Tony Renna

23 Nov 1976
22 Oct 2003
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Tony Renna (November 23, 1976 – October 22, 2003) was an American race car driver who raced in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series. He made seven starts for Kelley Racing in 2002 and 2003 including the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

His best finish was fourth place at Michigan International Speedway in 2002.

Renna signed to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2004 IndyCar Series season alongside Scott Dixon, but during an offseason tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 22, 2003, his car spun and became airborne, smashed into the catch fence and shredded apart. Renna died instantly.

Tony Renna was employed by Kelley Racing for two years from 2002–2003 in the Indy Racing League (IRL).

His first race start came on July 20, 2002 when he was driving for Al Unser Jr., while Unser was in alcohol rehabilitation after his arrest on July 9, 2002.

Renna filled in for Unser Jr. twice that season, and was then sponsored in his own car by Dean Kruse in the #78 Kruse Special car for Kelley Racing.

On the night of October 21, 2003, Team Ganassi’s crew was up late during the night getting Renna fitted for his new car that was driven earlier that day by his teammate Scott Dixon.

The next morning, Renna was assigned to complete a tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

On that morning, it was about 50 degrees outside and the track was cool. On Renna’s fourth lap he was driving approximately 218 mph (351 km/h) and spun out in turn three.

While spinning, his car caught some air underneath the chassis, which lifted the car in the air, and into the catch fence, which was over the four-foot concrete wall.

Renna died instantly of massive internal trauma, and was pronounced dead on arrival at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

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