Dixon mourns Renna

New IRL IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon said Tony Renna "shouldn't have been the one" to die in a test crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday

Dixon mourns Renna

Renna was on the fourth lap of his first test session with Target Chip Ganassi Racing when his car went out of control in Turn 3. It struck a fence above the outside retaining wall at the exit of the turn, tearing down support poles and damaging a walkway at the bottom of the grandstand outside the fence.

Dixon, Renna's friend and new team-mate, had tested the same car Tuesday. The New Zealander left the circuit to travel to Florida ahead of this weekend's IRL awards banquet. Dixon and Renna were team-mates in Indy Lights in 2000.

"This was his big break, the one he had been waiting for his whole life," Dixon told the Indianapolis Star. "He was a great guy."

The Marion County coroner, Dr. John McGoff, examined Renna's body and said the 26-year-old racer died of blunt-force trauma to the head and chest. He ruled the death accidental.

Because the test session was closed, it was not being videotaped. It was not known if anyone witnessed the crash, but people who observed the scene after the crash reported seeing grass in skidmarks on the track, leading to speculation that Renna's car may have dropped below the pavement before spinning.

IRL officials have launched an investigation into the crash, which will study data from team computers, wreckage and marks on the track, and any possible eyewitnesses.

Prior to signing with Ganassi, Renna had served as test driver at Kelley Racing. He drove for the team in several races, finishing seventh in this year's Indy 500.

"Tony was more than a driver for our team, he was a personal friend to everyone involved with Kelley Racing," said team boss Tom Kelley. "Our thoughts and prayers right now are with his fiancée, family and friends. Tony will be greatly missed."

Renna was planing to marry his fiancée, Debbie Savini, next month in Hawaii. They had recently purchased a home in Indianapolis.

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