IRL: Racing community mourns loss of Renna

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Oct. 24, 2003 -- Comments from members of the Indy Racing League, IRL IndyCarTM Series and racing communities about Tony Renna, who suffered fatal injuries in a testing crash Oct. 22 at the Indianapolis Motor...

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Oct. 24, 2003 -- Comments from members of the Indy Racing League, IRL IndyCarTM Series and racing communities about Tony Renna, who suffered fatal injuries in a testing crash Oct. 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

"Tony Renna was a rising star in IndyCar Series racing. All of us involved in racing feel a great loss. On behalf of my family and the staff of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League, our prayers and best wishes go out to his family, friends, team and fans."
--Tony George
President and CEO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League

"Obviously, we're mourning the loss of our driver, friend and colleague. On behalf of our whole team, we send our sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Tony Renna."
--Chip Ganassi
Owner, Target Chip Ganassi Racing

"Today is a very sad day for everyone in the Kelley Racing family. Tony was more than a driver for our team; he was a personal friend to everyone involved with Kelley Racing. Our thoughts and prayers right now are with his fiancee, family and friends. Tony will be greatly missed."
-- Tom Kelley
Owner, Kelley Racing

"On behalf of everyone at Penske Racing, our deepest sympathies go out to Tony's family and friends. Tony left us while pursuing his dream to be successful at the highest level -- a dream most of us share. In the racing community, our competitors and teammates become extensions of our families, and Tony will remain in our thoughts and prayers."
--Roger Penske
Owner, Penske Racing

"I would like to send my deepest sympathies to his fiancee, Deb, Tony's family, friends and to the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team. Tony was an up-and-coming star in the IndyCar Series, and it is a shame to lose such a talent. He will be greatly missed."
-- Kenny Brack
Team Rahal; 1998 IndyCar Series champion, 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner

"All of us at Cheever Racing are deeply saddened with the passing of Tony Renna. He always had a smile on his face and a deep passion for his racing. He was one of the future stars of our sport. His energy and fighting spirit on track will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones."
-- Eddie Cheever Jr. Owner, Cheever Racing; 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner

"Team Rahal is saddened by the loss of Tony Renna, and we send our prayers and support to his family, friends, fans and racing team. Tony was bright, young racer with a tremendous future in motor racing. We will miss him."
-- Bobby Rahal
Co-owner, Team Rahal; 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner

"Certainly it's shocking. I was traveling back from Italy and didn't find out until I got back to the U.S. late Wednesday afternoon. I feel very, very sad for Tony's family. I knew Tony quite well. He was one of our winners in the inaugural Team Green Academy we put on in 1997. Obviously, this was a fantastic opportunity for him to join a top-level race team, something he had been working so hard for all of his life. Racing is a tight-knit community, and in tough times like this, everyone seems to pull together. It was a very sad day for motor racing.

"Racing is a very dangerous sport, and I think that is what drives a lot of us to be involved. The thrill and the adrenaline rush of being on the edge and trying to get the most out of the equipment, I think, is what drives race car drivers. They want to be the best, and to be the best they have to push the envelope. I have to say that in the 21 years I have been involved in Indy-car racing, the organizations I have been involved in, the Indy Racing League, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and CART, have made huge progresses in driver and race car safety. They are continuing to look at ways at making it safer for the drivers and safer for everyone who is at the racetrack.

"When something like this happens, we certainly reflect on what has happened, and everyone sort of asks why it was meant to be, but we also think, 'What would Tony want?' Tony was a racer; he would want us all to go forward and put on the show. When everyone gets through the difficult times, we'll move on, we won't forget him, and I just feel sad that Tony never was able to spend a full season in top-level IndyCar Series racing because I think he would have made everyone very proud of him."
--Kim Green
Owner and president, Andretti Green Racing

"Everybody at Panoz G Force is deeply saddened by Tony's accident -- it is a very tragic situation. We were really looking forward to welcoming him as part of the Panoz G Force team for 2004. After the great success we have enjoyed with Chip Ganassi and his team in 2003, this is very difficult way to end the season for everybody. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to Tony's family and his fiancee."
-- David Bowes
CEO, Elan Motorsports Technologies

"All of the Dallara staff is stunned by the death of Tony. A young and promising life, full of dreams and goals to be achieved, is over. We are sincerely close to Tony's family, and we pray for him."
-- Gian Paolo Dallara
Owner, Dallara Automobili

"We were incredibly saddened to learn that Tony Renna lost his life during a testing session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and his fiancee, to his team and to his many friends and fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and everyone who has been touched by Tony's life.

"Times like these are always difficult, and this loss in particular will be felt deeply by the Firestone family. Tony was a good friend to Firestone and had spent many hours attending events and volunteering his time on our behalf. He was always willing to give of himself or lend a hand when we called upon him, and his unselfish and giving nature makes this tragedy all the harder to bear. He was a talented driver who will be long remembered by all who knew him or had the privilege of working with him."
-- Al Speyer
Executive director, Firestone Racing

"All of us here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway are saddened by the death of Tony Renna. Tony competed in several events at the Bullring in 2002 and was one of the young drivers whose career we followed closely. Tony was well respected by track officials and his fellow competitors, and he seemed destined for stardom in the Indy Racing League. Our prayers go out to his family and friends."
-- Chris Powell
General manager, Las Vegas Motor Speedway

"Tony Renna was 'the package.' A terrific and talented young driver, as well as a wonderful person out of the race car. He'll be very much missed by all in the racing community, especially those of us that had a personal relationship with him and his family. Tony, his father, Joe, and mother, Mary, have been avid supporters of the Barber Dodge Pro Series and Skip Barber Racing for many years. To the entire Renna family, we express our sincere condolences."
--Rick Ratajczak
Series director, Barber Dodge Pro Series

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Bobby Rahal , Kenny Brack , Skip Barber , Tony Renna , Kim Green , Chip Ganassi , Tony George , Roger Penske
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Team Penske