for not doing something every driving school in the world teaches you -- when you spin, two feet in. And, never let off the brakes until you stop, because otherwise you may end up spinning back into the field of cars. Son of a gun, that's what Mario did.
STARTER: Waves green flag vigorously for the restart. Dominguez spins out. Continues to wave green flag vigorously. Dominguez slides back in front of the field. Continues to wave green flag vigorously. Lavin plows into Dominguez, scattering parts in every direction. Continues to wave green flag vigorously. Yo, starter! It's time for a yellow!!
DANGEROUS CURVES: How is it humanly possible for Bronte to look ever hotter as each week goes by?
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Roses.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Here's something we never realized. Bourdais has won the pole seven times in his 22 Champ Car starts. That's over 30%, a number anyone outside of Michael Schumacher would be envious of.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Once upon a time, the cost of the car determined the class. In the 1909 Portland road race run on a 14.6-mile actual road course, the classes for the three races were stock for cars costing $1,600 or less, stock for cars costing $3,000 or less, and a final free-for-all race.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Paul Tracy ribbing Bruno Junqueira after the race, "You said you were going to lead [Lap 1] no matter what. You said, 'I promise.'"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Paul Gentilozzi on the IRL overtures to Portland, "I think they're conning markets like Portland."
SCHEDULE: It may not be run at night this year, but it's still Cleveland and it will be late enough in the day to keep the July sun from searing the spectators.
Copyright © 2004 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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