CHAMPCAR/CART: CART 2002 Awards presented in Miami

The CART community closed the 2002 season tonight at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Miami, Florida where the season's awards were presented. Cristiano da Matta was the night's big winner, taking home the Honda Fast Lap award and of course the CART ...

CHAMPCAR/CART: CART 2002 Awards presented in Miami

The CART community closed the 2002 season tonight at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Miami, Florida where the season's awards were presented.

Cristiano da Matta was the night's big winner, taking home the Honda Fast Lap award and of course the CART FedEx Series Driver's Championship. He also was a major contributor to several other awards, leading Toyota to the Manufacturers Championship, Lola to the Constructor's Championship and CART's Brazilian drivers (with teammate Christian Fittipaldi, Bruno Junqueira and Tony Kanaan) to the Nation's Cup.

In a special presentation, da Matta also was given the 2002 Driver of the Year Award voted by the nation's racing media across all forms of motor racing.

Patrick Carpentier took home two major awards, winning the Motorola Call of The Race award and the coveted Greg Moore Legacy award, named for his late former teammate.

Paul Tracy was awarded the WorldCom Most Popular Driver award over da Matta, Carpentier and his teammates Dario Franchitti and Michael Andretti. He brought down the house with his opening comments, thanking Tony George for helping him win the award. Referring to the disputed Indy 500, he continued: "Since that whole disaster, I've become a fan favorite. I guess this is like my Borg-Warner trophy."

In other awards, Mario Dominguez was named the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award winner and the Shell-sponsored Bobby Rahal team and Jimmy Vasser won the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge.

The drivers didn't get all the awards. Team manager Jim McGee, currently with Patrick Racing, presented a special award to recognize CART's Director of Logistics, Billy Kamphausen, for his work moving CART around the world.

The evening's festivities, hosted by CART broadcasters Bob Varsha and Tommy Kendall, featured a loose and funny mood, with many encouraging moments for CART's fans and supporters. Even Toyota's Lee White hinted that the departing engine supplier might return. As he accepted the trophy for the Manufacturer's Championship, he said: "I was told this was a loaner. I'd hate for it to go to [Ford's] Ian Bisco, so Chris, could I just keep it on my mantle? I believe that CART will be here in two years"

A highlight of the evening was Team Rahal co-owner Dave Letterman's special Top Ten list: Top Ten Messages on Chris Pook's telephone.

10: "Hi Chris, this is Bernie Eccelstone. Please stop calling!"

9: "Hi Chris, this is Joe Heitzler. Bite my ass!"

8: "Hi Chris, this is Paul Tracy. I'll be back next year, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!"

7: "Hi Chris, this is Danica Patrick. Please stop calling!"

6: "Hi Chris, this is Bobby Rahal. The good news is that we'll be back with a team in CART next year. The bad news is that Letterman is still an owner!"

5: "Hi Chris, this the Surfer's Paradise weather service. There are some sprinkles expected in the area this morning, but the weather looks great for racing today."

 4: "Hi Chris, this is Chip Ganassi. They ran out of gravy at the banquet last year. Don't let it happen again!" 

3: "Hello Chris, this is Ford Cosworth. How many engines will you need next year, ten or twelve?"

 2: "Hi Chris, this is Gerry Forsythe. I just bought 80,000 more shares of CART stock. Best $200 I ever spent!" 

And the number one message left on Chris Pook's telephone:

"Hi Mr. Smith, this is Golden Touch Medical Massage. Your credit card has expired."

shares
comments
CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Motor Company y CART anuncian alianza

Previous article

CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Motor Company y CART anuncian alianza

Next article

IRL: Cheever Racing signs Buddy Rice

IRL: Cheever Racing signs Buddy Rice
Load comments
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021