FRANCHITTI STALKING PAUL TRACY RECORD
By Dean McNulty, Toronto Sun
TORONTO - Dario Franchitti has a message for his old pal Paul Tracy: “Hey, P.T., I’m coming to get you.”
Franchitti set his sights on Tracy — or more precisely Tracy’s IndyCar win record — the moment he won the 29th race of his IndyCar career June 19, at the Milwaukee Mile.
That win put him just two behind Tracy and France’s Sebastien Bourdais as the winningest active drivers in the IZOD IndyCar series.
And it tied Franchitti with one of his early heroes — Rick Mears — for eighth on the all-time IndyCar win list.
At 38, the native of Edinburgh, Scotland, knows the end of his career is in far sharper focus than the beginning but he still has the fire in his belly that got him to 29 wins.
If catching and passing Tracy can provide Franchitti with the extra incentive for more victories, that is just fine with him.
“If I can win some more races, great,” he said. “I’d love to go out there and win more and — I’d love to beat P.T., actually.”
It’s not as if he bear any animosity toward Toronto’s racing icon. In fact, Franchitti admits he quite likes “the Thrill from West Hill.”
Franchitti and Tracy were even teammates for a while with Team Cool Green Racing in the old Champ Car World Series.
“We had such a good relationship. We go back such a long way,” Franchitti said. “But beating him would still be fun.”
Franchitti can’t catch Tracy next week at the Honda Indy Toronto — a race that both have won at twice — but he has to be considered a favourite to notch win No. 30 at the Exhibition Place temporary street course.
After all he is coming to Toronto having won two of the past three IndyCar races (at Milwaukee and Texas) and he is leading the championship points parade by 20 over Penske Racing rival Will Power.