Vancouver Molson Indy notes
Race winner Al Unser, Jr suffered from food poisoning and severe dehydration (he was on an intravenous drip on Saturday). He was described as shaky when he climbed out of his car at the end, and pasty-faced on the podium, apparently having a hard time lifting his trophy - a testament to his will power.
Michael Andretti came back from near or at the end of the field no less than three times, courtesey of the full course yellows. Other drivers benefitted, too, including Robby Gordon. Andretti contacted other cars 11 times in the race, including Mario on lap 19. Tracy made 7 contacts, and both were fined $10,000.
Tracy: "It's a persistent pattern with him (Michael Andretti) hitting people from behind. He just bulldozes everyone out of the way. ..... He's been warned by CART but there's no black flag, no nothing...... It's a demolition derby out there."
Andretti: "My brakes locked up and I couldn't avoid it."
Tracy had a long pit stop to try unsucessfully to fix a broken seat belt buckle, after which "I was bouncing all over the car the rest of the way."
Unser: "We watched everybody kind of run into each other out there.... I was watching everybody so carefully there at the beginning, if they even attempted to poke their nose under me it was their corner all the way. I backed up a few spots there at the beginning of the race but then those guys started running into each other. One by one they just started falling away."
Robby Gordon was running without third gear for much of the race.
Gordon: "If you wanted to get by somebody, it was almost like you had to hit 'em."
Fittipaldi (on Mansell, after throwing his steering wheel across the track in disgust): "He tried to use my brakes to stop his car.... Does he think I'm a ghost? I was going to be there. Nigel came like a torpedo and there was no room between my car and the wall. A great champion like Nigel doesn't ahve to do that.
Mansell: "I went down on the inside and he had the choice of letting me go or crashing, so we crashed..... I had been pushed out of the way all day, so I thought I'd give it a go."
Chuck Sprague (Penske team manager): "Nigel tried to go into a hole that wasn't there. It was very unprofessional."
Bobby Unser: "Mansell shouldn't have been trying to pass him right then."
Al Unser, Jr (when asked which Vancouver restaurant he ate at before getting food poisoning): "Let'd just say it came from the States." ("it" was apparently shellfish)
Winning speed: 89.166 mph Margin of victory: 2.239 sec Full course yellows: 6 for 22 laps Leaders: Gordon 1-36; Mansell 35-75; Fernandez 76; Unser 77-102
Series points: Unser 193, Fittipaldi 137, Mi. Andretti 114, Tracy 107, Gordon 104, Mansell 83, Rahal 55, Villeneuve & Boesel 54, Fabi 49
Sunday's record paid attendance of 70,639 increased the weekend total to 163,443, also a record.
-- **************** L.J. Street