Tracy's fun to see

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:58 PM ET

Love him. Love him not.

But you can't ignore him.

Even non-race fans in this country know Paul Tracy drives a race car like he is wearing a hockey helmet instead of a racing lid.

Canadian race fans know he dives into the corners of a race track like the Sutter brothers used to dive into the corners of a hockey rink.

And car owners know the excitement that can be generated by Tracy behind a wheel may cost extra in body parts.

Every driver has certain tracks that suit them well and produce the results.

Tracy loves Edmonton for more than the fact the race is in Canada. He loves the racetrack.

Maybe the tricky, physically demanding course laid out at City Centre Airport suits Tracy's risk/reward driving nature.

"I finished on the podium once here and finished in the top five every time, so I definitely want to do as well as that (this year)," he said.

FOURTH LAST YEAR

His one-off run here ended in a non-podium fourth-place finish that stole a majority of the spotlight from the podium trio. (Quick: Name them if you can!)

"Last year was very last-minute in terms of time, preparation, knowledge of the car," said Tracy. "But the team, Derrick Walker's crew with Vision Racing, did a great job and we had a great finish, really. So all I can say is (with KV Racing, who he raced for at the Indianapolis 500, at Watkins Glen and at Toronto) we're more prepared this year -- the equipment is topnotch -- so from that viewpoint I expect to do better and challenge for a win."

His knowledge of the track, he says, isn't necessarily a decided advantage.

"It's tough to say. The ChampCar guys know (the track). There's a few guys -- Graham Rahal has raced it a couple of times (once in a ChampCar, once in an Atlantic), Will Power will be with Penske. So there's guys that know it as well as I do. Justin Wilson has gone well here.

"But those top level guys -- Helio (Castroneves), Dario (Franchitti), (Scott) Dixon -- they're good for a reason, so they are always going to be tough to beat."

GREAT SCOT

Franchitti, Tracy's old Kool Racing teammate, has been his old self since returning to the IRL this season. The Scotsman is on Target (his current team is Target Chip Ganassi) toward regaining his series-champion status after winning in Toronto last weekend.

"Dario, it'll be his first time here," said Tracy. "So it'll be interesting."

CRASH.CAMERON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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