Paul Tracy back to racing, and who is next for Panther Racing?

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One of open wheel's most animated characters in the past decade may be returning to competitive motorsports, but in a machine no one would have guessed.

Paul Tracy could be considered an 'intimidator' in his day in open wheel racing. The 'Thrill' from Westhill saw success in CART and IndyCar, but started to move his way into the NASCAR ranks before leaving the motorsports scene with no partners to field him a car in 2012.

He has dabbled in the GrandAm ranks, but was the driver who killed the undertray of the only Riley in the field at this year's Rolex 24, sending the car, and team Doran Racing, home and out of the race for good.

#77 Doran Racing Ford Riley: Jim Lowe, Paul Tracy, Jon Bennet, Colin Braun
#77 Doran Racing Ford Riley: Jim Lowe, Paul Tracy, Jon Bennet, Colin Braun

Photo by: Covy Moore

Being a Canadian myself, I can only hope this animated driver, who got himself into two reasonably entertaining scraps in 2006 while running his Forsythe Champ Car with Sebastien Bourdais ("Once a champ, now a chump" - Will Power) and Alex Tagliani ("You broke my F-ing car! - Tagliani, Long Beach 2006), can find his way back onto the podium somewhere before calling it quits for good.

I was speaking today with a friend of mine from the IndyCar paddock and we spoke of the good old days, and an old Greg Moore Reynard, onto how this year's IndyCar season has been going when an interesting comment was made.

While speaking about the ailing budgets of Dreyer & Reinbold right now, he mentioned that he has heard the team is looking at fielding another car.

Nope, the team is not tightening the noose and putting another car into the IndyCar series, but looking a fielding a Rally Cross car, for the X-Games. With none other than the 'Thrill', Paul Tracy.

Start: Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust battle at the front
Start: Travis Pastrana and Tanner Foust battle at the front

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

I laughed, but then realized that Tracy is a racer's racer. He loves being competitive, and with some of the talent that the X-Games has garnered in the past number of year in the Rally Cross event, I wouldn't put it past him. I am just not sure he understands the difference between an apex in a Rally Cross car, compared to that of an open wheel car.

I might just have to call up that Tracy fellow, and see what is what, but in today's day and age, these things remain a rumor until they have a car to photograph with an ill-written press release.

You heard it here folks...

But wait, there is more!

Oriol Servia, Panther DRR Chevrolet
Oriol Servia, Panther DRR Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

If Dreyer & Reinbold is spending its time working on a Rally Cross car for some Canadian guy...where does that put Oriol Servia? Well, you have probably guessed it, but there is that open seat with John Barnes and Panther Racing...who just happen to have a technical partnership with DRR. Coincidence? I think not.

What is going to delay the process in putting Servia, who has a ton of talent, but never a top notch ride, is the fact that he is from Spain. Yep, again, you heard it here. The National Guard is sticky about having a non-American born driver taking over a car with its name plastered all along the side-pods.

His name is not Earnhardt, or Hildebrand...and I bet there are concerns about a handsome Spanish fellow thanking the National Guard for all they do. Let's hope not.

Ryan Briscoe, Panther Racing Chevrolet
Ryan Briscoe, Panther Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Chris Owens

Servia could win races. In today's IndyCar paddock, he could contend for the title, but needs to be running in the #4 car at least.

I hope I didn't put my foot in my mouth with this one...but Paul Tracy will take a medal during X-Games, and if patriotism can take the back seat for results, Oriol Servia will win a race before 2013 is out.

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About this article
Series RALLY , INDYCAR
Article type Commentary
Tags ccws, crash, dreyer and reinbold, fast, indycar, paul, podium, roll, slide, tracy, win, x-games