2008 Long Beach Thoughts
TRACK: Everything seemed to work better with the track by having the ALMS conduct practice on Thursday.
RACE: A bit boring, and a little disappointing for the finale of a series that had such awesome racing in the past.
EVENT: Long Beach is mostly about the parties, and for some fans the issues about racing mean nothing. But for those who do care about racing, the vibe this year was a mixture of emotions.
THE BIG PICTURE: For much of the paddock and press corps, the merger happened too quickly for plans to change for this year. Look for a lot of changes to be made in 2009.
START: Today it pretty much negated the polesitter's advantage, but for a standing start, it was a clean beginning.
POWER: Congratulations, Will, winner of the last Champ Car race. He is developing as a driver, and his new team will probably be part of that.
KV RACING: How galling to watch the prime sellout (and driver and sponsor stealers) win the last Champ Car race, the series they destroyed.
MONTAGNY: A factor with that second place finish, but like Tracy, has nothing to do because his rich team owner doesn't wanna.
DOMINGUEZ: Perhaps the one driver who's performance at Long Beach will be used as a springboard for a future ride.
BERNOLDI: Will be interesting to see how Enrique does in the IRL.
SERVIA: Oriol has been quite a survivor, always seemingly able to find a ride.
PERERA: No surprise Franck did so well, as he was one of the brightest Atlantic drivers in that series history.
TAGLIANI: A great run. A heartbreaking finish. Unlike Servia, Tags ride finding luck may have finally run out.
MARTINEZ: One driver who was never able to latch onto a decent ride.
VASSER: Always nice to see Jimmy back in the car.
TRACY: Perhaps it was fitting that Paul finished his final Champ Car race the way he started -- a balls to the wall, take no prisoners drive.
JUNQUEIRA: Bruno likes ovals. He ran well at Indy before his injury. Combined with Dale Coyne, they very well might a dark horse.
RAHAL: Youth exceeded brains, as Graham lost a golden opportunity for nearly uncontested points, and threw a bunch away.
FIGGE: Alex didn't disappoint -- going off course not once but twice during the race.
PHILIPPE: Where will Nelson end up?
PIZZONIA: Never a factor, but he did get fastest lap. We hope he had fun and got his money's worth.
MORENO: Perhaps it's appropriate Roberto ran the last Champ Car race. After all, he was there back in 1904...
ANNALA: We heard Juho Annala is Finnish for The Slug. At least, that's what we thought we heard...
WILSON: Another one of those Long Beach situations where a driver dominates all the practice and qualifying sessions and then breaks in the race. Tough.
MORAES: Not ready for prime time, but Coyne probably needs his coin to operate the team.
KALKHOVEN: In the end, Captain Kangaroo turned out to be Private Penguin.
TV COVERAGE: What a complete insult for the last ten minutes of coverage. The tape that was made to preserve this event for prosperity was rewound and put in the reuse pile.
PATRICK: Maybe Danica "backed" into her win and she didn't "out drive" the competition. But let's face it, races have been won numerous times, especially recently in all open wheel series, by fuel management. Better drivers have done it (Tony Kanaan at the 1999 U.S. 500) and much worse drivers (can you say Hector Rebaque?), and we don't begrudge them their wins. So, we shouldn't do the same with Danica. Of course, she is still highly overrated, and anything but a "great" driver (her own words).
ATLANTIC: Which was more surprising, Simona De Silvestro winning or a Newman Wachs car in victory circle?
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Unification -- the next person who says this word with a straight face should be forced to eat real bullshit.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0 -- The number of points awarded for the Champ Car World Series.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 25 -- the number of years CART/Champ Car have run at Long Beach.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Will Power, perhaps summing everyone's feelings, "I love Champ Car racing. I love the cars. I love the engines. It's great to win here in Long Beach for the last Champ Car race. It is pretty special."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Jimmy Vasser stating the obvious and what every driver has said at least once about Paul Tracy, "The 3 car is not cooperating."
SCHEDULE: The End.
Copyright © 2008 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.