WELCOME, N.C. — Open wheel star Paul Tracy will test August 8-9 at Michigan International Speedway in Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) No. 33 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Chevrolet in preparation for the Aug. 21 GFS Marketplace 400.
The Ontario, Canada native is the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion and has 30 victories, ranking him first among the series’ active drivers and third all-time. Tracy is currently second in the 2005 point standings with two victories (Milwaukee, June 4; Cleveland, June 26), six top-five finishes and two pole positions after eight of 14 races. He finished second in the July 31 Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose (Calif.).
“Paul and I have talked about an opportunity like this for the past couple years and it has finally come together for Michigan,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “I’d like to thank Gerry Forsythe and Forsythe Championship Racing for allowing us the chance to give this a try. This will be Paul’s first shot in a stock car but he obviously has a great deal of talent and knows how to win races and championships. We’ll take a look at how things go after the test and, if all goes according to plan, get him ready for the Cup race the next week.”
PT is looking forward to testing his driving skills again at the MIS oval. He competed in Champ Cars there 10 times (1992-2001), earning four top-five and seven top-10 finishes and a pole position (2000). The 2000 pole speed set the track qualifying record at 234.949 mph (30.645 seconds).
Paul: “I’m very excited about this opportunity especially at Michigan where I have a lot of experience, driving a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car will be totally new to me but my focus is to develop a package that will help Kevin (Harvick), Jeff (Burton) and Dave (Blaney) and their teams for the race weekend. I want to do whatever I can to help.”