August 20 - Road Rage
Paul Tracy is a well known figure in Canadian sporting circles. In 2003,
he won 7 races on the Champ Car circuit, dominating the competition
and even garnered some discussion in the talks about the award for
Canada' top male athlete of the year, an impressive feat for an auto
racing driver. However, there's always been a "bit" of a problem with him.
He has a long history of some less than good behavior.
During the 2001 season, at the Monterrey Grand Prix, he made a series of bad moves. He was
knocked out of the race on the 51st lap after a crash in the pat with fellow driver Helio Castroneves.
Castroneves even accepted blame for the crash, but Cart saw it differently and blamed Tracy for the
crash. More than likely, both were at fault, as is usually the case in most crashes. This is one of those
situations where it would have been better for him to just keep his mouth shut. Instead, he lost 50
grand (one of the largest fines in series history) after whining about being put on probation after the
crash and saying the series would be better off being run by circus clowns. That year, he won exactly
no races, and placed 14th in the final series standings.
Skipping ahead to this year, he's already on probation (again) for a tussle he had with fellow driver
(and Canadian) Alex Tagliani on July 30th, where he slid into a runoff area on the 52nd lap. Following
that, he drove back onto the track, right in front of Tagliani, which followed with an immediate crash
between the two. They then proceeded to have an altercation, where Tagliani pursued Tracy, only to
be brushed off. Tagliani went after him again, which later caused them to throw punches at one
another. Champ Car dropped the ball big time here with only giving both light fines and putting them
on probation. Points were taken away as well, but it's not enough. When you don't put the hammer
down, you only allow the problem to grow further, which is what happened at the most recent race, the
August 13th Grand Prix of Denver.
On the very last lap, Sebastian Bourdais made an attempt to pass Tracy on the final turn for second
place. Bourdais had passed him, but Tracy locked the brakes of his car. He then slid into Bourdais,
and knocked both he and Bourdais out of the race. Bourdais then got out of his car and pursued
Tracy. After some finger pointing and words were exchanged, Bourdais shoved Tracy and walked
away. Tracy's move came across as an unnecessary maneuver. Sure, you want to help out a
teammate (his teammate won the race), but why do something that could have ended up killing
yourself and a fellow driver? He just ends up throwing more dirt on his metaphorical grave. With the
next race being in Canada, Tracy then said this post race about a possible suspension.
"What are they going to do, [take] me out of a race in Canada? Give me a break," he said.
If they have any sense at all, they'll suspend this moron, for the rest of the season at least. There
comes a point where profits shouldn't matter. Champ Car should make an example out of him, as it's
not like he's going to be there next season anyway. They need to send an immediate message that
this kind of thing isn't acceptable. If they don't, this race happens to be in Montreal, Quebec, which
doesn't help his cause given another set of comments he made about the crash, as well as Bourdais
coming after him.
"It's the last corner on the last lap and if you're leading the championship race by 30 points and
you want to make that risky a move with a guy like me for two points, that's the risk you take,"
Tracy said. "I don't feel bad for him."
"Too bad he wouldn't take his helmet off, then we really would have settled things," Tracy said in
Sunday's post-race interview. "But French guys always keep their helmets on."
Funny how not even a day later, he claims it was a "joke". No Paul, you're the real joke here. You've
made an further embarrassment out of yourself and your sport, and to a lesser extent, this country. I'd
love to see you make that latter remark to the face of an actual Frenchman. Please, quit the road rage
crap, take a chill pill, and maybe try to win a race once in awhile without crashing into somebody first
and starting fights with other drivers. NASCAR, do yourselves a favor and don't offer this guy a deal to
join you as he suggested. This kind of problem isn't needed. Let him fade away into nothingness and
mediocrity where he belongs, before he kills himself or someone else.