Racing notes (cont.)
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"I have to say I never thought I would ever see Paul Tracy drive for Tony George. I wonder if Tracy is going to put a 'Crap Wagon' decal on his car."
-- Former IndyCar driver Bryan Herta on the irony of Tracy driving an IndyCar for George in this Saturday's Rexall Edmonton Indy.
(It was George who made the final ruling in the disputed finish of the 2002 Indianapolis 500, preserving the victory for Helio Castroneves when it was ruled that Tracy had passed Castroneves at the end of the race after the caution light had been turned on. Tracy believes he won that year's Indy 500, even listing his greatest achievement as "Winning the 2002 Indianapolis 500" in the following year's CART Media Guide and referred to IndyCar as "Crap Wagon.")
"Well, I think the last time I set foot in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the day I was told I had no Indy 500 trophy, and that was the last time I've actually been to the track. So a lot of water has passed under that bridge for me. And moving on. I was over it the next week, winning at Milwaukee and a lot of time has passed since then. I've been able to win a championship and do a lot of other great things in my career. Now the series is one. And with that merger, there have been some people that have been left to the side. But I think it's I don't want to speak for Tony, but I think it's his intention that he wants to have the best of both sides competing and just had to wait for the opportunity for that to happen."
-- Paul Tracy on his return to IndyCar racing.
"There is little question that last time Paul left here he left feeling great disappointment and that was many years ago. It had been many years since he was here. It's been many years since he's been back. We welcome him back and are happy he's here and happy to be a part of giving him the opportunity to participate this year.
"This whole year has been about looking forward. We spent a great deal of time over the past 10 or 12 years looking backward. And this whole season has been about looking forward. And this hopefully will create an opportunity for Derrick and Paul to reestablish themselves in IndyCar racing, in open wheel racing for the future. And I think that as has been touched on, more than any time in recent memory, this sport is as competitive as it's ever been. But more than anything my hope is that it can maybe lead to something else later this year. And if not, next season."
-- Vision Racing team owner and IndyCar CEO Tony George on Paul Tracy's return.
"It's like you're swimming, you're swimming, you're never going to get there because the current is so strong. You just have to be patient. Once you fall back, like where we were, between fifth and sixth, and everybody's pretty much on the same strategy, we just keep like hoping for those guys go a little bit faster, that you can open up strategy. When you pit, those guys have different strategy, you can come back in front of them. Unfortunately, that opportunity sometimes is very hard to happen. We just have to sit and wait."
-- Helio Castroneves after finishing second to teammate Ryan Briscoe in Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
"I wouldn't say it's huge fun trying to keep tabs on where people are, people that you're chasing for a championship. But that's the deal about it. And it's not all about going out and winning races; it's about having consistency, finishing races, you know, making the maximum of every situation."
-- Scott Dixon after finishing third in Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND:
Obviously the AllState 400 at the Brickyard is the headline race of the weekend as NASCAR makes its annual visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the first Brickyard contested with the new car, so it will be interesting to see if this brand of vehicle can stage a better race on the flat track than in the past. Because many of the Brickyard's top drivers are struggling with the setup on the new car, expect to see a new driver in victory lane on Sunday afternoon.
My pick is Kyle Busch. The last time Toyota won at the Speedway was the 2003 Indianapolis 500 with Gil de Ferran.
Also, the IndyCar Series goes north of the border to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for the Rexall Indy Edmonton. The race will be held on an airport street course, making it fast and competitive. Turnout for this race could be huge. When Champ Car raced at Edmonton, the three-day spectator attendance was well over 200,000.