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GEICO confirms Tracy for Indy 500

As expected, KV Racing Technology has confirmed that it will field a second car at the Indianapolis 500, with GEICO Insurance sponsorship allowing veteran Paul Tracy to make only his second IndyCar Series appearance since unification.

The 2003 Champ Car champion, one of the most successful and popular drivers on the circuit, has been restricted to just one outing, with a combined Walker/Vision entry at Edmonton in 2008, following Forsythe Racing's decision not to enter the unified series, but has been linked to a possible ride with friend and former rival Jimmy Vasser's KVRT outfit since th beginning of the year.

Although the 40-year old Canadian had hoped for a season-long programme, he will make his 2009 debut in the #15 GEICO car as team-mate to Brazilian Mario Moraes.

"I am pleased to announce that Paul Tracy and GEICO Insurance will be joining KV Racing Technology for the 2009 Indianapolis 500," Vasser's KVRT co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven confirmed in Long Beach, "Paul is one of the greatest and most exciting drivers in the history of the sport, while GEICO Insurance is an outstanding company and a leader in the industry. I am confident that Paul, with the support of GEICO Insurance, will provide KVRT with a very competitive entry in this year's Indy 500."

Tracy will thus get the chance to contest a sixth Indy 500, but only his first since 2002, when he was classified as a contentious runner-up. He finished fourth on his sole IndyCar outing last season.

"I want to thank GEICO Insurance, Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser for the opportunity to compete at this year's Indianapolis 500," the Canadian said, "I have accomplished a lot of things during my racing career, but one of the things that I am missing is a win at Indy. I feel I have some unfinished business at the Brickyard and, with the support of GEICO and an outstanding team like KV Racing Technology, I feel good about our chances this year."

At present, the deal is purely for the 500, despite Tracy having approached fellow Las Vegas resident Vasser about putting together a deal for the entire 2009 season.

"I think I can speak for everyone at KVRT when I say that running Paul at the Indy 500 is very exciting," Vasser admitted, "I also want to thank GEICO for supporting our efforts.

"Even though Paul hasn't been in an open-wheel car much the last year, having raced against him and knowing his ability, I am sure he will get up to speed immediately."

GEICO is better known in NASCAR circles than in IndyCars, and is backing former Champ Car racer Max Papis' limited programme this season.

"We're pleased to be able to accompany Paul Tracy on his return trip to the Indianapolis 500," commented vice-president of marketing Ted Ward, "Having a relationship with two world class drivers such as Paul and Max Papis, as well as KV Racing Technology, allows us to spread our message of safety on a much broader scale and we are excited about the opportunity."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul Tracy - Subway/Vision Racing Dallara-Honda   [pic credit: IRL/Payne]
Team Owner Jimmy Vasser chats with Stefano Coletti before his Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais with KVSH Racing owners Sulli Sullivan, Kevin Kalkhoven, and Jimmy Vasser after winning the pole for Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones  for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais with KVSH Racing principles Sulli Sullivan, Kevin Kalkhoven, and Jimmy Vassar after winning the pole for Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 qualifies first Saturday, April 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. It the third pole for Power at Barber Motorsports Park, and he has notched two victories on the Alabama track. (Photo by Paul Webb for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, co-owners of the winning #11 KV Racing Technology team, at the Indy 500 Victory Awards Celebration held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, May 27 2013. (Photo Credit: Leigh Spargur for IndyCar Media)
KV Racing team owner Jimmy Vasser congratulates Tony Kanaan on winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500 - Sunday, May 26 2013. (Photo Credit: Michael Roth for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan #11 GEICO Mouser Electronics KVRT on track during practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 12-17 May 2012 Indiana USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd LAT Photo USA. (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Tony Kanaan and Jimmy Vasser on pit road at Indianapolis. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
KV Racing Technology team boss Jimmy Vasser in the pits at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. [Picture Credit: Ron McSweeney for IndyCar Media]
Jimmy Vasser and Tony Kanaan at Baltimore. [Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Rubens Barrichello signs up for IndyCar with KV Racing - pictured with team co-owners Jimmy Vasser (l) and Kevin Kalkhoven (r) and Tony Kanaan at the Sao Paulo press conference March 1 2012. [Picture Credit: KV Racing Technology/Twitter feed]
Rubens Barrichello tests KVRT Indycar at Sebring   [pic credit: KVRT]
Indy 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand passes Paul Tracy during practice and qualifying for the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson and Paul Tracy chatting in the pit lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway practice. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Paul Tracy, driving for Dragon Racing in 2011 in the IZOD IndyCar Series [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
3-4 September, 2010, Sparta, Kentucky USA
#24 Motegi Racing Wheels/ Dreyer & Reinbold racing`s Paul Tracy with Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.
3-4 September, 2010, Sparta, Kentucky USA
#11 Team 7-Eleven Andretti Autosport`s Tony Kanaan chats with Paul Tracy.

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April 22, 2009 8:51 PM

Hopefully someone additional funds can be secured to make Paul the second car at KV racing. I'm sure Jimmy is doing all he can to help as they are good friends. Why doesn't a Canadian company throw some dollars his way now that F1 no longer runs in Canada?

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