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Old October 22nd, 2003, 01:02 PM   #1
Magic Mtn Dan
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Tony Renna Killed in Indianapolis Speedway Crash

Tony Renna Killed in Indianapolis Speedway Crash
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS Tony Renna (search), who joined the Indy Racing League's elite Ganassi Racing team (search) this month, died Wednesday after crashing at close to 220 mph during a test drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (search).

Renna, 26, of Deland, Fla., crashed into the outside wall while exiting the track's third turn.

Renna was pronounced dead on arrival at Methodist Hospital, speedway spokesman Ron Green said.

He is the 67th person fatally injured at the track since it opened in 1909. The last driver killed was Scott Brayton (search), who died in a crash during practice in 1996.

Team owner Chip Ganassi said he was told Renna was on his fourth lap of the day and had reached speeds of 218 mph when the car crashed.

Green said the cause of the crash was not immediately know.

"Tony was a great young guy," Green said. "I don't think anyone in the paddock ever had a bad thing to say about Tony."

Renna was seventh in the Indianapolis 500 in May and joined Ganassi for next season in place of Tomas Scheckter, who switched to Panther Racing.

Renna competed in seven IRL races, all with Kelley, and finished among the top 10 in five of them.

He led 35 laps and finished 10th in Nashville. He also was seventh at Kentucky and ninth at Texas last season.

Renna began racing at age 6 in 1983. He won 252 races in mini-sprints, go-karts, micro-sprints and quarter midgets and twice was national quarter-midget champion. He began competing in the Skip Barber Formula Ford series in 1993 and was the 1996 rookie of the year in the Barber Dodge Pro Series.

He also raced in the Barber Dodge series in 1997 and the next year joined Indy Lights, the developmental series for CART.
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