PAUL TRACY: INDY CAR BADASS
then started charging, and in my mind
he’ll always be the winner,” states Green.
But the most heated rivalry of Tracy’s
career came after taking his elusive title
in 2003. Driving for Forsythe, he banged
wheels and heads with Bourdais as they
traded insults and victories for four years.
“For three-fourths of my rookie season
we raced each other hard but clean and
I liked him,” said the Frenchman, who
captured four straight Champ Car crowns
for Newman-Haas, ’04-’07. “Then, at Miami,
we were battling for fourth and he just
put me in the tires and took us both out.
“After that it was game on and I didn’t
P. T. BY THE NUMBERS
give a rat’s ass, I wasn’t backing down or
giving him the corner. Then he would say
something and I would react and I’d say
something and he’d react. It got ugly at
Denver when he just ran out of brains and
hit me, but I guess a lot of people thought
By the time the Indy Racing League and
Champ Car merged in 2008, Seabass was
off to Formula 1 and Tracy still had some
fight left in him, but not many miles.
Sometimes a racer’s stats give a false impression, but Paul Tracy’s convey exactly the
type of driver he was: relentlessly fast on race day, but not always prone to finishing…
P. T. finished well over a quarter of his
CART/Champ Car races in the top three,
but he could have achieved even more.
If the stats above look impressive, they come despite – not because of – Paul’s wildly
varied season-long performances throughout his career. But while he let himself down on
occasion, just as often he flattered the cars he was given. Two sides of the same coin.
Tracy’s irrepressibility, as noted by
Bourdais, is clear in terms of laps led
across his CART/Champ Car career.
In comparison, Michael Andretti led
19. 4 percent, while Al Unser Jr. was P1
for “just” 10.02 percent of his career.
CART/CHAMP CAR HIT RATE
BOOM AND BUST
A LEADING LIGHT
31 ( 11.88%)
43 ( 16.48%)
2007 1992 1993 1994 1999 1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2001 2002 003 2004 2005 2006