IRL: Tracy/Foyt pairing could be heaven and hell

This is what we’ve been waiting for.

Paul Tracy is driving for A.J. Foyt. Two men with take-no-prisoners attitudes.

This fusion of personalities may be what A.J. Foyt Enterprises has been waiting for. Darren Manning was surprisingly good on road courses last season for Foyt’s team. Vitor Meira may not match Manning on the road, but is a step up on ovals even if the team is a step behind everyone else.

Manning and Meira are extremely nice men.

Tracy is not.

More than any other driver in the Indy Racing League’s IndyCar Series, Tracy embodies Foyt’s spirit. Yes, even more than Danica Patrick. Foyt was a winner. Tracy is a winner.

With the race at the Milwaukee Mile named after Foyt — the ABC Supply A.J. Foyt 225 — one has to believe it’s all or nothing in the Foyt camp  this week.

Just win, baby.

With Meira healing from a broken back suffered at Indy, there won’t be a championship trophy on his mantel, if anyone thought otherwise. So the bottom line is win.

Even though it might even have been  more prudent for Foyt to pluck Bruno Junqueira from the driver pool — he has more IndyCar experience than Tracy — Foyt instead played his best hand of cards. Tracy is the most excellent choice. The trump card.

There is a reason Tracy is called “The Thrill from West Hill,” and why his website is the “Official site of the chrome horn.”

Although he finished ninth, he was making things happen last week at Indy when other drivers were not.

If destiny wrote Helio Castroneves into Victory Lane at Indy six weeks after beating the government on tax evasion charges, then she surely can will Tracy to the checkered flag to give Foyt his first victory since 2002.

No matter what happens, for one week, A.J. Foyt Enterprises is relevant once again, just as relevant as Penske, Ganassi and anything Andretti Green can dish up.

Meira is an outstanding talent. He doesn’t have any victories, but he’s a better driver than some drivers who do.  Tracy, though, won 31 times on the CART/Champ Car World Series circuit.

Meira is no match for Tracy on track or in the press room.

Castroneves may be competing in his’ first race since winning his third Indy 500, but Tracy wearing the red, white and blue of Milwaukee-based ABC Supply will be the prevailing storyline.

Although the deal with Tracy is only for one race, Meira may find himself not only broken up, but feeling a bit like Wally Pipp.

It may be better for the sport, too. Foyt may learn the value of hiring preeminent talent and not trying to save money on drivers. He wants this race. It is, afterall, named the AJ Foyt 225.

Tracy and KV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser go way back — which led to Tracy driving for KVR at Indy — but the Tracy-Foyt pairing has a special feeling about it.

Tony Stewart loves to invoke the name of Foyt. Even took his No. 14 when he became a NASCAR Sprint Cup teamowner. But Tracy is as  much Foyt as Stewart.

It would be great to see what Tracy could do on a road course in a Foyt entry, but the next four races are on ovals.

If Foyt is to ever win one of those types of races again, this is it. Tracy has won four times on the Milwaukee Mile, and the flat one-mile circuit rewards good drivers more than fast cars.

Tracy is a good driver. He is better than a good driver.

For the first time in ages there’s a reason to be excited about a Foyt car at the track.

Paul Tracy and A.J. Foyt are a match made in heaven, and it could be hell on everyone else.


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