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Q&A: Paul Tracy.

It doesn't help. I think the economy, sponsorship dictates whether the wheels turn on the car. I haven't had a sponsor. I've gone out and found this deal with GEICO, a friend of mine, Doug Barnett, who does a lot of work with them, their NASCAR programme. Without that I wouldn't be on the track. It's really a case of if you have money, you'll get a ride, and if you don't, then you sit.

Has the 2002 race been a haunting thing since then? How did you get over it?

I got over it the next week. I went to Milwaukee in the CART race and won there. I kind of let things go pretty easily. Obviously, I've won a lot of races since then, won a championship since then. Like I said, I've got that feeling that's burned inside of me of what it takes to win that race, but I don't have the material things that go along with it, which that's just the way it is.

It's been a couple years since you've been on an oval and seven years since you've been on this one. Anything about that that concerns you or do you feel like once you get out there and get going everything will come back pretty quick?

No, I think it will come back pretty quick. Obviously, I've been doing this for so long, have a lot of experience at it. I don't think it will take me very long to get back up to speed. It's not like I'm going there as a rookie, never seen the place, never been on a track like that. I've raced there a bunch of times, done lots of miles. So I don't think it will be too difficult for me.

I know you joked at Long Beach, you were asked about whether you'd be interested in getting some extra track time, going out with the rookies, you said 'former winners aren't invited to do that', but, if the extra track time was available, is that something you'd want to take advantage of or are you content to start with everybody else next week?

I know they're talking to the league, I guess they have, apart from the rookie session, they have a refresher session, which is the extra miles that don't really cost anything in terms of the engine programme. So if we can do that, we're talking to the league now about getting a handful of laps on the track before official practice starts on Wednesday. So we're trying to plan on that.

Paul, thank you for taking the time to join us this afternoon. Appreciate that. We're looking forward to seeing you back here in Indianapolis next week.

Thanks, guys.

Related Pictures

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Paul Tracy [pictured on IRL return in 2008] will be back in harness for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 with KV Racing Technology   [pic credit: IRL]
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Johnny Rutherford, McLaren-Honda-Andretti [Credit: McLaren Racing]
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