Retired race driver Ralph Liguori probably knew the late Tony Renna as well as anyone.

"From the time he was born," Liguori said.

Liguori, 77, raced cars from 1949 until 2002. During the winter months, he lived in Florida and worked at a Tampa horse track. That's where he became close friends with Renna's father, Joe.

"He was a jockey," Liguori said.

Liguori, who made seven unsuccessful attempts to qualify for the Indy 500, watched Tony Renna grow up and reach the edge of stardom in his chosen sport. He was looking forward to following Renna's progress next season driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

Liguori left Indianapolis for Florida on the morning of Wednesday October 22nd unaware of Renna's accident. His wife informed him of what had happened when he arrived home. He immediately purchased an airplane ticket back to Indianapolis to offer support to Joe Renna and his family.