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1997 Long Beach Thoughts

THE RACE: I wasn't going to write anything this week because I figured by the time my network was up and running, it would be kinda late, and there wasn't too much to mention. But, I thought, what the heck. The race was definitely less action filled than Australia, but interesting never the less.

THE COURSE: I don't know why, but I've always liked Long Beach. Maybe because they try to be the Monaco of the US, but the course is interesting, and there are some, not many, but some passing zones.

LONG BEACH: One of these days I'll have to visit my cousin out there. Of course, I'll make sure and pick the proper weekend.

DE FERRAN: Is Long Beach going to be to de Ferran what Indy always was to Mario?

ZANARDI: Maybe the key for him is *not* to win the pole.

PRUETT: So, Scott Pruett leads the points early in the season for the third year in a row. Can he now prevent the annual fade that has become standard for that team?

UNSER: I'm going to be a bit critical of Al Unser, Jr. here. What the heck is with the guy this year? He's sloooow. Now I know Al has never been much of a qualifier, and Tracy outdid him last year in this category, but never by this much. Tracy qualified Al at Australia by over 2 seconds(!) and Long Beach by six tenths. And, unlike last year, Al is not even showing anything in the race. Yeah, he finished fourth, but it didn't seem to me it had much to do with his driving like it did last year, but more with luck and pit stop strategy. He only turned in the 8th fastest lap during the race (20th at Australia). I don't know. There just seems to be something missing with Al Unser, Jr. this year.

MORENO: I think he did a credible job, but I'm not surprised. He has always been a steady heads up driver. Sure he crashed, but he's not a crasher. Even though he was a lap down through no fault of his, he was running right with the leaders when he went out. I'll chalk that up to nothing else but a driver's error trying to push too hard. It happens to everyone at least once.

ANDRETTI: Somebody give this guy a free AAA membership. He needs it. Otherwise, allow him to strap a spare tire on his car. I can't believe they were actually implying it was Goodyear's fault. Nobody had tire problems. It had to be something with the car itself for the exact same corner to blow it's tire 3 times. Not even his teammate suffered the same fate ... unless that is what put Moreno out.

TRACY: Remember when Moore spun? Well, the cameras may not have caught it, but it was a result of a tangle with Tracy. Most eyewitnesses put the blame on Moore, who just would not concede the turn to Tracy even though Tracy was already beside him. Moore eventually ran out of room to slow down and make the turn. However, judging from Moore's communication to his crew, he certainly didn't see it that way.

THE QUALIFYING CRASH: Did any of you see the highlight of de Ferran ramming Salles in the back during practice? Well, I had read about this crash before I saw it, and I'm glad I did because the highlight did not adequately show what happened. It makes it appear that de Ferran was being an idiot, again. As it turns out, Salles, who was slowing due to mechanical problems, had moved over to the right. Approaching him was Hiro, Andretti and de Ferran. Andretti moved to the left to pass Hiro as Hiro gave him room there. Just after that, Hiro noticed Salles. Hiro moved back left. Meanwhile, de Ferran had no clue what was going on up ahead because he couldn't see through both Andretti and Hiro. He saw Hiro move left, so he figured he was being given room on the right to pass. As soon as he moved right, he realized what was happening as he could now see Salles. From what I read, de Ferran made an excellent move to avoid hitting Salles directly in the back which would have been a lot more catastrophic than it turned out to be.

NAZARETH: This is always a good race. Who can forget the amazing Tracy-Mansell duel from a few years ago? Hmmm, I'm not doing anything that weekend. I wonder if there are any tickets left. Anybody in for a road trip?

ARGENTINA: What does Formula 1 have to do with CART? Well, nothing, but I still thought I'll mention it. I was actually disappointed when I finally got to watch the tape after I heard how close it was. Irvine never had an chance to pass Villenueve, never even made a move, because of Jacques superior straight line speed. I was expecting a bunch of dicing or at least Villenueve's patented subtle blocking techniques. However, the race itself was interesting what with Irvine doing so well, Panis running fantastic until his car let him down, and the amazing drive put in by Rolf Schumacher. Combine all that with the fact that Frentzen and the elder Schumacher dropped out early, and we just may be in for some dandy races during this season.

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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