Wrap: Records and speed

Updated: May 10, 2004, 5:33 PM ET
ESPN.com

ESPN.com takes a look at what went down in the racing world this past weekend.

Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya
I'm this famous in the U.S. but only this famous overseas.

Biggest surprise: Jenson Button only scoring one point in Spain after three consecutive podium finishes. Still, the BAR team reaching a level where it is disappointed with an eighth-place finish (Button's teammate Takuma Sato did finish fifth). Now that's impressive.

Biggest non-surprise: Michael Schumacher and Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix. Of course.

Also, Martin Truex Jr. winning from the pole at Gateway. Junior Jr. is off to a blazing start in the Busch Series, as he currently sits atop the standings after 10 races. Anyone else think a championship this year could mean a seat for the New Jersey native in the currently parked No. 1 Cup car next season?

And Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves leading the way during Indy's first practice. Ed Carpenter (seventh) did turn some heads, however.

Biggest disappointment: Juan Pablo Montoya. He started in the front row in Spain but slid to fourth by the end of the first lap. Brake problems ultimately knocked him out with 20 laps to go.

Gutsy move: The IRL. Speeds needed to come down -- especially at Indy -- and they have. Sure, they will climb up a few mph by race day, but progress has been made.

Also, Jarno Trulli -- who dedicated his day to an ailing friend -- blasting to the early lead in Spain. He and teammate Fernando Alonso finished third and fourth, respectively.

Boneheaded move: McLaren's apparent utter lack of preparedness for this season. The team was held point-less (or is it pointless?) on Sunday and has just five points this season -- 25 behind fourth-place Williams.

Oh, and protesting pedestrians -- just stay off the track, will you?

Redemption: Adrian Fernandez. He has struggled and encountered bad luck in his two races since moving from Champ Cars to the IRL. But Fernandez was third in practice on Sunday and may be a player at Indy this month.

Random stat: Schumacher's win on Sunday was his 75th in 200 grand prix starts, not to mention his fifth in a row to start the season.

Random thought: Jeff Gordon was in attendance at Circuit de Catalunya this weekend. Had Gordon gone F1, would he be a title contender? Or would he have been back in NASCAR a year or two later? Fun debate ... (we'll lean toward the former).

General amazement: Schumacher. It's odd to think that there still are records out there for him to break. He tied one on Sunday (wins to start a season) and is a Monaco win away from owning it outright.

Quote: "I don't drive for statistics. If they do happen they make me proud but it is not what makes me keep going." -- Schumacher on his latest record.

Photo: Check out the photo of the week. Robby Gordon is already in the middle of his month of May racing storm.

Tell us what you think: Share your thoughts with us about the weekend's action.

 
Your full name:     
Your e-mail address:   
City and state/province: 

Your comment:

ALSO SEE