Minus One

Posted by Iannucci | 2/28/2008 | 23 comments »
Bookmark and Share

At least one Champ Car team won't be making the transition, leaving the most (in)famous driver in the series without a ride.

In a shock announcement today, Forsythe Championship Racing, which employs Toronto’s Paul Tracy, announced it would not participate in the 2008 Indy Racing League season.

Forsythe, a Chicago businessman, owned the Champ Car World Series racing organization, along with Kevin Kalkhoven and other partners. Champ Car announced late last week it would be going out of business after an agreement was reached with IRL founder and Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George to run open wheel racing in the United States.

Early last year, he signed Tracy to a five-year, multi-million-dollar contract to drive in Champ Car after Tracy dipped his toe into sports car racing and NASCAR. There was no reaction from Tracy early this afternoon.

(MORE from Toronto Star)
That's one small step for fiscal sanity, but one giant leap for boredom.

UPDATE: Robin has more. P-Dog is lamenting. Chris is ticked.

And TSO shares what was mentioned in the comments.

We thought there would be some subtractions from the list of nine - and apparently this is the first one. BTW, Paul Tracy told Robin Miller at SpeedTV.com

"I got a call from Neil (Micklewright, president of Forsythe Racing) this morning and he said, 'I've got some bad news for you,'" related Tracy from his home in Las Vegas.

"Neil said he'd been trying to get a hold of my manager but he was having a colonoscopy today. That's ironic 'cause that's what I feel like I got."

23 comments

  1. John Edward // February 28, 2008 1:12 PM  

    He'll get a ride. I bet his phone's already ringing.

  2. Edmund // February 28, 2008 1:14 PM  

    Well I have to say...this sucks.

    I'm a long time PT hater, but that's SOOOO what I was looking forward to. We need to good guy/bad guy rivalries. I really want to see PT and Helio tangle!

  3. chrisestrada // February 28, 2008 1:21 PM  

    PT gets the shaft, Gerry flips the IRL one last bird. That's how I see it and as much as I'd love to say otherwise, the fact that he won't bother putting Indeck on IndyCars like he did for four years with CC -- not to mention he'll keep going in the Atlantics division he co-owns -- tells me everything I need to know.

    http://mvn.com/irl/2008/02/28/forsythe-racing-shuts-down/

  4. Sand Wedge // February 28, 2008 1:34 PM  

    PT will get a ride, Foyt rumored to be looking at a second car earlier in year, plenty CCWS teams coming in, I'm sure if nothing else at least through Vision

  5. Edmund // February 28, 2008 1:35 PM  

    PT in a Vision car would be like Rambo with a squirt gun...

  6. Tabernerus // February 28, 2008 1:48 PM  

    Yeah, Forsythe and Gentilozzi not joining the IRL is something that doesn't really shock me. There were bound to be a few people that didn't want to shake hands, hug, and make nice. Isn't RLR still down a driver? If PT is still a sponsorship draw, that'd be a reasonable fit. And if they're going to race in Canada this year, and twice next year, this makes great sense.

  7. faniqeric // February 28, 2008 3:19 PM  

    So, let me get this straight. Forsythe has no problem blowing a ton of his own money to keep his team and a dying series afloat, yet won't do it for the unified series, where he'll get more exposure and possibly be able to get sponsorship so he doesn't have to pay out the nose anymore?

    I now see Gerry as Cartman. "Screw you guys, I'm going home."

  8. mmack // February 28, 2008 3:27 PM  

    Tracy HAS to come back! I mean, he'd be passing up a chance to win a second Indy 500! ;^)

  9. bbovenguy // February 28, 2008 3:42 PM  

    Good riddance to Gerry Forsythe. If he wants to take his cars and go home, more power to him.

    Tracy will probably land somewhere, although I'd much rather say good riddance to him, too.

  10. John in Speedway // February 28, 2008 3:45 PM  

    I like the fit with RLR. If he goes to Vision, that would leave Lloyd without a ride. Now we have some more drama we can follow and speculate on. Woo hoo!

  11. Tabernerus // February 28, 2008 3:55 PM  

    Wow, something happened that made me sort of like Paul Tracy. And all it took was Gerry Forsythe being, well, Gerry Forsythe. Nice.

