Originally posted on May 24, 2003:
I know 'wrench thinks this topic is a broken record but screw him....
From May 28 2002:
Over the last two days I've seen many trolls, flames, opinions and just general bs aimed at my boy Tracy concerning the results of this past weekends events. Since I am the designated "CART guy" around these parts, and a Tracy fan to boot, I figure it's about time I bored you all with my take on what happened.
Sunday afternoon I was banging on my scanner because there had to be something wrong with it.. It kept making noises that sounded amazingly like John Anderson telling Tracy that he had a shot at winning this thing. Then there was the dammed scoreboard that had to be on the fritz since it had displayed the number 26 in the top ten all afternoon and was now moving it into the top five.
After Kanaan's failed attempt at a 200mph track inspection, and Scheckter's high groove antics came to fruition, the race appeared to be falling once again into the hands of the Captain. Then the unthinkable happened. Marlboro Team Penske's pit sequence resulted in Helio being a little short on fuel, and Gil a little short on wheels, just the sort of thing IRL fans prayed for last year. Now the chance for a Team Big Gulp victory suddenly appeared to be not too far out of reach..
When Helio's fuel conservation tactics got him entertwined with Giafone, Tracy, and a couple of lapped cars it created just the kind of lapped traffic jumble that Tracy thrives on.(A side note: While charges of Dario blocking for Paul seem mighty popular around here at Track Forum, Barnhardt didn't seem to notice. Of course he also didn't notice Bruno's greasejob in turn 3 either so who knows? It looked to me that Fillipe tried to use Dario's draft to pass Helio high into turn three which put him far enough off line to force the lift that killed his momentum and left him open to PT blowing by on the outside of turm four. Mark one down to youthfull impatience IMO). Paul, never the shy one, was soon making high groove attacks on the low groove blocking attempts with the lead in sight!
So who would have ever thought that Paul Tracy of all people would find himself in position fondle the milk jug? Would he be all humble with tears running down his cheeks? maybe not
I was in the stands shaking racefans! My favorites never win the big one because my favorites have always been the Dick Rathmann/ Harry Schell type of throttle psychos with bad off track behaviour and a tendency toward speed over longevity, in life as well as in racing. . Add to that the fact that Indy has never been Tracy's sort of place nor had I ever expected to see him race there again, plus someone had informed me of some questions concerning his raceday powerplant, so I'll admit to being the last one who really thought I would see him in contention late. But here he was, charging to the front with two laps to go .He had the bit between his teeth and Helio didn't have enough fuel to finish that lap at speed, much less one more. Like I said, I was shaking.
Then, as he set up to pass Helio going into three, I saw the tire smoke in two and and thought DAMMIT, it's over. Over said and done!
While chewing on a cigar I mulled about in an emptying grandstand using language that would have embarrassed the Thrill from West Hill himself. I vented my frustrations for a while and then headed home thinking it was a clear victory for Marlboro Team Penske and a dammed good race that fate had snatched from Tracy.
However, I had still been laboring under the false assumption that they would revert back to the previous lap's leader when the yellow came out, an old and unpopular, but undisputeable, rule that only requires the placing of cars as they pass S/F the prior lap. Not this time, in this particular fiasco the opening for a SNAFU was created when the techno geeks convinced the rules makers that they could give exact positioning of each car anywhere on the track, thus eliminating any need to revert back to the previous lap. Or so they thought.
All the data shows is Helio leading at one segment and Tracy at the next with the yellow coming on sometime in between those two points. So the next thing you know you've got Barnhardt squinting at some bad RPM2night video tape and listening to testimony from Franchetti and Hornish. (As a side note, do you think Dario kept a straight face?) trying to determine the old "who, what, when, and where".
IMHO, it's a damm shame that a really good race will be remembered as being controversial for no reason at all. While I don't like finishes under the yellow, they are bound to happen., Changing the rules to avoid them more often than not creates more problems than it could ever solve, and using anything other than the "leader of the previous lap" rule is an sure way to open yourself up to just the can of worm the mindless mainstream media loves to wallow in. While a yellow flag finish and reverting back to the last green lap are both dissappointing at the moment, they are also both forgotten by the Victory Banquet.
I left the track Sunday convinced Helio won. But, after listening to and observing the actions of one Brian Barnhardt, having myself beaten over the head with rule 7.14 by the zealots here at Track Forum, and rewatching that same tape, I'm now not so sure.
But you know what?
They can have it.
I wouldn't want to see it reversed for one reason.
I don't want PT to get a Wendall Scott win. You know the kind I'm talking about....After the fact, after the moment, after the trophy queen and all the white folks had done gone home. When PT wins this SOB I want to see him in Victory Lane having his way with a jug of milk and spouting all manner of outrages quotes guaranteed to have any traditionalist within shouting distance doing their very own Spiderman imitations.
A spikey haired wildman right there on the old Borg Warner, hoo boy would that be some fun. LOL!
Now about the protests.
Barry Green had no choice but to exhaust every measure trying to reward his sponsors and his crew with a hard earned win. It didn't happen and it's not going to happen but he had to try nonetheless. Kudos to Barry and the crew and a Track Forum tip of the hat to our favorite "Spook".
Concerning them risking second place by protesting. So Freaking What? First loser at what to them is a non sanctioned event means nothing. The way I see it, in Tracy's head he feals he's already been robbed of the only thing worth having at 16th and Georgetown and they can keep their parting gifts. He's got an ex wife that cost him more than anything the Grandson's cronies can pry from him at this point in time.
So now it's on to Milwaukee.
I think I just might have to slide up there myself.
Drop the flag.