PAUL TRACY RUNS FASTEST LAP OF DAY IN FIRST APPEARANCE FOR KV RACING TECHNOLOGY AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 5, 2009 - - Round #4 2009 IndyCar Series season - - It didn't take long for open-wheel superstar Paul Tracy to get up to speed. In his first appearance for KV Racing Technology at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway and first at the Brickyard since his controversial runner-up finish in 2002, Tracy, in the #15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, turned the fastest lap of the day with a speed of 223.089.
Tracy, who ran a "refresher" course for veterans during rookie orientation today, went out for the first time at 2:00 p.m. His first session consisted of just six laps, but by lap three he posted a speed of 220 mph. The talented Canadian, who is a fan favorite, ran a total of 26 laps (23 timed laps) and was consistently over 220 mph. His fast lap came on the 21st of his timed laps.
"I am just excited to be back on track," Tracy said. "The GEICO - KV Racing Technology team did a great job today. The mechanics, the engineers, everyone on the team did great. The first few laps were a little hair-raising, but the car was good, just like Jimmy Vasser said it would be, so I just had to keep my foot down. I want to thank GEICO, Kevin Kalkhoven, my personal sponsor Monster and Firestone and Honda, who are all contributing to this program, as well as everyone who is involved on the team for making this an exciting day for me."
Tracy will be contesting his sixth Indy 500 and just his third IndyCar event. In five previous races at the IMS, he has a best qualifying effort of seventh in 1993. His best finish is the runner-up performance in 2002 when track officials ruled that a pass by Tracy on Helio Castroneves during the closing laps of the race occurred after the yellow light came on thus nullifying what would have been a winning move.
During a span of 18 seasons, Tracy, the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion, has crafted a career that has established him as one of the top drivers ever to step into the cockpit of an open-wheel car. The resident of Las Vegas, Nevada is among the top-10 in almost every Champ Car career statistical category including wins, 31 (sixth all-time), poles, 25 (eighth all-time), and laps led, 4,231 (sixth all-time) in 263 starts (261 in Champ Car, tied for eighth all-time and two in IndyCar).
KV Racing Technology will continue testing tomorrow in preparing for the next weekend's 2009 Indianapolis 500 qualifying. Mario Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone, will practice as all the veterans take to the track for the first time. The 2009 Indianapolis 500 marks the opening of the Centennial Era for the Speedway and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the facility. The 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be in 2011. The race will be broadcast live on ABC on May 24.