Last year, when the Honda Indy returned to
I was among the boo-birds, although I wasn’t as critical as some. When I did an interview with Alex Tagliani recently, he set me straight on a lot of things I hadn’t considered. Said Tag (in so many words): Last year was a trial run. They had to find out what they had to do to start the rebuilding process. This year will be better.
He was right.
The latest in what is an impressive round of promotional announcements came late yesterday when it was announced the Honda Indy Toronto will be title sponsor of Paul Tracy’s car in the Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, N.Y., July 2-4.
Watkins Glen attracts a large crowd for the annual Indy car stop there and the race will be broadcast in the United States by ABC. Which means sponsoring Tracy can only be seen as a smart marketing move.
Now, the Honda Indy Edmonton has sponsored Tagliani in previous years (and this one, too), but this is the first time the Honda Indy Toronto has gotten involved with car sponsorship and it’s another bright spot in their buildup to the big race here July 16-18.
Yesterday’s release said
Tracy, the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion, will be making his ninth IZOD IndyCar Series start and his second at Watkins Glen International. He is one of the most successful drivers in Indy car racing with 31 career victories.
"It's obviously a good feeling to get more races, especially being able to race at the Glen and building up momentum before going into the Canadian events," said Tracy, whose sponsorship package for the Watkins Glen race includes wheel manufacturer Motegi Racing. "It's also great to have the support of Honda Indy Toronto for this race as well.
"I'm really excited about working with Robbie Buhl again and to get to work with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. I've known Robbie (a part-owner of Dreyer & Reinbold) since when we competed against each other in the Indy Lights Series. It's very exciting to branch out with another team I haven't been with before and I'm looking forward to a good weekend."
"We are very happy to have Paul drive for us," Buhl said. "He's a great driver and a big personality and we are thrilled to have him driving for us in Watkins Glen. We were extremely strong there last year and with Paul's racing experience and him being teamed up with Justin Wilson (the team’s other driver), we feel that we'll have an extremely strong package for the weekend.
"We obviously wish that Mike could be with us, but we just want him to have a quick recovery. Paul was a perfect fit and we couldn't be happier to have him behind the wheel."