    From the AP article up on ESPN.com:

    The 39-year-old Tracy said that once he is free from contractual obligations with Forsythe, he wants to sign with another team as quickly as possible.

    "I want to be part of the new series," said Tracy, who won the 2003 CART championship, Champ Car's predecessor. "I'm a race car driver and I love open-wheel racing. I want to be in a competitive situation, to be able to win races and run for the championship."

  12. mmack // February 28, 2008 3:57 PM  

    I haven't always been a fan of Paul Tracy, no, scratch that, I've never been a fan of Paul Tracy, but Mr. Tracy, you deserve an ice cold beer on my tab for this statement:

    "Neil said he’d been trying to get a hold of my manager but he was having a colonoscopy today. That’s ironic ‘cause that’s what I feel like I got."

    I've been kicked to the curb (layoff) by a former employer with no notice before. Paul, I salute you since I didn't have nearly the quick sense of humor and irony you do.

    Good luck, Paul!

  13. John in Speedway // February 28, 2008 6:04 PM  

    Paul is a great character and personality that we need in the series. On another note, it appears Stone Temple Pilots are having a reunion tour, and they will be headling Carb Day at Indy this year. I love STP myself, so that is an awesome headline for carb day!!
    http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=91748

  14. Nancy // February 28, 2008 6:12 PM  

    "After 13 seasons in Champ Car, Forsythe will continue to operate its two-car Atlantic team for David Garza and James Hinchcliffe this season because it’s funded by the drivers."

    My that's big of ya Ger.....

  15. The American Mutt // February 28, 2008 8:05 PM  

    It does explain why they called him back from the car fitting though. I guess Ger knew he wasn't going to run.

  16. SS Minnow // February 28, 2008 8:49 PM  

    sand wedge-
    PT to Foyt? WOW, talk about fireworks! I'd pay extra to be within earshot the first time "Crash" puts one of AJ's cars into the wall.

    Rumor has it (this guy "johhny" told me), that Ganassi will be putting PT in a car. Target is agressively pursuing the Canadian market. Also TCGR is looking for "experienced" drivers with at least one failed attempt at NASCAB for his "reclamation" project for 2009.

  17. Nancy // February 28, 2008 9:39 PM  

    So Jeff, this probably isn’t the right thread to address the matter, but I couldn’t find a better place to ask the question…it’s just pandolerium out here. I love the fact that you are enrolling for the new class, but am wondering just how the nicknames are going to work this year. I’ve noticed the declared part-timers are currently off your list (The Wrecker and the Fisher Queen). Will only drivers with a declared full time schedule make your list? I’m busting with suggestions for nicknames. I think there should be some kind of a contest…the kind where you reap the rewards of course….

  18. Nancy // February 28, 2008 9:44 PM  

    And where did El Nariz go...you are frightening me!

  19. faniqeric // February 28, 2008 10:23 PM  

    It is now past midnight, Feb. 29 on the East Coast, meaning there is officially one month to go before racing starts. Just wanted to let everybody know. *grins*

    Also, someone got real fast real quick http://www1.indycar.com/scoring/2008/reports/indycarseries/homestead-ot/indycar-topsectiontimes-p2.pdf

    *wink*

  20. Dale Nixon // February 29, 2008 6:12 AM  

    Mark my words, Alex Lloyd is going to be the one who gets screwed in this deal.

  21. Jeff Iannucci // February 29, 2008 7:52 AM  

    Nancy,

    Oops - fixed the missing Kanaan and Manning issue. And I've only put the fulltime rides up, largely due to laziness.

  22. Bash // February 29, 2008 9:05 AM  

    LOL! This question on Cavin's blog:

    "How is Paul Tracy's car going to modified for the safety of the other driver's: Fenders? Bumpers? Airbags? Warning lights?"

    Cavin: "That made me laugh out loud at the Fort Lauderdale Airport..."

    http://blogs.indystar.com/racingexpert/

  23. Anonymous // April 20, 2008 8:15 PM  

    NO PAUL TRACY - NO DEAL . SCREW THE IRL . I WILL NOT WATCH THOSE CRAP WAGONS GO AROUND THE TRACK . THEY ONLY TURN RIGHT TWICE A YEAR .