Going Green at Indy

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 PM ET

TORONTO - Toronto’s Paul Tracy is hoping that by taking a step back he will take a giant leap forward in his efforts to get his racing career back on track.

The 2003 Champ Car World Series champion will reunite with his former CART boss Barry Green in an effort to win the IZOD IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 on May 30th.

Green, who took Jacques Villeneuve to an Indy 500 win and a CART championship, has joined Tracy’s current outfit — KV Racing Technology — as a race strategist.

KVRT said in a release Tuesday that Green would be part of Tracy’s No. 15 GEICO/ KV Racing Technology Dallara-Honda entry this year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The move reunites Green and Tracy at Indy for the first time since the controversial 2002 race when Tracy had victory snatched from him by then Indy Racing League bosses for allegedly passing Helio Castroneves in Turn 3 under caution on lap 198 of 200.

Green and Tracy launched appeals of the decision, but to no avail. The IRL disallowed both Tracy’s win and the Team Kool Green appeal.

Now, eight years later, Tracy and Green will attempt to make up for that black mark on their careers with a renewed assault at the yard of bricks.

“I’m very excited to return to the Indianapolis 500 and work with Paul again,” Green said. “Paul and I both feel we have some unfinished business at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I want to thank (KVRT owners) Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser for this opportunity to assist Paul and his GEICO crew throughout the month. I have worked with John Dick (Tracy’s engineer) on numerous occasions and I believe we have a strong effort to challenge for an Indy 500 victory.”

As for Tracy, the 40-year-old native of Scarboro is as excited as a raw rookie at the opportunity to work with Green again. Tracy returned to Indianapolis last season for the first time since 2002 and came away with a ninth-place finish.

And that was with only one warmup event under his belt.

Tracy went on to almost win the Honda Indy Toronto — ironically knocked out of Victory Lane by a crash with Castroneves — and to a sixth-place finish at the Honda Edmonton Indy.

“With my tenure at Team KOOL Green, Barry called every one of my races and called all of my race wins including winning the 2002 Indianapolis 500,” Tracy said. “When Jimmy (Vasser) and I sat down at Long Beach to discuss our Indy 500 plans, he told me he couldn’t be as hands-on with my car as he was last year.

“He asked me to explore the right person to help me at Indy. It didn’t take long to think of Barry. He has the same desire and commitment to winning as I do.

“Obviously, he was my choice to work with me this year. I know we have some unfinished business at the Speedway.”

Tracy’s entry will be the fourth for KVRT in this year’s Indianapolis 500. He will join Indy car rookie Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes on the team.

“Paul asked me about bringing Barry in for the Indy 500 and I was elated,” Vasser said. “I had to race against Barry’s team for many years, and I can appreciate his expertise in calling races. Having him with KV Racing Technology gives us an added bonus as we prepare to enter the month of May and the biggest race in the world.”

Green, a native of Australia, has been away from direct involvement in racing since he sold his Team KOOL Green to Michael Andretti who formed Andretti Green Racing with Kim Green (Barry’s brother) and Kevin Savoree in 2003.

Kim Green and Savoree now control Andretti Green Promotions, which owns the Honda Indy Toronto where it so happens Tracy has a pair of victories.

Tracy and KVRT are expected to announce further sponsorship deals with Tracy that could see him race in more Indy Car races this season.


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