2006 Monterrey Thoughts
RACE: Good race -- not great, but with some of the passing that we road racing fans love. And, the very low attrition made sure that the relatively small number of starters stayed out on the track for the entire show.
TRACK: What a difference a road course makes! The track was dirty, but at least it wasn't bumpy.
THE BIG PICTURE: Mexican race fans rock. There was excitement over a sixth place finish by Mario Dominguez, the sole remaining Mexican Champ Car driver. To keep the series growing in El Sur, we need more Mexican drivers and a better job by the Monterrey promoters.
BOURDAIS: Another commanding performance by the series’ famous newlywed. However, the amount of luck that Sebastien has does seem to be a bit over the top.
NEWMAN-HAAS: We're tired of Sebastien’s engineer whining while his driver is leading and winning. Perhaps the team has a traveling whine spirit that has stopped possessing Bruno and has moved onto his teammate’s guy. Stop it already.
RuSPORT: Advice to RuSport -- watch some Formula One races and learn how it is done. This race was coming down to a classic F1-style pit stop strategy, and you guys totally blew it. Why did you bring in Allmendinger when he was holding up Bourdais? Pit Wilson first, no matter how early it is (which would have meant a shorter pit stop for less fuel), and let AJ continue to slow Bourdais down. Once Allmendinger pitted, Bourdais ripped off ultra fast times, closing the gap to Wilson. And guess what? That was exactly the time Bourdais got back in front of Wilson after the last pit stop. Lousy pit stop strategy lost this race for Wilson.
WILSON: The driver who has to be the most sick of Sebastien’s talent, luck, and superior everything. We thought you were going to win this one, Justin, and we were disappointed when you didn't.
ALLMENDINGER: The Master Starter. We'll take Allmendinger to block, Alex. Wait, wrong game shows. Seriously, A.J. deserves “best supporting driver” honors in support of his teammate.
DOMINGUEZ: A decent finish at the other Mexican race puts Super Mario third in the championship. This year, other than his boneheaded move in Long Beach, Dominguez has been an entirely worthy teammate of Tracy.
TRACY: Speaking of PT, while he clearly did not have the fastest car out there, something that probably really annoys him, Paul nonetheless has a decent finish and moves up to sixth in the points. Now, if he could just get a win while he still has hair.
FORSYTHE: Has RuSport officially passed Forsythe Racing as the second strongest team in Champ Car?
TAGLIANI: Tags wins the red-haired stepchild award for clearly not being the favorite driver for Team Australia, and yet continuing to bring in those top 5 finishes. Good top, Alex.
RANGER: Andrew does it again. Most improved position. Again. Just missed finishing sixth. Again. All this from a guy who was Mr. TBA right up until the first practice. Yet, he's still fourth in points despite being the driver doing the most with the least resources. Mr. Kalkhoven, can you help us out here? Please spend the money to make Andrew’s ride full time and charge it to our (non existent) expense account?
SERVIA: Nothing against Bruno, but Oriol deserves to have the Newman-Haas drive this year.
JUNQUEIRA: Got caught out by the ultra tough blocking rule. However, all the drivers wanted it this way. You can't move a millimeter...
POWER: Who'd have thought that Will would be leading the Rookie of the Year rankings after three races?
ZWOLSMAN: Wonderful to see another strong race by Charles.
LEGGE: Quite frankly, she is spinning way too much, even though she did get the seventh fastest time in the race.
HEYLEN: Never a factor at all, not even as a backmarker.
CLARKE: Crashing Dan wasted no time this race. And, much to the chagrin of the other drivers, he returned to the race.
PHILIPPE: Even teammates aren't immune to Crashing Dan.
ATLANTICS: Ironies abound with this series. The support series puts on superior races. It has better starts and finishes. The guy who won the race probably has less of a need of the $2 million sponsorship than any driver out there. The supreme irony? The former CART team owner whose lack of loyalty to Champ Car nearly killed the reborn series in 2004 with an eleventh hour defection is the father of one of this series most talented rookie drivers and this week’s Atlantic's winner.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Penalty.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 4 -- The number of times Sebastien Bourdais has raced at Monterrey, and the number of poles he has won there.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time a driver won four consecutive pole positions at the same track was Rick Mears at Phoenix International Raceway from 1988-91.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: A.J. Allmendinger, never missing a chance to bust on his teammate, after learning that Wilson would not make the post race press conference because of exhaustion, "Do I get his points? A sissy."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Sebastien Bourdais stating what drivers may be saying all year, "As AJ explained, Dan Clarke made a mess of this restart. I really couldn't believe it."
SCHEDULE: Is this the reprieve the rest of the field finally gets from Bourdais? He's never done well at Milwaukee. For that matter, Newman-Haas has struggled there lately. But, the way Sebastien's luck is going...
Copyright © 2006 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.