Tracy Gets One-Race Deal
July 16, 2008 | 12:29 P.M. EST
Tracy's first return to the IndyCar Series since 2002 will feature Subway Restaurants as the primary sponsor, and Northlands, the promoter of the Rexall Edmonton Indy as an associate on the No. 22 machine provided by Vision Racing with additional personnel and engineering support by Walker Racing.
"This entire season has been about everyone coming together and going the extra mile, working the extra hours, to take advantage of unification wherever and whenever possible to grow our sport," Vision Racing team owner and IndyCar Series founder Tony George said. "This is just another great opportunity for the IndyCar series and Vision Racing to bring back a great driver and colorful character for not just our Canadian fans but for all Indy car racing fans. This could not have happened without the support of the league, the promoter and the sponsors."
Tracy, a Scarborough, Ontario native, is first among active Indy car drivers in career wins (31) and starts (262), and second amongst active Indy car drivers in poles (25). His popularity within and beyond Canadian borders, along with his experience in open-wheel racing are currently unmatched in the IndyCar Series.
"I'm excited about the opportunity with Vision Racing and Walker Racing," said Tracy who is currently ranked seventh in all-time career Indy car wins. "Obviously it's key to have a good sponsor and a proper effort. Tony George has done a great job with that. We have that now with Subway and these two teams working together. I've been away for a little while, but I want to be back in a car and this is the first step to getting back. We have a big job ahead of us but everyone is giving it their best try."
Match Vision Racing - a current IndyCar team that has made tremendous strides, shown consistency and huge improvement since its inception; with Walker Racing -- a former Champ Car team with a wealth of experience and success; and add Tracy -- a road racing specialist, and a series champion with a long list of records to his credit; both with experience on the temporary 1.96 mile street course at Edmonton City Centre Airport; and what you have is a strong platform for success .
"I have seen the Edmonton race on television and know that it is a great event. I am sure this partnership with Paul Tracy and Walker Racing will give us a better understanding of the platform we need to take to the event to be as successful as possible," said George. "I am very proud of Vision Racing personnel who have very unselfishly worked to provide five cars to transitioning teams before the season started and before it began to focus on its own effort. Because of the professional way the team has conducted itself so far I am sure we will be able to collaborate with Walker Racing to put forth a quality effort for this race."
Derrick Walker, owner of Walker Racing also spoke to the significance of their return to the IndyCar Series with the help of Vision Racing and Tracy.
"We are looking forward to working with Vision Racing and Paul Tracy," Walker noted. "Walker Racing is building on 2009 and this opportunity with Vision Racing affords us the chance to show that we are still alive and a viable entity. I appreciate that Tony has provided us with this chance. It's a good opportunity as well to work with Paul. Having raced against him for
many years I've always admired him as a very competitive driver. There is no doubt we are all going into this event with our eyes wide open. We just want to execute the best that we can and the results will take care of themselves."
The clamoring for Tracy's return to Indy cars from Canadian race fans and media have been heard loud and clear over recent months and the announcement of his return has already sparked praise from the race promoters and officials.
"We are thrilled to have Paul Tracy and the Vision Racing team on the starting grid when the green flag drops for the inaugural Rexall Edmonton Indy on July 26," said Ken Knowles, Northlands President. "Open-wheel racing fans are in for an incredible ride as a Canadian racing icon takes to the track in Edmonton for Canada's lone stop on the 2008 IndyCar Series
Currently Tracy is contracted solely for the Rexall Edmonton Indy while George and Walker keep an eye on future opportunities with the veteran driver yet this season. With additional road and street course events scheduled at Belle Isle, Infineon Raceway and potentially Surfers Paradise, Austrailia, Tracy's services may be called upon again pending sufficient sponsorship.
This will be the second time this season Vision Racing has added a third car to the stable as Davey Hamilton joined the team in May for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500; bringing the involvement of Kingdom Racing and HP to the No. 22 car.
Practice for the Rexall Edmonton Indy is set to begin Thursday July 24, 2008 at 3:15 p.m. (ET) with qualifying set for July 25th at 5:15 p.m. (ET). The race will air live and in HD on Sunday, July 26 at 5 p.m. on ESPN, as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144.