Paul Tracy, in more trouble than ever with the people who run the Championship Auto Racing Teams circuit, vows he will not change his driving style, and his team owner says he has absolute confidence in Tracy.
"I'm going to drive the way I know how to drive, drive the way that's gotten me 13 wins in my career," Tracy said Saturday.Tracy was forced to sit out Saturday's second day of qualifying for Sunday's Budweiser-G.I. Joe's 200 because CART ruled that he took an "unjustifiable risk" that led to his harrowing crash with Michel Jourdain Jr. in Friday's qualifying. He was allowed to practice Saturday morning and will take part in the race.
The penalty was unprecedented. In CART's 20-year history, no driver had been banned from competition. Tracy already was on probation because of his crash with Christian Fittipaldi at the Detroit Grand Prix two weeks ago. He has crashed six times in nine events this season, five of them involving other cars.
A year ago, he was fined $25,000 and placed on probation for taking an unjustifiable risk that led to a crash. He promptly won three consecutive races. At the end of the year, he was replaced as a driver by the highly successful Marlboro Team Penske and was hired by Team Kool Green.
Despite his record, Tracy does not deserve to be called an unsafe driver, Team Kool Green owner Barry Green said.
"I'd say Paul is a very, very safe driver," Green said, "very aggressive and very, very determined to win, and that's who we want on the team."