Paul Tracy will be making another attempt to break into the unified IndyCar Series when he turns out with KV Racing Technology at this month's Indianapolis 500.
With five starts in the blue riband event, and a contentious best finish of second, from his last start in 2002, the Canadian is determined to set the record straight in 2009.
Paul, you got into an IndyCar Series car last summer at Edmonton. Obviously you were quick right off the bat, finishing fourth in the race. Do you have any concerns now about getting back into the rhythm and being quick at Indy?
No, not really. Obviously I've got a little bit more lead time to get ready for Indianapolis. There's a whole week of practice before the first week of qualifying. When we went to Edmonton last summer, it was really just kind of a last-minute deal. I was actually on vacation with my wife and kids at the beach in San Diego and got a phone call from Tony [George] asking if I'd like to do the race in Edmonton. That was about three days before I had to leave. Really didn't get any time to prepare for that. Hadn't driven a car in four or five months.
From that standpoint, I've kind of known for the last three, four weeks that this deal was going to come together. I've had time to get ready for it mentally and physically. The team obviously has fast cars this year. They were looking for a veteran driver to make their assault, KV at the 500. We all share the same goal, and that's to go there and try to win the race.
You mentioned the team there. Guys you're familiar with, like Jimmy Vasser, Kevin Kalkhoven. You've known those guys on and off the track for years. Tell us about the chance to work with those guys for the month.
I think it's great. I've known Kevin since he got into the car. Then Jimmy got involved with him. We've been competitors. But Kevin has always been very friendly with me, has said to me on a couple of different occasions that at some point he would like me to drive for him. So we've finally got that opportunity to do that. I couldn't be happier. Obviously the team is doing a good job this year. I think Mario [Moraes] is just lacking a little bit of experience. That only comes with time.
But the team, I feel they've got competitive cars. A lot of the guys on the team, the mechanics and engineers, I've worked with in the past. Quite a few of them are from Forsythe. My championship year at Forsythe, the guys on the team were on my crew, you know, three, so it should make the transition to getting there and getting up to speed fairly easy 'cause it's pretty comfortable surroundings really.
Let's talk about the month of May and the race. What type of goals and expectations have you set for yourself heading into the month?