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DATE News (chronologically)
05/14/09
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Tracy to make trip to Friendly Town  Just a few days prior to taking the track for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, Indy 500 driver Paul Tracy will take a break and visit with students at ‘Friendly Town’ in Danville, Illinois.  The 2003 Champ Car champion will travel seventy-five miles from Indianapolis to make a May 19th visit at 9:00 AM (CT) at the Friendly Town facility. 

Established in 1970, Friendly Town is a safety education program for all children in Vermilion County (IL), ages four through nine.  The classroom and practical instruction are under the supervision of trained police officers. The objective of the Friendly Town program is to aid the child in coping with safety problems encountered daily in every community. 

Known for his colorful, outspoken personality, Tracy is a true gentleman.  Anyone who knows him will tell you that he cares deeply about children and will spend vast amounts of time taking photos and signing autographs for them. 

Tracy, driver of the #15 GEICO car for KV Racing Technology, is making his first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 2002 when a controversial ruling sent him home with a runner up finish. The Indy Racing League ruled that he passed Helio Castroneves under caution on the final lap of the race despite video evidence that would indicate otherwise. 

Tracy’s longtime friend and business associate, Doug Barnette, is a Danville resident and has spent a lot of time talking with Tracy about the days that he spent growing up in Vermilion County.

“These guys think I have a rock star lifestyle, so I always do my best to help them understand that I’m just a hometown boy who still lives in the city where I grew up,” Barnette said.  “I began funding Friendly Town three years ago and it has been fun to watch what’s going on over there.  I am excited that Paul wants to come see where I grew up and, at the same time, bring attention to a very worthwhile program; a program that I participated in when I was a child.” 

Tracy, whose off-track demeanor betrays his on-track aggressive driving style, has a schedule that is riddled with interviews, photo shoots, media productions and physical training.  While time is tight, he is happy to make time to visit Danville.


“I’m looking forward to getting over there and seeing what Friendly Town is all about,” Tracy said.  “Over the years, Doug has told me a lot about Danville, so it’ll be nice to finally visit and get a better understanding of what I’ve heard.”

Joining Tracy will be Danville Mayor, Scott Eisenhauer, along with children from local elementary schools. 

For more information about Paul Tracy and the GEICO Indy 500 program, please visit www.geicogarage.com

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