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Tracy keeps his word, switches teams for Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul Tracy is working for two IndyCar teams this season.
He’s still got a one-track mind at Indianapolis.
After making his season debut last month with Jay Penske’s team, and with plans to still run more four races with that team, Tracy has switched teams this month to honor a previous contract with Dennis Reinbold.
Strange? Maybe, but it’s one of those trademark Tracy moves.
“There was no reason to back out and do something different,” the brash Canadian said. “This is a good program, they have good cars and good sponsorship.”
Turns out it was good business, too.
Reinbold offered the 43-year-old former Champ Car champion a full-month, fully-funded program for Indy, the biggest _ and most expensive race _ of the season. That one-off contract, signed in March, allowed Tracy to continue shopping his limited sponsorship to another team for as many races as he could get.
Dragon Racing, the team owned by Roger Penske’s youngest son, and Sam Schmidt Motorsports teamed up to give Tracy the five-race deal a few weeks later, and suddenly the nonconformist Tracy found himself in the position of honoring both deals. Chinese rookie Ho-Pin Tung will replace Tracy in the No. 8 car for the Indianapolis 500.
“I’m a man of my word,” Tracy said. “I signed a deal with Dennis and I don’t go back on my word.”
Tracy has never had a problem finding words to express his opinions.
He freely speaks his mind, and has occasionally poked verbal jabs at drivers, team owners, even series officials.
As he’s aged, though, Tracy has also found a way to mend fences.
In 2008, Tracy, the man who still contends he won the 2002 Indianapolis 500 with a late pass that was disallowed because officials ruled it came after the yellow flag waved, signed with Tony George’s now-defunct Vision Racing team. George was the man who upheld the initial ruling, giving Helio Castroneves his second straight Indy win.
But this is a different scenario.
Tracy has already earned 14 points for Dragon Racing. This month, he’ll try to score points for Dreyer & Reinbold’s, a team he filled in for last season after Mike Conway was injured at Indy. Then, Tracy returns to the Penske stable.
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