Sunday, April 18, 2010

Paul Tracy Returns to Indy with KV Racing

To the rejoicing cheers of open wheel racing fans (especially Canadian fans) Paul Tracy has been officially named as an entry to the 2010 Indianapolis 500. Announced at a press conference in Long Beach (the site of his first IndyCar victory in 1993), 41 year-old Tracy will pilot a fourth car within KV Racing Technology backed by insurance company Geico. The second year in a row driving the #15 car, Paul Tracy started 13th and finished 9th in the 2009 Indy 500.

Attempting to make his 7th start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, many fans of Paul Tracy would assert that the Canadian driver is actually an Indy 500 winner. In the 2002 race, Tracy running a one-off IRL event for his CART organization Team Green. Fighting his way up to second with only two laps to go, Paul Tracy ran down the lead Penske Racing car of Helio Castroneves. Having closed the distance on Castroneves, Tracy drew alongside the Penske-owned vehicle out of turn 3. At the same time, a two-car crash occurred on the other end of the track drawing caution on lap 199 just as Tracy peaked in front of Castroneves. In what has been the most controversial outcome in Brickyard race history, Helio Castroneves was declared the leader at the point of caution despite inconclusive evidence that the caution truly came out before Tracy's pass. Protesting the result, Team Green and Paul Tracy filed an official appeal. The IRL continuously defended the race results placing Castroneves in the lead and Tracy in 2nd place at the point of caution. It has long been believed that Paul Tracy was a victim of the than separated state of open wheel racing in North America.

With Paul Tracy only confirmed for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, it's reasonable to stay tuned for some announcements placing the popular driver in additional 2010 IZOD IndyCar events. Specifically, the two upcoming IZOD IndyCar rounds in Toronto and Edmonton are likely to see "The Thrill from West Hill" return to entertain his home country fan base.

Adding to an ever-filling contingent of drivers contending for 1 of 33 prized starting spots in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the upcoming qualifying in the coveted Brickyard is shaping into a suspenseful outing for the IZOD IndyCar Series racers. On top of the regular 25-car field with teams and cars committed for the 2010 full-season, a growing list of quality Indy-only entries is certainly going to provide a high stakes competition simply to make the 500 mile race.

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