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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.


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, hes 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? Im afraid I have to say, can you please stop this hypocrisy? Does he really think were 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. Lets remember, he started his series. Hes 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.

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Predicted Final Season Results (with some assumed drivers)
1. Paul Tracy
2. Sebastien Bourdais
3. Bruno Junqueira
4. Jimmy Vasser
5. Michel Jourdain
6. Alex Tagliani
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay
8. A.J. Allmendinger
9. Justin Wilson
10. Mario Dominguez
11. Patrick Capentier
12. Mario Haberfeld
13. Oriol Servia
14. Michael Valiante
15. Rodolfo Lavin
16. Nelson Philippe
17. Alex Sperafico
18. Roberto Gonzalez

Predicted Rookie Season Results
1. A.J. Allmendinger
2. Justin Wilson
3. Michael Valiante
4. Nelson Philippe

Predicted Nations' Cup Results
1. Canada
2. United States
3. Mexico
4. France
5. Brazil
6. England
7. Spain

Other Predictions
Mario Andretti goes to Mid-Ohio to negotiate a return of Champ Car. Everyone gets buzzed on Andretti wine, and the race is never televised. A certain website, so fed up with Champ Car not listening to their advice, forms their own series. Every race is run in China with V10 engines and all the cars are painted in identical color schemes. It's called Formula Not Quite One But Slightly Above F3000 Right Around Where Champ Car Should Be In Our Absolutely Correct Opinion. Only 30 cars qualify for Indy, but Tony George assures his fans not to worry because "it's only a number." The Indy 500 suffers massive attrition, so Tony George demands the checkered flag be waved after 469 laps. He assures his fans not to worry because "it's only a number." At the Indy 500 awards banquet, IMS decides to stick to an original tradition, and only gives out purse money totaling $25,000. Tony George assures his fans not to worry because "it's only a number." Cleveland will still rock even in the daytime, Milwaukee will be cool (for both reasons), and Denver will continue to suck. Road America and Surfers Paradise team up to build an Ark. Bryan Herta will win at Laguna Seca despite entering his IRL car. Honda finally wins at Twin Ring Motegi. It then announces it is leaving the IRL to focus on its newly energized Formula One program. Tony George will then beg Toyota to spend their money trying to sabotage Champ Car. Adrian Fernandez will continue to say stupid things. Bobby Rahal will continue to destroy his legacy.
2008 Thoughts
Long Beach

2007 Thoughts
Preseason Las Vegas Long Beach Houston
Portland Cleveland Mont Tremblant Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Road America Belgium
Holland Surfers Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2006 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Houston Monterrey
Milwaukee Portland Cleveland Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Denver Montreal
Road America Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2005 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Edmonton
San Jose Denver Montreal Las Vegas
Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2004 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Denver Montreal Laguna Seca
Las Vegas Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2003 Thoughts
Preseason St. Petersburg Monterrey Long Beach
Brands Hatch Germany Milwaukee Laguna Seca
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Mid-Ohio Montreal Denver
Miami Mexico City Surfer's Paradise Postseason

2002 Thoughts
Preseason Monterrey Long Beach Japan
Milwaukee Laguna Seca Portland Chicago
Toronto Cleveland Vancouver Mid-Ohio
Road America Montreal Denver
England Miami Surfer's Paradise
Fontana Mexico City Postseason

2001 Thoughts
Preseason Mexico Long Beach Nazareth
Japan Milwaukee Detroit Portland
Cleveland Toronto Michigan Chicago
Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver German
England Houston Laguna Seca
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

2000 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Long Beach Brazil
Japan Nazareth Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto Michigan
Chicago Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Gateway USGP Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1999 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Road America Toronto
U.S. 500 Detroit Mid-Ohio Chicago
Vancouver Laguna Seca Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1998 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Detroit Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Houston Surfer's Paradise Fontana

1997 Thoughts
Miami Surfer's Paradise Long Beach Nazareth
Brazil Gateway Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America
Vancouver Laguna Seca Fontana
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