Monday, July 11, 2005

Weekend Racing

F1

I'm glad to see Juan Pablo Montoya finally win another race.

When Montoya first got to F1, it looked like it could be the beginning of a classic, archetypal rivalry: Montoya, the fiery, daredevil Colombian vs. Michael Schumacher, the cool, calculating German. But, even though the two had some exciting tussles, Schumacher was, for all intents and purposes, untouchable.

Before Sunday's Silverstone race, a commenter on Fast Machines wrote:

Montoya is another matter; he has the skill but lacks something I can’t put my finger on, that has kept him from achieving near the potential he is capable of. His attitude in general has sucked since his days in Indy cars, so maybe the team and engineers simple don’t support him as a top driver based off his poor attitude.


Maybe Montoya suffered from what I think of as the Robby Gordon Syndrome. Before trying to break into NASCAR, Gordon was used to winning races and, in general, being the top dog. Once he got to NASCAR, it seemed like he just couldn't adjust to being just another bozo on the track. He seemed to drive as if everyone should just pull over for him, because, hey, he's Robby Gordon. He had a hard time getting the message that the NASCAR guys wouldn't have cut him any slack even if he was Jeff Gordon.

Now, if Robby wasn't actually a great driver and hadn't proven he can win in NASCAR, it'd be easy to write him off as a hot-head who was out of his league. But he is a great driver and he can win in NASCAR, so, looking back, I think it's kind of a shame that he really blew his chance at Childress Racing because of his on-and-off-track attitude problem.

Other F1-related stuff: I enjoyed this interview with Bernie Ecclestone posted on Full Throttle. Also from that site, some more Bernie-related F1 speculation.

Champ Cars

I basically gave up watching CART/Champ Car racing after Helio, Dario, Gil, Michael, et al defected to the IRL. I just lost interested in watching a racing series where the major question was: Will anybody be able to challenge Paul Tracy this weekend? I have nothing against Paul Tracy, but, come on... If he's your marquee star, you're in some trouble.

On a whim, though, I watched yesterday's Champ Car race from Toronto, and was lucky enough to catch one of the best races--in any series--I've seen all year (here's the Fast Machines coverage). Lots of ups-and-downs, exciting passes, boneheaded moves, and lucky breaks. I was pretty skeptical when I first heard about the Power-to-Pass thing--it seemed like a video game-like gimmick--but, after seeing it in action, my considered verdict is that it's wicked awesome.

The race wasn't quite enough to bring me back into the Champ Car fold, but it was enough to convince me to check out next week's race in Edmonton.


NASCAR

I'm not exactly a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, but, as I've said before, it would be pretty exciting if he could claw his way into the Chase for the Cup and even more exciting if he did it by winning a bunch of races.

I am a Jimmie Johnson fan, and those crazy, three-wide passes he made on the final restarts are why.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jon, love your racing postings...care to do some with us over at FastMachines.com? We'd love to have you join us if you are interested. Drop me a line at josh@fastmachines.com.

Thanks,
jk

Horse Sense said...
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Sports Junky said...
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