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1999 Laguna Seca Thoughts

Dedicated to Gonzalo Rodriguez (1972-1999)

TRACK: It always seems so obvious after the fact -- the safety deficiencies in a track design. You can't figure them all out beforehand. Now, the key is to move forward and continue to try and make Laguna Seca as safe as possible.

RACE: Yeah, it was a runaway, but at least it was someone else doing the running away instead of the usual cohorts. Besides, there was a lot of dicing and action behind the leader.

HERTA: Seven years in a row, no matter what car he drove, Bryan has started from the front row. He was won here in Barber Saab, Indy Lights, and Champ Cars. They may as well rename Laguna Seca, the Bryan Herta Raceway.

MORENO: What can be said that hasn't already been said about Roberto.

PAPIS: Is there a crazier character on the circuit than Mad Max? Put him and Tony Kanaan together, and you'll have a perfect comedy duo.

TRACY: A quiet ride (well except for the banzai start), but those usually yield the best results for Paul.

FERNANDEZ: Great comeback drive. And heads up thinking to let go of the steering wheel with his right hand, the broken one, when he was about to make contact with Greg Moore.

MAGNUSSEN: Okay, Jan drove a great race. There, it's been said. (Well, at least until he tried a bonehead pass on Scott Pruett.) Now, let's see if he can be consistently competitive.

BLUNDELL: For a portion of a middle section of the race, Mark looked to be the best driver out there, moving up like gangbusters.

RESTART: There is absolutely, positively no way that last restart should have gotten the green. That mistake, by both Herta and the starter, completely changed the course of the race for all the top contenders behind Herta.

FRANCHITTI: Once (twice) again, sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. Dario, not the rookie, seems to be the one folding under the pressure of a championship fight.

GORDON: Hey, that was fun. Let's do it again. Weeeeeeeeee!

DA MATTA: Nope, not that way. No, not that way either. Okay, now you're pointing in the right direction.

S. HATTORI: It's been fun. See ya!

ESPN: To the dorkbrains at ESPN (and ABC for that matter), it's a real simple concept. We are watching a race because we don't want to watch a baseball game. Understand?

HAKKINEN: Aren't those guys over in Formula One supposed to be the best in the world?

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Bryan Herta immediately following the race, "I'm really happy for today, but our hearts and thoughts and prayers are still with Gonzalo and his family. This is a bittersweet day for CART."

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Bryan Herta on whether he knows why he goes so fast at Laguna Seca, "No, not really. Even if I did I wouldn't tell anybody."

SCHEDULE: Houston showed some potential last year, as street circuits go, but the monsoon put an end to that. We'll see once and for all this year. Though, it still is hurricane season...

Deep Throttle

Copyright 1999 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.


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