2006 San Jose Thoughts
TRACK: The millions spent by the race promoter were very well spent as the track went from bumpy with airborne cars to smooth with lots of passing. There is no cause for complaint about this track any more; itís a dead issue.
RACE: A street brawl. Literally.
THE BIG PICTURE: Attendance of 156,000 and millions of dollars are pumped into the local economy makes keeping this race a no-brainer. However, there are people in San Jose who apparently are like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz because believe it or not, there are questions about the race continuing. Stay tuned.
START: They should not have gone green when they did.
THE FIGHT: We hold Tracy 100% responsible for what happened on the track. Off the track, it was another story. Tracy clearly tried to avoid a physical confrontation with Tagliani, and Tags kept coming. Memo to Alex T: of all the drivers in Champ Car, Paul Tracy is the strongest and most likely to put you on the ground. Kind of like today.
TRACY: There are few things that get a driver more riled up than having a competitor re-enter the track and take him out. In club racing, they throw the book at you for such a move, and most likely will suspend your license. To see this sort of amateur move occur in a so-called top flight professional racing series by a so-called experienced champion is as Daly put, the dumbest move Tracy has ever done. It's Bush league, with a capital B.
TAGLIANI: We don't condone fighting, but get a French Canadian going, and he naturally falls back to his hockey roots. Canadians are born with hockey sticks in their hands, right?
BOURDAIS: He finally acted like the champion he is, at least for most of the day. A good win for the Frenchman.
NEWMAN-HAAS: Continuing success with Sebastien, along with continuing failure with Bruno.
DA MATTA: Welcome back to the podium, Cristiano. This may be the start of a comeback for Shorty or it may be a flash in the pan, itís too early to tell.
WILSON: This might be the second best drive of the weekend, with the very tall Englishman, who qualified twelfth, ending up with Dingerís podium position. Much of the credit for this goes to Justinís ability to out-drive Philippe.
RUSPORT: The two-three finish for his drivers will hopefully take Carl Russo off of suicide watch.
PHILIPPE: Race after race, Nelson is running up at the front and is a factor. His first win will not be far away. Our hearts went out to him when he witnessed his brother Richardís horrific but non injurious accident.
DOMINGUEZ: An amazing top five finish for Mario. He probably is going to have Dale Coyne declared a saint or something down in Mexico. Good job, Mario.
POWER: His driving wasnít so fine, but he was still the top finishing rookie, go figure. And, he now has a 25 point lead in the Rookie of the Year standings.
ALLMENDINGER: This might be the drive of the weekend, although the results donít show it. After getting tossed around in a turn one incident, Dinger charged back to what should have been a podium position. Except, inexplicably, the Forsythe team called A.J. into the pits when they apparently were closed. On the next restart, Allmendinger was forced to the back of the field. And, he still finished seventh!
FORSYTHE: Why is it that this team continuously makes pit lane mistakes?
SERVIA: The Vasser/Servia pairing nearly resulted in a victory today had the yellows fallen differently.
ZWOLSMAN: Congratulations on leading your first laps in Champ Car, Charles.
PASTORELLI: Sure, Nicky finished in the top ten, but who did he actually outrun?
HEYLEN: Okay, Jan is who Pastorelli outran.
LEGGE: Early in the season Katherine complained bitterly when Dan Clarke, numerous laps down, took her out. Then, why did she do the same thing to Ranger? A bit hypocritical.
RANGER: It is so obvious he is driving with glass slippers. A race car driver shouldn't be forced to do that.
CLARKE: This time it was all speed for Dan. We actually felt bad for the only driver to hit another driver in every single race this season.
JUNQUEIRA: A DNF that was not all his fault. It just perpetuates a dismal 2006 for Bruno. We think that his seat has been offered to Graham Rahal. Or, at least a chance for it has. This weekend kind of frosted that cake.
ATLANTICS: The standing start was thrilling, and while the pole sitter won, in many ways, it was a much more exciting race than Champ Carís. The talent in this field of drivers should keep open wheel healthy for many years to come. A special "well done" to Lisa and Jeffís friend, Justin Sofio, for a spectacular drive from 22nd to 8th place.
GELLES: This is not just an Atlantic team moving up to form a new Champ Car team. This is an expansion of their racing business. An expansion in every direction. They plan on running two cars in Champ Car, four cars in Atlantic, and six cars in Formula BMW!
PANOZ DP01: We're salivating at the thought of next year's season with these new cars.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Emotion.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Every fact and figure that is associated with the new Panoz DP01.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Champ Cars ran twice before in San Jose at a one-mile dirt oval. The 100-lap event was won by Tony Bettenhausen, Sr. in 1951 and Bobby Ball the following year.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Justin Wilson on his mistake during qualifying, "I can't remember the last time I put the car into the wall on my own." Now, if Paul Tracy broached this subject, that quote would be something like, "I can't remember the last time I didn't put the car into the wall on my own."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Sebastien Bourdais on the Internet and rampant rumors, "It's total BS. There are two types of news. The kind where real journalists ask real questions and report the truth. Then, there are the kind where people just listen for rumors and report on them. Unfortunately, the Internet has made a lot more of the rumor reporting. It does a disservice to the sport, and the rumors often harm drivers and damage their careers."
SCHEDULE: Denver already did what San Jose did this year -- correct all their problems and turn an inaugural event with some problems into a success. Which makes Denver a key destination on the schedule now.
Copyright © 2006 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.