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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tracy in for Watkins Glen

Paul Tracy will become the third driver to replace Mike Conway in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara-Honda in the July 4 Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen. Tracy succeeds Tomas Scheckter (Texas) and Graham Rahal (Iowa) in driving the car after Conway's Indianapolis 500 incident.

Tracy has not yet started an event this season, having failed to qualify his KV Racing Technology car for the Indianapolis 500 in some classic Bump Day drama. It is unknown whether Tracy's Indy sponsor, Geico, will help support his Watkins Glen endeavor. Tracy will return to KV for the series' Canadian races, meaning DRR may have a fourth driver in the No. 24 for those two events.

Other than the revolving door of race car drivers in the No. 24, this season has been solid for DRR. New addition Justin Wilson has put their No. 22 car eighth in points, on the strength of second-place finishes at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. Conway had three top-10s before his injury. Scheckter and Ana Beatriz helped qualify all four DRR cars for the Indy 500 on Pole Day, and each has posted respectable results for the team. Three of the four DRR cars actually led laps in this year's 500, by far a team best and a huge difference from 2009's struggles.

Some may wonder what the signing of Tracy means for Rahal, who has struggled to find rides all year due to a lack of sponsorship. But one of the series' best American drivers may not be out of luck yet. DRR has discussed fielding its No. 23 for Rahal at Watkins Glen, and he may be a lock to return to the car for the series' Canadian rounds, owing to his track experience in Champ Car and IndyCar.

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