I'm on vacation with my family this week and didn't plan to blog.
So, guess what? News breaks out.
Paul Tracy will be driving in the next two IRL races, the first of which is this Saturday night.
Here is the complete press release as sent to me earlier today. It's not too big a surprise for Tracy fans who follow him on Twitter, as he's been dropping hints for several days. But for everybody else, it should be welcome information.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that Canadian driver, Paul Tracy, will join the team in Kentucky and Japan. Tracy will replace the injured Mike Conway for the two events and will drive the team's No. 24 Motegi Racing Wheels/ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing / Dallara entry.
The Canadian was the sensible choice for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as not only does he have experience on ovals, over his entire career, he has competed in 270 Indy car-type events.
Tracy, the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion, will be making his tenth IZOD IndyCar start at Kentucky. However, it will be his first time to compete at Kentucky Speedway and his sixth time to compete at Twin Ring Motegi (Sept. 19).
He is one of the most successful drivers in the history of open-wheel racing with 31 career victories.
Wheel manufacturer, Motegi Racing Wheels will join the team and Tracy for the two events, as they will sponsor the No. 24 entry.
"Motegi Racing Wheels is excited to be supporting one of the most exciting drivers, Paul Tracy for the Kentucky and Japan races. We"ve known the type of energy, honesty and excitement that PT brings to the series. Motegi Racing Wheels has had a great experience this year being associated with PT and certainly the Dreyer & Reinbold Team.
"It"s certainly been a great relationship and we appreciate the opportunity to work with Dennis & Robbie this year," stated Motegi Racing Wheels president, Jody Groce.
Tracy first ran with the team a couple of months ago at Watkins Glen and he will be making his return with DRR this weekend in Kentucky and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing couldn't be more excited to have him on board.
"We are very happy to have Paul back with us for the next two events. He's a great driver and big personality and we are thrilled to have him driving for us in Kentucky and Japan. Paul did a great job for us in Watkins Glen and we can't wait to get him on an oval with us. We are also thrilled to have Motegi Racing Wheels with us for the two races as well. We have developed a great relationship with them and we know that Paul and Motegi Racing Wheels will be a great combination for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the next two events," commented Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner, Robbie Buhl.
Tracy, now in his 20th season, has had a storied career that has made him one of the top drivers in open-wheel racing. He is among the top-10 in almost every Champ Car career statistical category including wins, 31 (tied for seventh all-time), poles, 25 (ninth all-time), and laps led, 4,238 (sixth all-time).
Over the last 20 years, Tracy has earned 75 career podium performances, 102 top-five finishes and 144 top-10 showings in 270 starts (262 in Champ Car and eight in IZOD IndyCar, tied for seventh all-time).
In the 15 seasons in which Tracy has competed in over 80 percent of the races, he has finished in the top-10 in the championship standings 10 times including eight times in the top-five, four in the top-three and captured the championship in 2003.
"It's great to be back with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing again this year. I'm excited to have the opportunity to run some ovals with the team. It's been a while since I"ve raced on an oval but I'm ready for the challenge with the next two races, plus I have some experience in Japan.
"Many thanks to Robbie & Dennis again for welcoming me to their team. Motegi Racing Wheels also deserves a big thanks for sticking by me. I"m also looking forward to working with Justin (Wilson) again. I also want to thank my personal sponsors for their continued support; Motegi Racing Wheels, CEC Wheels, Oakley, Kicker Car Audio & MONSTER Energy," said Tracy.
About Dreyer & Reinbold Racing:
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is entering its 11th season of full-time competition in 2010, making it one of the longest-tenured teams in Indy Racing League competition.
Current co-owners, Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl, first teamed in full-time competition at the Walt Disney World Speedway in January of 2000. With Buhl behind the wheel, the two owners tasted victory in their debut race.
The 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series season-opener on the streets of St.Petersburg marked Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's 200th series start. DRR now has over 250 starts to tuck under its belt and has qualified a total of 27 cars for the Indianapolis 500.
In its history, the team has boasted a championship list of alumni drivers. Besides Buhl, the team has run Indianapolis 500 winners, Al Unser, Jr., Buddy Lazier, and Buddy Rice, along with IZOD IndyCar Series race winner Ryan Briscoe.
The team has one of the longest lines of heritage in American open-wheel racing and the Indianapolis 500 as Dennis Reinbold's grandfather, "Pop" Dreyer, built leading roadsters that raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 30s, 40s, and 50s.