1998 U.S. 500 Thoughts
TRACK: Strange you would praise a track because it forced a device to
slow cars down. But when that device is the Handford Device, the greatest
invention for racing excitement since the car itself, you have to give
high marks to Michigan Speedway.
RACE: WOW!! Someone give me some oxygen. I'm still out of breath. I
don't think I'm stretching it when I say this was the greatest 500-mile
race in open wheel history. However, it will instead be remembered for
the horrible accident.
FERNANDEZ: It seems tragically odd that Adrian's name should be associated
once again with the dark side of the sport. Fernandez's first career CART
victory came the day that Jeff Krosnoff and course worker, Gary Avrin, were
killed at Toronto. And now, it was his flying wheel that caused the deaths
of three spectators. Any death is unacceptable, but the drivers, crew and
workers know the risks, and they willingly accept them. The spectators,
however, should not. And a spectator death is the greatest danger to
MOORE: In a shootout like this, I would have expected the old wily
veterans to come out on top. But Unser dropped out and Andretti fell back.
That left Vasser, but he picked the wrong strategy. So once again, it was
the young Greg Moore showing experience beyond his years.
VASSER: From his reaction after the race, you could tell this was one
amazing shootout that really gets the competitive juices flowing in these
ZANARDI: Just how long can his luck hold out?! His car ends the race on
fire, and he still finishes third.
DE FERRAN: As the race developed, my money was on Gil. He looked so
strong out there. Too bad his engine wasn't.
UNSER: Any believes that Ribeiro was going to outshine his teammate this
year have proven to be a farce.
ANDRETTI: Mikey deserved this one. But then, so did at least half a dozen
others. But he did make progress by finishing in his first Michigan race in
HEARN: Absolutely the best drive of his career.
RAHAL: Nice job putting the dashboard back up while driving with one hand.
Hey, can you change the radio dial and check for a map in the glove
compartment at 220+ mph also?
LEHTO: And he was running so strong.
VITOLO: Talk about driver error.
MARLBORO POLE AWARD: I'm beginning to think that winning the pole is a
jinx. Heck, that's the only thing Zanardi has been beaten at, and it
works out for him.
CARS: Three top gears for a superspeedway. Who would have ever dreamed
QUOTES OF THE WEEKEND: Prophetic: Jimmy Vasser on the Thursday before the
race weekend, "I think if there's a three or four-car lineup going into the
last lap, I certainly wouldn't want to be the guy in front." Excitement:
Greg Moore after the race, "Wow! That's all I can say." Perspective:
Greg Moore on the accident, "People came here to watch us race and put on a
good show, which we did today, but that tragedy definitely puts a damper on
TICKETS: Despite the tragedy, I betcha people are lining up to purchase
the unsold tickets for Fontana. And next year's Michigan crowd will be a
SCHEDULE: Bring on Fontana! Oh, we have to wait for the next Handford
Device race. Okay. Bring on Mid-Ohio! And what will most likely be the
largest crowd ever at that picturesque track to send a fond farewell to
their local hero, Bobby Rahal.
Copyright © 1998 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.