1997 Cleveland Thoughts
RACE: It was certainly going to be tough to top Portland, but Cleveland,
as usual, held its own. Some great battles throughout the pack during the
race (like Herta-Blundell and Tracy-Fittipaldi), only one full course
yellow that was way longer than necessary due to the pit violations mixup,
and a wonderful march through the field by Zanardi after his two penalties.
Only one yellow, yet there were still 16 cars on the lead lap!
ZANARDI: When Zanardi gets the bit between his teeth, I can't think of a
more exciting driver since Gilles Villenueve.
HERTA: Finally(!), Bryan is looking like that driver at Laguna Seca last
year who nearly won his first race. Perhaps those predicting his first
victory this year might not be looking so foolish after all.
UNSER: That sound you heard was a massive sigh of relief from the Al Unser,
TRACY: Anyone else notice that Tracy has been pretty much ineffective ever
since his dizzyness problems?
RIBEIRO: First Jourdain switches from a Lola to a Reynard and does the
impossible by actually scoring a point. Then, Ribeiro makes the switch,
and he qualifies 8th (was actually second with just 5 minutes left), and
runs a very strong top 4 for quite a while before bad luck prevented a points
finish. The Lola chassis has got to be taken out to the back of the barn
VASSER: Did "Chimmy" have vision problems this race? First, he nearly
runs right into Andretti when Michael was already right next to him (how
he missed him, I'm still trying to figure out), then runs right into another
guy when they were side by side.
HEARN: Talk about bad luck. Hearn blows his tire in one of the only places
where you can actually hit something. And would somebody please give this
guy a Reynard. His talent is being buried by that Lola lead sled.
NEARBURG: A racing colleague nailed this guy right on the button by telling me before
the weekend that Nearburg was a rich guy who can buy good equipment but
hasn't shown much for it in the Atlantic series. Man, this guy was s-l-o-w!
Okay, he has the Lola chassis, but 2 seconds slower than Matsushita? He
gives Dr. Jack, the racing dentist, a good name. Send him over to the IRL --
he may actually be able to beat somebody there.
FITTIPALDI: Another strong run and he still has a brace on his leg.
PIT WALL: While watching qualifying, I was horrified by the wall used for
the pit entrance. The cars needed to move over to the right from the previous
turn and ran right next to it. All I could picture was a horrible disaster
in the making when a car met the end of the wall. I was greatly relieved
when they decided to remove it for the race and just use cones.
TOYOTA: Okay folks, one more time. This time in unison: "Boom! Boom!"
Did you hear PJ Jones comment? "The Toyota is 10 mph slower." Can you
imagine how slow a Lola-Toyota combination would be? I think my parents'
old Vega could beat that.
SCHEDULE: The drivers return to Toronto, site of the tragic crash that took
the lives of driver Jeff Krosnoff and worker Gary Avrin. If any good can come
out of a tragedy like this, it shows what can be accomplished and saved when
the community, local government, and racing organization can work together
to remedy the problems and improve the situation instead of a bunch of knee
jerk reactions, political piranhas, and finger pointing like what is going on
Copyright © 1997 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.