Tracy, Aikman discuss NASCAR options
8/27/2005 9:34:29 AM
A pair of football Hall of Famers may be Paul Tracy's ticket into NASCAR competition in 2006.
Tracy, the former Champ Car champion who has NASCAR aspirations, says he's spoken with former NFL quarterback Troy Aikman about possibly joining his new stock car team next season.
"I've talked with Troy on the phone and we're going to set up a meeting at some point," Tracy said in Montreal while preparing for this weekend's Champ Car race.
Aikman and another former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Roger Staubach, along with Trans-Am driver Bill Saunders have formed Hall of Fame Racing, which plans to compete in the Nextel Cup in 2006. The team has signed a working agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing.
The 36-year-old Tracy has expressed interest in NASCAR for years and, finally, did something about it earlier this month, taking part in a two-day test at Michigan International Speedway in a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
It was hoped that Tracy would indeed make his NASCAR debut at the Michigan event but both sides agreed there simply wasn't enough time to properly prepare a fourth car for the race. Tracy says he hopes to get another opportunity to show he's got what it takes later this year.
"Richard is planning to do a 500-mile engine reliability test and I'd hope to do that for him," Tracy said. "Then, we're hoping I can drive a race later this year at either Atlanta or Homestead, which are both tracks that should suit me pretty well."
Tracy, whose 30 career victories are the most by any active Champ Car driver, is not yet signed with any team for 2006, although Champ Car team owner Gerald Forsythe has offered him a new contract.
"I know Gerry would like to know something, yes or no, as soon as possible," Tracy said. "But I'm not going to make any decision until after I've driven a (NASCAR) race.
"I figure, at my age, I still have three, four, maybe five years in (Champ Car) left in me, but it could be the right time to make a change and I want to take a good look at it. I've talked with some other teams over there (in NASCAR), but Richard Childress is the only one who has stepped up and made something happen at this point."
(Files from the Associated Press were used in this report)