Vision Racing looking for sponsorship to place Tracy in IRL ride
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Paul Tracy has been conspicuous by his absence this season in the wake of the unification of the two American open-wheel series.
The former CART champion and longtime star has run only the CART series finale in April at Long Beach and has so far failed to find a ride in the surviving IRL IndyCar Series.
Tony George, founder of the IndyCar Series and owner of the Vision Racing team, is trying to get Tracy back in a car this season, if only for a couple of races.
"We're still trying to make something happen," George said Friday at Watkins Glen International, where the IndyCars will race on Sunday. "We're running out of time."
"It's just a matter of finding some sponsorship," George said. "I can't do anything to dilute our primary effort. And I don't want to. It's got to be a deal we can take to Paul and he's comfortable with.
"I think I have figured out what would be the best way to structure it. But until I get some indication there's some sponsorship support for it, then there's not much more to do at this point."
Speculation was that Tracy was initially offered a package of four road and street races, beginning in two weeks at Mid-Ohio. But George said it's more likely now to be two races, including later this month at Edmonton, Alberta, in Tracy's native Canada, and possibly the race in August at Sonoma.
George said he is negotiating with a sponsor, but the deal is taking a long time to get done -- maybe too long.
"We're just trying to instill urgency in their decision-making process," he said. "We want to paint the car Monday. We don't want to be redoing anything. If we have a paint scheme, at least the color combinations for a sponsor, it would be nice to know.
"It would take money to prepare the car that Paul would run because, right now, it's in speedway configuration. We don't have the road course kit, but they're available. But, again, I'm not going to go spend the money on that unless I know there's some money coming in."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press