Tracy, Hinchcliffe spectators

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There will be two glaring empty spots on the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg grid Sunday.

One of them where Paul Tracy should be and the other where James Hinchcliffe should be parked.

Tracy, who at 42 is in the sunset of his wonderful career, still has more talent than half the drivers who will start at St. Petersburg.

But his search for a full season of sponsorship fell short and, as of right now, he has a deal only for the Indianapolis 500 in May with Dreyer & Reinbold.

“Got to keep at it, working on more races,” he messaged on his Twitter account this week. “St pete will not happen now (b)ut a part time season is in play.”

Hinchcliffe, at 24, is just starting out as an IndyCar driver having spent the past two seasons in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.

In tests this winter with the Newman-Haas Racing team, Hinchcliffe impressed everyone with his speed and savvy,

It just wasn’t enough to attract a season-long sponsorship deal. But, he hasn’t given up.

“It’s frustrating to have to watch the first race of the season from the sidelines,” he said. “I have to say, though, I want to be here long-term so we’re looking to find partners that can offer multi-year support in order to reap the benefits of a commercial program with me competing in the IndyCar Series.”


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