Jay Penske, former co-owner de Ferran Dragon Racing and Luczo Dragon Racing, today announced the formation of Dragon Racing, a new team created to compete in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series. The team will make its debut this weekend on April 17th at the Long Beach Grand Prix with Paul Tracy behind the wheel of their No. 8 entry.
“We are very excited to be returning to the IZOD IndyCar Series and delighted to have a driver like Paul Tracy piloting the race car,” Penske said. “Paul is an outstanding driver and we are confident this partnership will become the building blocks for something longer term. After discussing available options with my former co-owners, and with their full support, I decided to take a different path and as a result I am extremely pleased to continue the Dragon name with a team that is substantially the same as our 2010 lineup managed by 21-year-veteran John Cummiskey.”
Tracy enters his 21st-season of Indy Car Racing, which includes four past wins at Long Beach. In his career, he has 31 wins, 25 poles, 75 career podium finishes, 102 top-five finishes, has led 4,238 laps and won the Camp Car World Series Championship in 2003.
“It’s great to be racing again, and I’m excited to be working with Dragon Racing,” Tracy said. “I explored several options for the 2011 season, and partnering with Jay Penske makes it that much more special for me. I’ve known Jay for many years, since my time with Penske Racing. After just a few discussions I realized we shared the same vision and that the newly formed Dragon Racing team was the best fit for my extended return to the IndyCar Series. We’ve been working hard to bring this partnership to life, and I look forward to competitive runs at a number of tracks I’ve had success in the past.”
Tracy will drive four more races for the team – Texas, Toronto, Edmonton and Sonoma.
Dragon Racing is also looking to enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 with a driver that has yet to named.
“Even though we are initially only running a limited schedule, the team is very realistic and understands we will face challenges together during the season,” Penske said. “However, with Paul’s talent, and our crew’s collective racing experience of over 150 years, I feel that we can be competitive at any race we compete in and may even surprise a few people along the way.”
Ralphs Grocery will be the team’s primary sponsor for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, with the addition of extended sponsorship from Motegi Racing and Wheel Pros.
“Motegi and Wheel Pros have a strong association with racing, and we are thrilled to join with Dragon Racing in support of Paul Tracy this season,” said Jody Groce, President of Wheel Pros. “We have been a long-time sponsor of Paul and to be a part his new partnership with Dragon is just great for our brands and associates throughout the organization. We look forward to helping bring the team back to prominence within the IZOD IndyCar Series.”
The team will have additional sponsor news, to be announced soon.