Tony Renna: 1976-2003

IndyCar racer Tony Renna, who had just landed the best ride of his career, was fatally injured in a crash while testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 22. He was 26

Tony Renna: 1976-2003

Renna was hired by Chip Ganassi Racing to join reigning champion Scott Dixon for the 2004 season. A native of Deland, Florida, who resided in Las Vegas, Renna had served most recently as a test driver for Kelley Racing and occasional competitor in IRL races.

He began racing at the age of six in 1983 and won 252 races in mini-sprints, go-karts, micro-sprints and quarter midgets. He was a two-time national quarter-midget champion.

Renna won the Skip Barber Formula Ford Series championship in 1994, scoring eight victories and three second-place finishes. He earned his first Indy Lights victory in 1998 at Michigan, and had three podium finishes in 2000 as a team-mate to Dixon in Indy Lights.

His most impressive performance in the IRL - a seventh-place finish in May at the Indianapolis 500 - led to the full-time ride with Ganassi. Renna replaced Tomas Scheckter in Ganassi's Toyota-powered Panoz G Force, as Scheckter signed with Pennzoil Panther Racing.

"He's a talented driver who has the ability to win races," Ganassi said at the time of Renna's hiring. "Scott and Tony have been team-mates before, and I think they will be a great combination. I feel that he has the talent to win races and contend for a championship."

Renna was just five laps into his career with Ganassi Racing when the fatal crash occurred, and was scheduled to get married next month.

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