Tracy's sixth sense pays off

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

The most popular guy in the field felt pretty alone out there.

Too far behind fifth place to make a move and too far ahead of seventh to be caught from behind, Paul Tracy drove the Rexall Edmonton Indy in his own little world yesterday, finishing a comfortable sixth.

"We pretty much ran alone the whole race," said the Canadian crowd favourite.

"I was 10 seconds behind Dario Franchitti and 12 ahead of Graham Rahal, so that was about it.

"We were all running about the same pace. We couldn't close the gap."

Tracy started the day ninth on the grid and made up three spots before the race was three laps old, but that would be the extent of his advance.

"I was hoping to catch them and have a good race, but we fell so far behind that first group of five cars that I could never close the gap without having to overuse the tires," he said.

"So it was just maintain the car, don't make a mistake and hope for a yellow, but it never came."

Last year, in a totally unfamiliar vehicle after spending two months on the couch, he got a last-minute ride in Edmonton and jockeyed his way from 15th to fourth.

So ninth to sixth might seem a little anti-climactic, but that's just the kind of race it was on a day when nobody could catch the big boys.

"It's the Penske and Ganassi show and I was the first of the rest, so I think it was a pretty good effort," he said.

Franchitti agreed.

"For an old fat guy he was pretty impressive," joked the Italian, who walked over to Tracy's car after the race to give his buddy a hug.

Tracy's only blemish on the day was accidentally knocking teammate Mario Moraes out of the race on the first lap.

"It was with a heavy heart because Mario and myself touched on the first lap and it sent him around and put him out of the race. I feel terrible for that.

"He's been going through a hard time, his father is very sick. It kind of put a damper on the rest of the day."


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