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1997 Australia Thoughts

THE RACE: Too many incidents, too many yellows, too many green laps cut out for the taped coverage to fit in ABC's slot. If this happens at Long Beach, we'll never see the end of the race as there is no way ABC will cancel the evening news to stay with an Indy car race.

THE COURSE: Okay, before I was ambivalent, but these street courses are getting to be too much. Too much junk. Long Beach is always good, and ironically the worse of them all, Detroit, may turn out to be one of the best with the changes for this year. But, in general, they are too narrow and too twisty for these kind of cars to properly perform on.

THE CRASH: Pretty damn scary. As a driver, I'm glad the in-car camera went out just when Fittipaldi hit the wall. No good replay was ever able to fully show exactly how it got started and whose fault it is. All I'll say is that both de Ferran and Fittipaldi have been known to make stupid moves in the past.

PAUL TRACY: Well, so much for his new found maturity.

JOHNSTONE: In the immortal words of Derek Daly, "well, well, well." I was pretty high on this guy when he first got in. Rich had his doubts. I'm now beginning to side with Rich. Parker seems to consistently be showing that he doesn't belong in Indy cars. At least on road/street circuits.

ZANARDI: First the bad: what is with this guy and his blocking moves? It's as if he can never concede that he has been beaten to a turn. Now the good: six poles in a row with 3 of those gained on the very last practice lap. Now that's driving under pressure! Then, after his confrontation with Tracy, he rejoins the race in last with 17 cars still in. In the final 10 minutes, he moves all the way up to 4th! Is this guy the reincarnation of Gilles?

PRUETT: If you walked up to a Hollywood executive and proposed a story about a race car driver who mortgages his future to buy his first Indy car ride, then has a horrifying test accident that nearly leaves him crippled, then comes back and wins his first race in perhaps the greatest one lap duel in history, then marries his longtime girlfriend but postpones his honeymoon, and when he finally goes on his honeymoon, he wins his second race of his career that weekend, you would be told "Independance Day" was more realistic.

ANDRETTI: Can you believe this is his greatest start ever for a season? Considering Michael always gets better as the year progresses, should we give him the PPG Cup now? And how about that amazing weaving in and out of all that debris avoiding it all? It was busier than a video arcade game.

CUTTING THE CHICANES: Okay, first it was Zanardi and that amazing pass at Laguna Seca. To this day, Jean still insists it never should have been allowed. I've been willing to let it go. But now, this is getting out of hand. How many times do we have to listen to the explanation that the pass was already completed before the driver left the course to cut the corner? Well of course it was already completed, because the guy never braked which is why he had to leave the track in the first place. If this isn't using a shortcut to your advantage, then what the hell is? Imagine this in other sports, "Well Mr. Umpire, I was going so fast that if I stepped on third while rounding the bases, it would have caused a tremendous wipeout, so I just went from second base straight to home." For crying out loud -- out of bounds is out of bounds! Penalize these guys!!

CART OFFICIATING: Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, along comes the two white flags. I wonder how Ribiero feels when he thought he had 4th place only to find out he was indeed not on his last lap and fell back to 6th. If you signal the last lap, you have to stick with it. Well, at least it is not as bad as USAC officiating. Yet.

SURFER'S PARADISE: Paradise is right. That place is gorgeous. However, I want to know, how many perks did the ABC guys get for showing all those chamber of commerce shots? Plus, do all the woman in Australia look like that?!

SCHEDULE: So, they go from a 5 week break right into back to back intercontinental races having to travel all the way from Australia to Long Beach in one week. I sure feel sorry for those crew guys.

LONG BEACH: How many times has someone without a last name of Unser or Andretti won this race? Not too often. Just 3 times in the 13 years it has been an Indy car event. My money is on Andretti, with Unser in second. Or the other way around...

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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