Indy news rocks racers

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

EDMONTON - When Paul Tracy woke up Wednesday he sent out a Twitter.

“Had a real hard time sleeping last night. This Edmonton race cancel has f,ed things up for my sponsors.”

Edmonton Indy race title sponsor Honda was prepared to continue in the role and also expressed disappointment.

“When Honda Canada became the title sponsor of the race last year, we expected this to be the beginning of a long relationship with our area dealers, our customers and the City of Edmonton,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada Inc.

“It’s Honda’s philosophy to build lasting relationships and we regret that this racing opportunity cannot continue at a great Canadian race venue such as Edmonton,” added Chenkin.

“The Edmonton Indy races were always exciting and, based on what we have heard over the years, the IndyCar drivers always thought very highly of the demanding track at the City Airport location and regarded the Edmonton course as one of the best on the IndyCar circuit.”

The race cancellation affected people at all levels including James Van Domselaar of Fort Saskatchewan who raced in the Canadian Tire stock car event on the support program.

“My whole racing package and Leukemia/Lymphoma fundraising program was built around the local race here at the Muni and I am bewildered to say the least to hear that the city has duped the Octane gang out of making a run of it here in Edmonton,” he said.

“My primary sponsor, Steel-Craft Door Products, is head-officed here in Edmonton and may be gone.

“I have had the privilege of racing across this great country and I can tell you that the race put on here was world class.

“How can you put a price on this? Never mind the media coverage around the world, how does the city explain the loss of revenue to the hotels and restaurants and everybody else who benefits?

“To me it all seems way too convenient that this has taken place a week or two after an election. I would bet a coffee and a donut that this has been planned all along.

“Everything aside, it’s just plain sad to me. Bouncing over the curbs at the Muni on my home track has been the highlight of my summers.”


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