NBC IndyCar Analyst Paul Tracy is Under Investigation for Racist Social Media Posts

Illustration for article titled NBC IndyCar Analyst Paul Tracy is Under Investigation for Racist Social Media Postsem/em
Photo: Jonathan Ferrey (Getty)

IndyCar fans know the name. Former racer turned race analyst Paul Tracy is potentially seeing the consequences of some very ugly, loose-lipped social media posts. After a particularly threatening Facebook comment, Tracy is now under investigation by NBC.

On Tuesday of this week, Tracy allegedly made a Facebook comment where he told Indianapolis resident Chris Cunningham that he had invited illegal immigrants to a party at Cunningham’s house where they would “listen to [Cunningham] play a mini guitar, then they are going to rape your wife then you.” Yikes.

When approached by the IndyStar, Tracy denied making the comment. Instead, he claimed to be the victim of fake social media accounts, one of which was responsible for the comment on Cunningham’s post.


However, many folks have noted that this isn’t the first time Tracy has made some pretty questionable posts online. In fact, he has something of a reputation among some IndyCar fans as having notably bad takes—rampant in sexism, racism, and xenophobia. According to Cunningham, this particular comment arose during a discussion about Cesar Sayoc, the man accused of sending bombs to notable names in the Democratic party. He claims Tracy often engages in political discussions—something most of us do nowadays—but that this particular one “crossed the line.”

Cunningham’s wife alerted NBC and IndyCar to the screenshotted comment on Twitter, which caused Tracy to block her from his verified account. However, he still claims that the Facebook comment was made by a fake account. Cunningham argues that Tracy’s real account wouldn’t have blocked his wife if he hadn’t actually made the Facebook comment in question.


It’s a whole deal, one that will likely be investigated in full by NBC. But many folks who follow the IndyCar series are hoping they’ll investigate his past offenses as well. He is, after all, the pundit who released incorrect information about the state of Robert Wickens’ injuries after his crash after Pocono, added to racial stereotypes, and has contributed to various political conspiracies in the past few years.

NBC has acknowledged that the comments in question are inappropriate and have stated that they will announce if Tracy’s position as race analyst will change as a result of their investigation.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Freelancer. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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Not a big fan of PT or his political leanings but this hardly passes for journalism. His previous social media posts cited here hardly compare to the severity of this alleged comment, let alone serve as evidence that it must have been him who typed it. Seems like a pretty rash thing for even him to say, his track record seems to be in playful provocative memes, that while I think are often baseless and irresponsible are not typically what I would call outright hatred/racism. Would I be totally shocked if PT himself is responsible for this, no, but his story seems plausible as well. Lots of people hate him for this sort of thing, evidenced by the fact that numerous fake accounts are actually being operated to try to smear him. Perhaps some restraint is in order while the investigation is being conducted?

As for the Wickens thing, I think we need to let that go. Was it irresponsible in the wake of a horrific event, absoutley, but I think the guy really just made an honest mistake in a lapse of better judgement. Not saying it shouldn’t have been condemned but it seems inappropriate to continue to use it as a weapon to beat him down with about something totally unrelated.