Paul Tracy throws gas on fiery IndyCar debate UPDATE A reader responds, Dear Autoracing1.com, Your old road is rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand For the times they are a-changin’ Bob Dylan
Paul Tracy needs to accept the reality that in today’s economic environment his well deserved reputation of ‘win or crash trying’ is an attitude that only the top two or three teams could afford even if they wanted to, and obviously they don’t. It’s been over a decade since Tracy was shown the door by Penske and almost as long since Team Green grew tired of his antics and repair bills.
That old saying ‘be kind to those you meet on the way up because they’re the same ones you’ll see on the way down’ comes to mind. PT wore out his welcome with a lot of good teams, to complain that they don’t want to re-hire him now doesn’t have much credibility.
Heck, Tracy drove for Dale Coyne in 1991 and Coyne has a full season seat available that he has offered to Graham Rahal (who for whatever reason thinks it is beneath him to drive for a team that had more wins than Rahal did driving for Newman Hass Lanigan last year) but obviously doesn’t have the appetite for Tracy’s inevitable repair bills or any interest in hiring PT.
Tracy throws out a sound bite like ‘Four drivers from this continent at the first test I think there are three wins for all of them put together’ confident that web sites like Autoracing1.com will put it out without even a minimal amount of verification. Ryan Hunter-Reay is from North America, has three IndyCar wins and he is only one of the four drivers. So Tracy’s self-serving moaning while great for a sound bite and to get people worked up is glaringly false.
At 41 Paul Tracy has been racing cars for more than 25 years, longer than some of the drivers he complains about have been alive. Tracy also neglects to mention the fact that it wasn’t until his third year of IndyCar racing that he posted his first win and that was in his second year of driving for Penske. Or that after switching from one of the top teams, Penske, to another top team, Team Green, in 1998 he failed to win a single race despite his veteran status and driving for a top team. He went winless again in 2001 for Team Green, and managed only a single win for them in 2002. One win in two years driving for a top team does not give Mr. Tracy the right to condemn drivers that have never been fortunate enough to drive for top teams who have the best engineers and equipment money can buy.
An interesting, and fair, comparison to Paul Tracy would be Dario Franchitti. While a few years younger, Franchitti has been around the IndyCar paddock since 1997 yet has a much more level headed professional approach to his racing which has resulted in Franchitti just winning another Championship and being the ultimate insider while Mr. Tracy remains on the outside looking in.
If you think ‘old’ PT is pissing and moaning now wait until May when he finds out ‘his’ sponsor Monster Energy Drink has elected to be the primary sponsor on another drivers car for the Indy 500. Now who is he going to blame for that? Pierre Grasone, Montreal Canada02/24/10 Paul Tracy heaved a little gas on the fiery debate about the number of North Americans in the IndyCar Series this year.
“Four drivers from this continent at the first test,” Tracy tweeted to his followers yesterday. “I think there are three wins for all of them put together. As guys like Rahal, Rice and me get to stay home and watch. If that’s what you fans want … enjoy.”
Many open-wheel racing fans took umbrage at Tracy’s comments, tweeting back that it is IndyCar team owners who are at fault, not fans.
Tracy, never short on words, didn’t back down. He implored fans to contact IndyCar Series officials and team owners to tell them what they want.
“Open-wheel fans have been foolishly loyal over the last 15 years, as both series have dragged open-wheel to the bottom of the ocean,” Tracy tweeted this morning. “We have held our breath long enough. And I implore every fan to take charge of what you love and want from IndyCar!