1999 Mid-Ohio Thoughts
TRACK: For all the criticism that today's F1 track, Hungaroring, gets,
Mid-Ohio is not much better for passing. However, there is one key difference. Mid-Ohio is a
true road circuit. One that swirls and swooshes, up and down through the countryside. That
alone makes it fun to watch race cars on, with or without passing.
RACE: Still trying to figure this race out. Did Team Ganassi wake up for the weekend
in the second half of the race? Or, did Team Green fall asleep at the switch and not be able
to respond in time to the sudden surge from Montoya?
MONTOYA: This is the type of drive that championship seasons are made of. Never got a
real handle on the car the whole weekend, but never gave up attacking. Then, when they finally
got it right, Juan pounces for the kill.
TEAM GANASSI: They certainly made up for their mistake last week that cost Montoya a win
and ultimately a finish by perhaps their best pit performance of the year which kick started Juan
FRANCHITTI: What in the world is Dario complaining about?! So what if he was forced
to pit early for a slow puncture. It didn't cause him to go out of sequence or conserve fuel.
As for the real estate lost on those few slow laps, a yellow came out shortly after everybody
pitted, so that was a moot issue. Plus, it enabled him to go after Montoya again, something
he was incapable of doing anyway. His whining was much ado about nothing. He got beaten soundly,
a second per lap at the end, and couldn't take it like a man.
TRACY: Another second place finish. His fourth at Mid-Ohio and third in
the last four races this year. "Consistency" and "Tracy" in the same sentence? This must be
HONDA: Complete domination. Again.
CART: Great PR move to invite all the fans from Saturday's washout into the paddock
for a 90-minute autograph session. I'm still waiting for "fan friendly" NASCAR to do something
JONES: The verdict is in. Time for PJ to start calling some IRL teams...
MAGNUSSEN: ...but then Jan hasn't done anything either. Perhaps Adrian Fernandez is a
lot better than he's given credit for. Or maybe, there's a lot of overrated drivers being unduly
praised. Or, both.
HERTA: He's definitely gone from Team Rahal next year based on pre-race comments from
Bryan and his boss. Herta and Patrick Racing would make a good fit.
NEWMAN-HAAS: Never had the handle on this track all weekend.
UNSER: Now, let's get this straight. Unser's radio didn't work on the pace lap, so he
came in to replace his helmet, losing a lap in the process guaranteeing him a horrible race.
All this for a failed radio?! Drivers have suffered worse communication fates before and pushed
on. One really has to wonder what is going through the minds of all involved at Penske Racing.
JOURDAIN: What was Michel waiting for on his first pit stop? For his crew to check his
oil? Squeegee his windshield?
TOYOTA: Top three spots in Sunday morning's warm-up. A strong top ten run by Gordon
and da Matta. Just how many times can Toyota knock on the door only to forget to turn the knob
when it comes time to open it.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: To Jan Magnussen on his thoughts of the upcoming Chicago race,
"I have only been on an oval alone, never with 26 other maniacs out there."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: A tie on two Paul Tracy comments. On his many
bridesmaid finishes at Mid-Ohio, "Finishing second here has been my trademark," and on Montoya's
pass and subsequent speed in the second half of the race, "Maybe they should put the Superman
logo on his car."
SCHEDULE: You never know what to expect from a brand new facility. Chicago Motor
Speedway is supposed to be a very, very wide track. One salivates at the thought of the kind of
race that means on a one-mile oval.
Copyright © 1999 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
Read what others said.