1997 Milwaukee Thoughts
THE RACE: If Gateway was "Wow!", then Milwaukee was "Wow, Squared!" This
had to be one of the best races ever held. I'm still catching my breath.
The Unser-Carpentier side by side battle for three entire laps was mind
boggling (can NASCAR guys even do that on a one-mile oval?). Then there was
the Tracy-Moore side by side battle going on while Andretti was battling with
someone else side by side at the same time. The director had no idea which
one to follow. They should have just used a split screen.
TRACK: Was I the only one who was getting sick and tired of Bob Varsha
hyping up the fact that Tracy broke the track record by 18 mph? Come on Bob,
perspective. The track, horribly bumpy at one time, was repaved before last
season, but last year's qualifications were rained out. So, of course they
were going to smash the old mark. 184+ mph on a one-mile oval is amazing
enough to stand on its own merits. You don't need to constantly repeat the
"broke the old record by 18 mph" mantra.
TRACY: His "let it all hang out" qualifying effort is the kind of stuff that
legends are made of. His last lap when he tapped the wall showed that he was
out to break the magical 20 second barrier. There is no question that Tracy
is the fastest man in CART.
MOORE: Sometimes life works out fairly, and this was the case for this race.
It became quite evident early on that Moore was the man to beat, yet it kept
appearing that fates would intervene. First, two fast but not fast enough
pit stops kept putting him behind Tracy. Then, he almost hit Rahal coming out
of the pits. Finally, the fuel gamble looked to be the wrong decision.
Instead, Moore wins, and rightly so. In the process he becomes the youngest
winner in CART history, by 19 days.
UNSER JR.: Why is it that Unser, who is always easy on his equipment, is
the only one on the Penske team to constantly suffer mechanical breakdowns?
JOHNSTONE: Hey Parker, just drive the damn car! You don't need practice on
your interviewing techniques.
ANDRETTI: Michael puts himself right back into the battle, but it will be
interesting to see how he holds up in the point standings now that his Swift
has to deal with a bunch of road courses. An Andretti-Tracy showdown will be
quite interesting when considering how much these two don't like each other.
ZANARDI: When was the last time you heard Alex in the headlines? Seems
like forever, doesn't it? Just goes to show how competitive CART is. Things
change so fast. And what exactly happened between him and Tracy in practice
that got Zanardi so hopping mad? Was it Alex's typical Italian hot headedness?
VASSER: Zanardi may be the fastest man on the Ganassi Team, but Jimmy is
once again showing everybody why he won the championship last year and not
Alex. The problem for this year is that Vasser has some catching up to do.
TOYOTA: Hey, none of the Toyota engines blew up. But 50% of them ended up
in the wall. Maybe their drivers weren't use to running so long and got
SCHEDULE: Well, after two thrilling short oval races (something I never
thought I would say about ovals five years ago), the circuit returns to
Detroit. Ugh! The epitome of the dreaded street circuits of follow the
leader parades. But wait. They've changed the configuration to add more
passing zones and longer straights. This may not be so bad afterall. We'll
have to wait and see.
Copyright © 1997 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.