1997 Miami Thoughts
THE RACE: An okay race. Not a great race, but not a bad race. The best
part was getting to watch real race cars go real fast. Something that we
have not seen in 1997 before.
RESTARTS: Either get the restart procedures straightened out quickly
(hire a NASCAR consultant?) or ditch them. CART is starting to look like
SWIFT: What can you say that hasn't already been said. I'll never forget
when Swift debuted their DB-1 Formula Ford at the Runoffs and promptly won.
And they've been going uphill ever since. You gotta tip your hat to an
outfit that knows how to get it done. The American Reynard.
HIRO: First he doesn't qualify last (with a Toyota engine no less), thus
handing the moving chicane title to Vitolo, and then he wins the race! Well,
his car did. Hiro may end up contributing more to racing than any of us could
have ever imagined when he first got into CART. (Hmmm, he certainly has the
money to buy out the Hulman family...)
ANDRETTI: Two for two with debuting new chassis, but the big news is his
new girlfriend. A huge improvement over his ex-wife, Sandra -- she doesn't
wear hats! I heard that the Newman/Hass team is saying that the Swift is
very poor in their pre-season testing on road circuits. Can you say "poker
TRACY: Everybody is raving about his mature run and how he is a new man.
Whoa, not so fast folks. Yes, he ran a great smart race. And perhaps he
has finally seen the light. But let's at least wait until a second race
before we hail the second coming of Tracy.
JOHNSTONE: Did Team Green mess up their strategy? What was the reason for
bringing Parker in so early? Was his car handling that badly that he needed
to make changes so soon? The only thing you do when you pit so early in the
window is run the risk of having the yellow come out. They did. The yellow
did. Parker lost a lap. They had to pit early again since they were out
of sync. The yellow came out afterwards, again. Parker lost a lap, again.
This from the guy who turned in the 3rd fastest lap of the race!!
ZANARDI: Your guess is as good as mine. What happened to his speed after
the initial laps? Bad pit stop notwithstanding, his dominating speed
DE FERRAN: Welcome to the Paul-Tracy-Bonehead-Move-While-Leading-The-Race
club. Even if Vitolo stayed wide to give you room (and just ask Franchitti
how well that nice gesture works), you were still going so damn fast and
Papis was on the brakes hard by passing Vitolo off line, you would have
rammed Papis instead of Vitolo.
FIELD: Somebody asked a most interesting question: When was the last time
you saw 28 cars start on a short oval? CART has got to be the healthiest
top-flight open wheel series in the entire world.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Goes to Hiro's crew who radioed him after Andretti
took the lead, "Your car is in the lead." "It took me a moment to figure
out what they meant," was Hiro's response.
SCORING: At first I thought they messed things up so much that perhaps
Andretti did not win the race. However, after reading some more on it,
there is not an issue over the winner. But, I do think they messed up
Vasser (in his favor), Pruett (in his disfavor), and Zanardi (penalized 25
seconds and dropped from 5th to 7th). And, they discovered later that the
race only ran 147 laps instead of the schedule 148 laps. Bottom line?
See my comments under restarts.
SCHEDULE: What's that?! We have to wait 5 weeks for the next race!! Talk
about withdrawal! Well, at least we get a couple of F1 races in between.
But I'd much rather see a race instead of a parade.
Copyright © 1997 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.