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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, Jr. camp.

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 and shot.

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 in Italy.

Deep Throttle

Copyright 1997 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

 
 
2008 Thoughts
Long Beach

2007 Thoughts
Preseason Las Vegas Long Beach Houston
Portland Cleveland Mont Tremblant Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Road America Belgium
Holland Surfers Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2006 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Houston Monterrey
Milwaukee Portland Cleveland Toronto
Edmonton San Jose Denver Montreal
Road America Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2005 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Edmonton
San Jose Denver Montreal Las Vegas
Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2004 Thoughts
Preseason Long Beach Monterrey Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Denver Montreal Laguna Seca
Las Vegas Surfer's Paradise Mexico City Postseason

2003 Thoughts
Preseason St. Petersburg Monterrey Long Beach
Brands Hatch Germany Milwaukee Laguna Seca
Portland Cleveland Toronto Vancouver
Road America Mid-Ohio Montreal Denver
Miami Mexico City Surfer's Paradise Postseason

2002 Thoughts
Preseason Monterrey Long Beach Japan
Milwaukee Laguna Seca Portland Chicago
Toronto Cleveland Vancouver Mid-Ohio
Road America Montreal Denver
England Miami Surfer's Paradise
Fontana Mexico City Postseason

2001 Thoughts
Preseason Mexico Long Beach Nazareth
Japan Milwaukee Detroit Portland
Cleveland Toronto Michigan Chicago
Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver German
England Houston Laguna Seca
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

2000 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Long Beach Brazil
Japan Nazareth Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto Michigan
Chicago Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Gateway USGP Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1999 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Portland Cleveland Road America Toronto
U.S. 500 Detroit Mid-Ohio Chicago
Vancouver Laguna Seca Houston
Surfer's Paradise Fontana Postseason

1998 Thoughts
Preseason Miami Japan Long Beach
Nazareth Brazil Gateway Milwaukee
Detroit Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America Vancouver
Laguna Seca Houston Surfer's Paradise Fontana

1997 Thoughts
Miami Surfer's Paradise Long Beach Nazareth
Brazil Gateway Milwaukee Detroit
Portland Cleveland Toronto
U.S. 500 Mid-Ohio Road America
Vancouver Laguna Seca Fontana
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