Paul Tracy is looking to have a full year secured ride in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series … and he is close to getting his deal.
In a conversation at the 50th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the media in attendance, Tracy shared that he is nearing an agreement on driving for a full season with Michael Shank Racing, a team partially owned by AJ Allmendinger, co-driving winner of the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona held this past weekend.
In looking to find additional information on the progress of these developments, this posting at Twitter this morning from Paul Tracy speaks volumes:
paultracy3 paul tracy – When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more brick layers …………….
For a little understanding of what frustration Las Vegas resident the “Thrill From West Hill” is talking about, one needs to know what may be standing in the way of finalizing a Michael Shank Racing DW12 effort to deliver a full season ride for Paul Tracy.
This excerpted and edited from The Sault Star -
Tracy’s last ride: Racer close to 1-year deal
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI AGENCY – Jan. 30, 2012
It was Tracy who spotted a then-teenaged Allmendinger at a go-kart race in Arizona more than a dozen years ago and decided to help the youngster with his racing career.
Tracy even introduced Allmendinger to some high-powered ChampCar World Series team owners that resulted in Allmendinger winning the Atlantic Series championship in 2003. But after only three seasons in ChampCar, Allmendinger defected to NASCAR, a move that Tracy was highly critical of at the time.
Time, however, seems to have healed those wounds because in an interview with Associated Press motor sports writer Jenna Fryer at Daytona where Tracy was driving the No. 77 Doran Racing Riley Ford, he said there are only some finishing touches that need to be made to get him in an MSR Dallara DW12 come March 25 for the opening IndyCar race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“We have a car, we have a sponsor, but we need to put an engine package together,” Tracy said of the contract talks.
That may be a sticking point as MSR had been reported to be in line of one of the new Lotus engine packages that will debut in the IndyCar series this season.
Tracy has a long term relationship with rival Honda, which has backed the Canadian driver for the past four seasons as he attempted to get his open-wheel racing career back on track.
The 43-year-old native of Toronto has not had a season-long contract since ChampCar folded in 2007.
“What I think what has hampered me most over the last few years is really only being in a car three, four, five times a year,” he said. “When you are not out there testing all the time with the likes of Dario (Franchitti) or Scott Dixon and all these guys, they are in the car all the time.
“When you are out of the car, you get rusty. It didn’t affect me as bad in ’07 when … I jumped back in and I could get going right away. And I can still get going pretty well, but it’s so competitive now that you just can’t be out of a car for that long.”
Tracy said most teams in the IndyCar Series are at a competitive disadvantage at the best of times going up against the financial might of Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske Racing.
“It’s very, very difficult to get in top notch, top level IndyCar equipment because it’s so expensive and Penske and Ganassi really have a handle on that,” he said.
The 2012 season provides a unique opportunity for a new team to be competitive right away due to the fact this is the first year of a new formula. All teams are starting out with a new chassis, with a choice of one of three new turbo-charged power plants – Honda, Chevrolet, and Lotus.
This scenario just might be what the doctor ordered for a new team, that has a winning tradition behind it, with a driver who has the skill, experience, and heart to be a bricklayer in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
… notes from The EDJE
- Article first published as Paul Tracy Close To Becoming A Bricklayer In Indycar on Technorati -