2004 Preseason Thoughts
PRESEASON: More drama than a telenovela and often with similar production values. Excitement like this we don't need.
GENTILOZZI: The designated front man for Champ Car, and he wears it well. Paul knows how to work the sponsors and the media. He makes us all hope things will get better ... and stay better.
KALKHOVEN: Appears to be a hero as he has been willing to put his own money up to keep the series alive. The proof is in the pudding -- if he stays with our sport, he will definitely be due some kudos.
FORSYTHE: He brings a whole new meaning to the term "silent partner."
TRACY: The champion. The real winner of the 2002 Indy 500. A good chance to repeat this year.
BOURDAIS: Looks a bit like Greg Moore. Drives a bit like Robby Gordon, but he wins. The former F3000 champion will give PT a run for his money.
JUNQUIERA: Same old deal. Will win some races. Will contend for the title. But, will fall short.
NEWMAN-HAAS: Best performance by a team in a supporting role for their stand-up support of the series throughout the years.
VASSER: The Energizer Bunny of Champ Cars. His career keeps getting declared dead, but he just keeps on going.
JOURDAIN: Michel turned his golden opportunity with Team Rahal and sponsor Gigante into two brilliantly consistent seasons. Who would have thunk it? Now, with RuSport, who knows?
ALLMENDINGER: May as well pick out a place on the mantle for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award.
WILSON: Justin is most likely saying, "Not so fast on that rookie prediction."
CARPENTIER: Nothing will change this year. No matter how motivated Patrick may be over his treatment, his only saving grace will be that he will now have a teammate he can beat. And, we're not talking about Tracy.
DOMINGUEZ: Surprised us all last year, but we have a sneaking suspicion that he will be consistently outdone by his American teammate.
HUNTER-REAY: Speaking of that teammate, expect an excellent season from Ryan.
HERDEZ: No question, the most improved team last year. Look for that trend to continue.
TAGLIANI: As overdue as a woman in her tenth month. The pairing with Gentilozzi that we all thought was going to have a meltdown turned out wonderfully. Now, Alex needs a freaking win!
LAVIN: Okay, let's begin the wanker bashing. Sorry folks, Rodolfo won't be any faster this year. But, he will still have the best looking car out there.
GONZALEZ: Talk about a sequel nobody asked for. Roberto's return is no question the biggest waste of money in 2004. And he ticked off a lot people signing with one of the Three Amigos' teams. Sure hope he found some sort of speed, otherwise, he sure caused a lot of trouble for nothing.
PHILIPPE: Spare us with all the fawning some websites are doing over this guy. Preseason testing times are as worthless as exhibition baseball scores. He did nothing in Barber Dodge. If a youngster is going to come in with such fanfare, he has to be no less than a phenom. He's not even close. He has barely any racing experience, and none of it is worth writing home about. When it's show time with the big boys, this could get embarrassing.
HABERFELD, SERVIA, ENG, VALIANTE: Will they or won't they be in a Champ Car this year? They would add quality to the lineup. There are worse seat fillers out there.
GIDLEY: And then there is Memo. Kalkhoven, please. You got the money.
FITTIPALDI: Emmo is a great guy, but haven't you noticed that most of his racing ventures have been failures? And, if we had a dime every time Emmo said he had a car or race lined up, we'd be able to run a Champ Car team.
RAHAL: Bobby had no business making the decisions at CART when so clearly his only interests were his own.
FERNANDEZ: The Passion of Adrian Fernandez has been a well known behind the scenes drama for years. This year's winner of the Roger Penske Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Ass On The Way Out award with extra "merit" for doing it with absolutely no class whatsoever.
SCHEDULE: Son of a gun, there is a 2004 schedule. FTG!
WE WILL MISS: Mid-Ohio, Roberto Moreno, Fontana, Merrill Cain and Adam Saal from CART, Pat Patrick, and Pat Caporali from Players.
WE WILL NOT MISS: Public financial disclosures, teams running in both series, Bernie rumors, and the lousy track at Miami.
WORD OF THE PRESEASON: Bankruptcy.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE PRESEASON: As Tracy is the favorite to repeat, there have been a number of back-to-back champions, but never has a driver won the title three years in a row during the CART years.
STAT OF THE PRESEASON: 18. As in they really might get 18 cars on the grid for Long Beach after another long round of failed doom and gloom predictions.
QUOTE OF THE PRESEASON: Jimmy Vasser: "Tony George has said so many incredible things, like it was always his vision to have road racing. I about died when I read that! Of course, he’s also made some comments about the number thirty-three not meaning anything to his big race anymore. What does that say to all the guys who worked and struggled so hard over the years and hung it on the line to be one of those thirty-three guys? “I’m afraid I have to say, can you please stop this hypocrisy? Does he really think we’re all that stupid? Does he really think the fans are that stupid? The other hypocrisy from Tony was this talk about there needs to be one series. What happened three years ago and all the other times we tried to find a way to do that? Everyone else was saying that and Tony was saying no. Let’s remember, he started his series. He’s the guy who split it into two series."
RUNNERUP QUOTE OF THE PRESEASON: Paul Gentilozzi on the IRL and Honda, "I think that their compulsion to say and do bad things about Champ Car shows their insecurity. If they're so good, why are they so obsessed with what we're doing? I don't get it."
Copyright © 2004 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
Agree with Deep Throttle? Disagree? Let others know what your Postseason thoughts are by
visiting the Forums.