Tracy being set up?

UPDATE Indy-car star Paul Tracy, after years of skepticism about cars with fenders, is finally going to put his foot down in a NASCAR stocker. Tracy and car owner Richard Childress have talked on-and-off for about two years about doing a deal, and the numerous problems plaguing Indy-car racing may be prodding Tracy to make a move.

Tracy, who set the Michigan International Speedway record of 234.949 mph five years ago in a Champ Car, will test one of Childress' Chevrolets at that two-mile track with an eye toward driving in the Nextel Cup race there Aug. 21. Tracy has 30 Champ-Car wins, including victories this summer at Milwaukee and Cleveland, and he just finished second at San Jose.

"Paul and I have talked about an opportunity like this for the past couple of years, and it has finally come together," Childress said. "This will be Paul's first shot in a stock car, but he obviously has a great deal of talent and knows how to win races and championships. We'll take a look at how things go, and, if all goes according to plan, we'll get him ready for the Cup race the next week."

Tracy says he's "very excited," but he concedes that "driving a Cup car will be totally new to me." The Tracy-Childress move comes as Childress is revamping his engine department and fueling speculation about his putting together a fourth Cup team next year. Winston Salem Journal [Editor's Note: Might that 4th team be for Paul Tracy? Related article]

08/02/05 A reader writes, Dear, How do we know that this whole test for Paul Tracy isn't a setup? I don't trust anything NASCAR does. Look how they sandbagged Martin Brundle in IROC when he was winning at MIS and Rusty Wallace deliberately took him out. Look how they treated Scott Pruett, by forcing him to be the last trailer into the paddock with half the practice time elapsed. Or when Steve Park or Jr. took him out in Las Vegas.

You might ask why would Childress do something like this? Why, because he's told to do it to show that Champ Car drivers are no good, i.e. not as good as the "greatest drivers in the world"? Nascrappers!

You might ask what happened to Christian Fittipaldi, John Andretti and Michel Jourdain Jr., all taken from Champ Car for various reason and then embarrassed – Fittipaldi (big name, Brazilian interest), Jourdain (Mexican market), and Andretti (the Andretti name).

NASCAR only pushes the drivers they want to push for commercial/geographical reasons.. They got Matt Kenseth (Wisconsin (upper Midwest) the title. They pushed Kasey Kahne. Where is Kahne this year, after being pushed to the top last year and securing the fans of the Great Northwest?

I don't buy they need Tracy for Canada. It's only a Busch Series race if they go anyway. And besides, I thought NASCAR was so popular they were bigger than any one driver? I smell a rat – a setup to embarrass Champ Car and Paul Tracy. I'll be reminding everyone when it happens as history will once again repeat itself. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California.

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