Penske could be Tracy's salvation

May 9, 2008
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rogerp06May in Indianapolis certainly does create strange bedfellows.

Race car driver Paul Tracy’s last chance to run this year’s Indianapolis 500 apparently resides with the captain himself, Roger Penske.

Tracy, known by his fans as The Thrill from West Hill, formerly drove for Penske during two stints in the 1990s when both competed in the rival Champ Car series. Tracy first drove for Penske in 1992 as a back-up for the injured Rick Mears.

Now Tracy, 39, is merely looking for a ride in the wake of Champ Car’s bankruptcy earlier this year.

Motorsports sources said efforts by Walker Racing boss Derrick Walker has come up about $200,000 short of fielding a car this month for Tracy, who has continued to work out and prepare in case an opportunity this month arises. Tracy was seen yesterday morning training on his mountain bike.

While Walker said he is still working on an 11th hour deal, sources behind the scenes said there has been discussion about Penske letting Walker use one of his spare cars to qualify for the race. Talks between the two sides continue, sources said, but a deal likely won’t be finalized until Penske gets all his drivers safely in the race this weekend.

If Team Penske fails to qualify its drivers, or if one of them has an accident this weekend, sources close to both teams said any chance of a deal with Walker to put Tracy in the race will likely die.

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  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.