Pat Patrick (the Patrick in Patrick Racing) watches his team during Friday practice at the 2001 CART race in Portland.
Roberto Pupo Moreno talks to his Patrick Racing crew during Friday practice at the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. Some friends in graduate school introduced me to open-wheel racing in the mid-90’s near the end of Pupo’s Formula One career, he was so nice and unassuming I was pleased that not only did he then go on to race in Indycars, but I got a chance to see him a couple of times at the races in Portland. He’d finish second in the rainy race that Sunday.
Memo Gidley of Chip Ganassi Racing gives an interview on the weekend of the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. Memo became known as Super Sub at the time, I believe this was the third time he was hired to take over a ride mid-season. I always hoped he would find a full-time ride but one of the downsides to racing is that it is hard for drivers like Memo who don’t come with financial backing. He had more luck in sports cars until injuries from a severe crash at Daytona sidelined him for a few years, but it sounds like he’s healed enough to return to racing.
Gil de Ferran prepares to leave the pits during Friday practice for the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. I wish it wasn’t cropped so closely but I had a tough time getting a shot of Gil all weekend and only got this one as his crew moved out of the way. Sadly I never got to see him race again as his team never returned to Portland, and while he didn’t have a great race I was happy when he won the championship for the second year in a row, as I was a fan from his rookie year.
Alex Zanardi in the Mo Nunn Racing pits watches the timing and scoring results with his helmet still on during Friday practice for the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. Alex was one of my favorite drivers ever and had returned to CART after a brief stint in Formula One, so I was eager to get a photograph of him. He struggled to find speed with his new team and would qualify last and finish last in the race when contact took him out early. A few months later a savage crash would take both legs and nearly his life. In the last handful of years he’s won gold and silver medals in handcycling at the past two Summer Paralympics games, but I was most happy to see that his enthusiasm and optimism were still going strong, as it was those qualities that made me a fan more than his extensive success on the track.
Mario and Michael Andretti watch the timing and scoring results during Friday practice for the 2001 CART race at Portland International Raceway. Although both father and son had been quick at Portland in the past (each was a multiple race winner here), as you can probably guess from their expressions, Michael was having trouble finding speed on this day. Saturday wouldn’t go much better as he qualified 16th, but in the race he’d improve to finish 8th. Regardless I loved seeing them and spent quite a bit of time at the Team Motorola pits hoping for a chance at a picture.
Paul Tracy waits in the pits while his crew makes adjustments to his car during Saturday practice at the 2002 CART race at Portland International Raceway. The race on Sunday ended early for Paul, he drove past with what looked like suspension damage, but he had plenty of success at other races and now is a commentator for NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar races.