Paul Tracy has dropped another major hint that he would like more outings in the IndyCar Series following a race in Edmonton that he described as one of his best for the past couple of years.
Despite the lateness of the deal that saw the Canadian veteran turn out in a Vision Racing-owned, Walker Racing-run Dallara with backing from Subway at the only Canadian event on the 2008 schedule, he turned qualifying disappointment into race triumph by coming through the field and clinching fourth place on the line from an ailing Oriol Servia.
"I spent the whole race saving fuel, doing fuel mileage, and the last stint I really had to do fuel mileage, couldn't really go quick at all," he admitted, "I knew that I couldn't go at the pace that Helio [Castroneves] and [Scott] Dixon and those guys could go, but I could set the pace of the group that I was with, and that was the group from third to tenth. They were all about the same, so I was just running my race and pacing myself, making it to the goal line.
"The last stint, I really had to make some fuel mileage for a while, then they turned me loose for a little bit. At the very end they said 'you've got to slow down again', so I was fortunate enough that Oriol had some type of problem or ran out of fuel right at the end. I'm just really happy for the team, really happy for the sponsor. I think it shows that we deserve to be out here."
The deal came about while Tracy was on a holiday booked when he had few commitments, but was enough to whet the veteran's appetite for more after he felt the chance to join the IRL had passed him by.
"I'm extremely, extremely excited," he enthused, "It's been a long time coming, getting back in a car. I never dreamed that the final phase of my career would go like this. Obviously, I was under contract to Gerry Forsythe [and], when they decided not to go racing, that kind of left me hung out. There really wasn't anything out there that interested me in driving.
"But Derrick Walker and I had been talking all the way through the summer from Long Beach about trying to put something together and finding sponsorship, working on things, [but] it kept going down dead-end roads.
"Then I was on vacation with my wife and kids in San Diego and we were hanging out at the beach when Derrick said "I think we got something for Edmonton, are you available? The deal came together while I was [at Goodwood], which was the week before last, so I flew back early from England on an overnight flight straight to Indianapolis. We made a seat, I got to know the team and, four days later, we were at the track."
Such was his determination to give the best possible account of himself in Edmonton that Tracy returned home to Las Vegas and 'trained like crazy in the hundred-degree heat for four days'.