2007 Cleveland Thoughts
EVENT: Another grand success in the turnaround started by Mike Lanigan.
THE BIG PICTURE: This is Mike Lanigan and Rahal country. Great attendance in a terrific town. Cleveland will be around for many years to come as it should be.
RACE: Who would have expected the end after what happened in the beginning?
TRACK: Not the most photogenic track, but there are lots of passing zones. It certainly is a unique sporting venue.
START: Wow! It was clean! Everybody got off the line and made it through the first turn. Maybe there really is something to this standing start.
TRACY: Quick, name the last guy to win a Champ Car race with two nose changes. We're waiting...
FORSYTHE: Tracy in 2005, Allmendinger last year, and now Tracy again. They sure know this track.
DOORNBOS: Forget Tracy. Forget Power. Robert just may be the best bet to beat Bourdais. He's only three points behind now...
MINARDI: Paul Stoddart, isn't Champ Car a heck of a lot more fun than F1?
JANI Up until today, Neel has not lived up to his testing speeds, but he did well in achieving his first podium.
WILSON: Justin can't buy a break.
PAGENAUD: Simon looked much stronger out there all day (and weekend) than his fifth place finish indicates.
TAGLIANI: Wasn't able to mix it up with guys like his teammate could. Alex now sits fourth in the points which is pretty awesome for someone who hasn't yet hit the podium this year.
SERVIA: Oriol jelled better with Forsythe before he officially had the ride.
RAHAL: Graham really took it to Tracy at the end of the race. Best battle of the year. Too bad CBS chose not to show any of it.
DALZIEL: In all honesty, Ryan's ninth place finish was only due to problems by everyone behind him.
POWER: No question the man who should have won the race but for a bad tire.
TEAM AUSTRALIA: Was set to dominate the podium, but racing doesn't always work that way.
CLARKE: "Dan is looking real good today." "Just wait. It's only a matter of time."
BOURDAIS: The cheers that erupted from the grandstands when Sebastien came to a stop says it all. The only thing that keeps him from winning is a DNF.
GOMMENDY: Note to Europeans -- remember there are no tire warmers.
HEYLEN: In hindsight, probably should not have tried going around the outside of the out of control Gommendy.
LEGGE: Did Katherine pull a Marco?
JUNQUEIRA: Got some of the speed back that went missing at Portland, but not any of the luck.
DALE COYNE: A short day. A very short day.
FIGGE: For once Alex didn't deserve last place, but that's what he got again.
TV: The best battle of the day, perhaps of the season, was Graham Rahal attacking Paul Tracy in the final 15 laps or so in the first turn with Tracy locking up his brakes nearly every lap, smoke pouring out of his tires, displaying amazing car control and poise under pressure all while Rahal was looking for a way around. Yet, CBS showed none of that (except one time). That asinine decision should get the director in charge fired.
WORDS OF THE WEEKEND: Chrome horn.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 3 -- Three reasons for this number. The number of Paul Tracy's car, the number of front wings Tracy used, and the number of Tracy wins at Cleveland.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Graham Rahal was trying to duplicate what his father did by winning his first Champ Car race at Cleveland. When Bobby did it, it was the first race at Burke Lakefront Airport in 1982. Back then, the track was longer (2.48-miles) and the race was 125 laps for 310 miles and took just over three hours to complete.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Robert Doornbos explaining that he really did not have any push to pass left despite what the telemetry read, "Well, I'd been pressing the button really, really hard, and nothing came out."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: James Hinchcliffe playing spelling bee contestant when asked how to spell the word describing what his engine did when he ran out of gas during Atlantic qualifying, "Baahhh. B-a-a-h-h-h. Baahhh."
SCHEDULE: The debut of Mont Tremblant, an old fashioned style road course which means a great hilly, sweeping turn classic track. Once again, another woohoo!
Copyright © 2007 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.