Balaclava Image Deep Throttle Logo
Auto Racing History Image
HOME THOUGHTS ESSAYS RANKINGS HISTORY
About Us
Russell's Ramblings
Photos
F1 Schedule
Master Schedule
Debunking Myths
News Links
Shopping
Ed Donath Archive
Guestbook
In Association with Amazon.com

1998 Pre-Season Thoughts

They're not Indy cars anymore. They are Champ Cars. It's not the PPG CART World Series anymore. It is the CART FedEx Championship Series for the PPG Cup. Call it what you want. It is still the most exciting, most competitive racing series in the world. It will once again teach the F1 boys what the true meaning of "pass" is, as in pass a car, not pass out from boredom.

In no particular order:

TOYOTA: A make it or break it year for them.

PENSKE: Will the master give up making his own chassis? Or will this be a repeat of 1994? Technically, the PC27 holds a lot of promise. And the greatest wild card.

REYNARD: Whether the F1 project becomes a distraction for them or not, it won't matter this year. Their customers will be singing their praises.

TEAM GANASSI: Their owner might be annoying, especially when things don't go right, but he has put together a formidable team. There is no reason to suggest they cannot three-peat.

PACWEST: Bruce McCaw should stick to racing rather than hockey (where, along with his brother, has spent foolishly on the Vancouver Canucks who have only gotten worse by the day). Last year was their breakthrough year. This year will be an expectation year.

TEAM GREEN: With Villenueve, they looked great. Without him, they've looked terrible. Now that they have Paul Tracy, there are no more excuses for this team.

BOBBY RAHAL: No matter what happens this year, he will get to do what few athletes are able to -- go out with dignity. Even more importantly, he will continue to carry out the legacy of Jim Trueman for years to come.

HIRO MATSUSHITA: Say what you want about "King Hiro," but he has been the ultimate sportsman. And, like Rahal, if he does retire, his impact on the sport will continue for years.

ALEX ZANARDI: Remember Vancouver in 1996 in his rookie year when he failed at an ill advised pass on PJ Jones? Remember how mad Alex was? We didn't see that last year because everything went his way. There is no way his luck can be so good again. Emotions rule this driver which makes him both so much fun and so scary to watch.

JIMMY VASSER: Why "Chimmy" ever went along with taking Zanardi's setups is still the question of 1997. He won't be doing that this year, and as his late season run showed along with his ability to finish races, Vasser is the pre-season favorite.

PAUL TRACY: Vengeance is a great motivator. But with someone occassionally nicknamed "Wall Tracy," that might not be such a good thing.

SCOTT PRUETT: Here is a real easy prediction: by the third or fourth race, Pruett will be in first place. Will he ever be able to maintain that pace for a whole season, a season that keeps getting longer? That is the question.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI: It is still my belief that he is the most overrated driver in CART. I don't expect anything to change that.

BRYAN HERTA: Also considered overrated, Herta must prove himself this year. He's won everything before: Skip Barber Formula Ford series, Barber-SAAB Pro Series, Indy Lights Championship. He's over the emotional consequences of driving for AJ Foyt. He's over the physical consequences of that terrible crash at Toronto. He has to win this year. No more excuses.

ALEX BARRON: In my mind the most talented rookie in the new crop. However, being on a Toyota team, he will instead be using this year to gain experience and learn. Having Dan Gurney as his tutelage will be a great benefit.

TONY KANAAN: My pick for Rookie of the Year.

RICHIE HEARN: The team has learned some valuable lessons. He now has a real chassis with Firestone tires. Expect this driver to start showing some of his potential.

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.: The brunt of a lot of jokes, he suddenly quieted those naysayers when the team dumped the Lola chassis and had some excellent runs. Too young and too inexperienced when he first came into CART, he has now gained the necessary knowleadge and may be a greater talent than anyone suspected.

GIL DE FERRAN: The quietest guy on the circuit, but he sure can drive a race car. Still with Goodyear tires, but if he wins some races, he may be taking the PPG Cup home.

AL UNSER, JR.: He's lost 20 pounds. He claims to have a new spark. If the Penske chassis produces, we may see the original Little Al.

ANDRE RIBEIRO: Perhaps under the most pressure of anyone in 1998. He needs to prove that Roger made the right move.

ROBBY GORDON: Whenever he races, even with a slow car, he will bring excitement to the series. The only question is, what sort of excitement?

PATRICK CARPENTIER: He's given up bicycles for "safer" activities like snowmobiling. With new surroundings and an experienced teammate, Carpentier should see his first win.

JJ LEHTO: Will he be the next Stefan Johansson or the next Mark Blundell?

GREG MOORE: Remember, no matter what he does this year, he is still only 22.

Deep Throttle

Copyright 1998 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
Site Index | Search | Contacts | Ad Rates |


Copyright © 1999-2017 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
The names, logos, and taglines identifying Deep Throttle are proprietary marks of Deep Throttle. All other trademarks and service marks are property of their respective owners. Deep Throttle is an independent electronic publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any series, team, driver, or sponsor. Privacy Policy.