PAUL TRACY TO SUBSTITUTE FOR MARIO MORAES AT HONDA INDY 200 INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 7, 2009 -- Round ...
PAUL TRACY TO SUBSTITUTE FOR MARIO MORAES AT HONDA INDY 200
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 7, 2009 -- Round #13, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- Paul Tracy will substitute for Mario Moraes, who remains in Brazil following the passing of his father, and drive the #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry this weekend at the Honda Indy 200, August 7-9, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
KVRT co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser said, "This is a very sad occasion and on behalf of the entire KV Racing Technology organization we extend our sympathy and condolences to Mario and his family. After lengthy internal discussions, and in consultation with Mario, we decided the best course of action was to have Paul (Tracy), who has driven for the team and is familiar with our systems and personnel, step in and drive this weekend."
Tracy said, "I want to thank KV Racing Technology and Mario for thinking of me during this unfortunate situation. It will be a privilege to drive the #5 Azul -- Votorantim entry and I want to dedicate this weekend to achieving the best result possible in honor of Mario and the entire Moraes family."
Tracy will be making his 270th career start, eighth in the IndyCar Series, sixth this season, fifth with KVRT and 12th at Mid-Ohio. In 11 previous starts at Mid-Ohio, Tracy has finished in the top-five seven times including five podiums, one win (2003) and one pole (2003). In five IndyCar starts this year, four with KVRT, he has two top-10 finishes including a season high sixth two weeks ago in Edmonton and a ninth at this year's Indy 500, both with KVRT.
Moraes, a 20-year-old native of Brazil, and the second youngest driver in the series, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. Prior to this season Moraes had never qualified higher than 10th on any circuit and never higher than 20th on an oval. Since joining KVRT for the 2009 season, he has qualified in the top-seven in six of 10 events (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled), twice in the top-five, including a career high fourth in Watkins Glen and an oval career high fifth at Milwaukee, after earning just one top-10 qualifying spot last year. Moraes has earned career high finishes on six of the 12 tracks this season, had two top-10 showings (three all last season) and earned his career best oval finish placing ninth at Milwaukee. His IndyCar career best finish is seventh at Watkins Glen in 2008. Moraes is 17th in the championship standings with 181 points.
The Honda Indy 200 will be broadcast live on Versus at 1:45 p.m. ET