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  • Tony Renna

    On November 22nd 2003 the racing world lost a great competitor and an outstanding racing talent when Tony Renna was fatally injured in a crash during tire testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    I think we should take a few moments to remember Tony Renna and his accomplishements.
    Already two years have gone by and we still miss seeing him on the race track.
    "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone is life" Sid Collins

  • #2
    After his accident some TFer made up and posted a composite photo showing hime in the 7, 18, and the 78 car plus a head shot in the center. It was a great job. I printed a copy and it now hangs in my office. RIP Tony I enjoyed the time I spent with you.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly: and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have a story

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    • #3
      http://www.tonyrenna.net

      Tony Renna 1976-2003 thread at TF



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      • #4
        Tony was my favorite......and i still miss him today......

        God Speed Tony
        In loving memory of three of the best!

        -Scott Brayton
        -Tony Renna
        -Dan Wheldon

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        • #5
          Race in peace, Tony.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by irlricefan13
            On November 22nd 2003
            I think you meant to type October.

            Still thinking of what could have been. We miss you Tony.
            "But not all of them, Jean-Pierre. There are some who come for that, for the accidents and the fires. But the others...
            the others ride with you all. You put something in their lives they can't put there themselves."
            -- Louise Frederickson in Grand Prix

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            • #7
              November 22 is a sad date too. But yes, it was October 22 we lost Tony.

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              • #8
                Having that years' CREW MPDA Banquet so close after that happened was difficult.

                We need to keep remembering him, all other drivers who gave there lives for the love of the sport, and also keep Railbird and Heywood, and families, in our thoughts too.

                RIP Tony
                Camp and Brew Did Not Make Indianapolis
                It's Indianapolis that made Camp and Brew what it is.

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                • #9
                  The #78 Kruse Special is sitting in the lobby of the auto museum on Kruse property in Auburn, Indiana.
                  Have attended: Indy 500 (34), Belle Island (3), Kentucky (4), St Pete (3), Homestead (1), Texas (2) Michigan (5), Cleveland (3), Iowa (4), Chicagoland (5), IRP (2), Eldora (3)...

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                  • #10
                    Posted is a column I wrote and that was published in the Marc Times Racing News. Hope you enjoy.

                    Tony Renna: by Dave Branch (11-04-03)

                    “There are small windows of opportunity and it’s all about being at the right place at the right time” Tony Renna spoke these words on October 21, 2003. All the 26 year old racer had dreamed of had nearly come to fruition. A few days earlier he had signed the contract that racers dream of, a full time assignment with the Chip Ganassi, Target racing team. Yet, fate has a way of intervening in what could have, or should have been. Within 24 hours of speaking these words, Tony Renna would pay the ultimate price of his passion and dedication. A spin, that turned horrific, while traveling at 225 mph in the third turn of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would write the final paragraph to the story of this rising IRL star. Tony Renna grew up in Deland, Florida. He wanted nothing other than being a race car driver. Young Renna began racing go-karts at the tender age of 6 and won 252 races in karts, mini-sprints, quarter -midgets and micro-sprints. Tony’s dream was to race in the Indianapolis 500. He continued that career path with time in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and became Rookie of the Year in 1996. He moved to Indy Lights in 1998 and won the race at Michigan International Speedway. In 2002 he was hired as a spotter and test driver by the Kelly Racing IRL team. Tony made his Indycar debut at Nashville in July 2002 as a substitute for Al Unser, Jr. and finished 10th in his debut drive. Tony made a total of seven IRL starts and finished in the top 10 in five of them. At this year’s Indianapolis 500 he started 8th and finished 7th. Tony Renna was not a rich kid. He had no cash to bring to the table, just his determination to be the best that he could be. He ended up with his ride at Kelly Racing because he was good. When the team could not afford a third car for the remainder of the 2003 season, Tony kept the faith and continued to dial the phone and knock on doors. During the first days of October the break of his young life came when he signed with 2003 IRL Championship car owner Chip Ganassi to be a part of the Target Indy racing team. I did not know Tony Renna. Sure, I had taken pictures of him and even talked with him at the Speedway this past May - just idle chit-chat regarding his working up to speed and such. However, he had what it takes: determination and dedication to his chosen profession. He exhibited humility and eagerly signed the ever sought after autograph. He was a joy to observe as he worked with his crew and we all shared his elation upon his successful qualifying and eventual seventh place finish. Those of us who watched wanted nothing but the best for this young super star in the making. On October 22, 2003, it appeared that Tony was on his way to the top. He arrived at work that day for his first testing session in his newly assigned ride. Within 15 minutes the dreams and hopes of a young man, his soon to be wife, family; racing team and many, many fans, were shattered as Tony Renna became the 40th driver to lose his life at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That all that was so promising could, so suddenly, go so terribly wrong is unfathomable. Those of us that have been involved in racing for many years understand that no matter how safe we perceive our sport to have become, it is still a very dangerous game. Tony Renna understood and accepted the risks of his chosen career. We should mourn his passing as fitting for one so young yet, talented and promising. However, we should not mourn his manner of passing. To do so would diminish and trivialize the passion, dedication and commitment that this young man brought to our sport. Tony Renna was a very happy young man on the morning of October 22, 2003. He was doing what he wanted to do, going fast at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. God speed young man, we hardly got a chance to know you.
                    "There is no substitute for victory." - General Douglas MacArthur

                    "I love long walks; especially when taken by those who annoy me."

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/impact

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                    • #11
                      For those who knew him, he was a wonderful young man with a bright future. He always took time to talk, sign the autograph and talk racing. He enjoyed discussing car setups and racing lines with anyone who wanted to listen.

                      God Speed.

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                      • #12
                        I am always pulling for Tony when I play the indy car series PS2 game! He was a bright young star with alot of promise.

                        I am only thankful, and I say this carefully, that his accident did not occur on a day the stands were full. I think it helps us remember Tony the way we last saw him better, if that makes sense.

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                        • #13
                          Tony's accident will probably stand as the most mysterious crash in the history of the speedway....
                          "Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."- Capt. Willard, Apocolypse Now
                          "Ain't nuthin' like [being with a woman], 'cept maybe the Indy 500."- Bunny, Platoon
                          "To alcohol! The cause of- and solution to- all of life's problems."- Homer J. Simpson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IndyJim
                            I am always pulling for Tony when I play the indy car series PS2 game! He was a bright young star with alot of promise.

                            I am only thankful, and I say this carefully, that his accident did not occur on a day the stands were full. I think it helps us remember Tony the way we last saw him better, if that makes sense.
                            It makes perfect sense.
                            "I didn't hear a single comment about airboxes, "carbashians", or how terrible the car looked. I did see dozens and dozens of little kids in awe of the speed and how cool the cars looked. We should learn from our children."
                            --Danny Noonan

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