Tony Renna

Tony Renna
Tony Renna in May 2003.jpg
Renna at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2003
BornNovember 23, 1976
Victorville, California
DiedOctober 22, 2003(2003-10-22) (aged 26)
Speedway, Indiana
Debut season2002
Former teamsChip Ganassi Racing
Kelley Racing
Fastest laps0
Best finish24th in 2002
1996Team USA Scholarship

Anthony James Renna (November 23, 1976 – October 22, 2003) was an American racing driver who competed in Indy Lights and the Indy Racing League (IRL) from 1998 to 2003. He began competitive racing at the age of six, winning 252 races and two national quarter-midget championship before the age of 15. Aged 16, Renna progressed to car racing, competing for three years in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, and partnering stock car driver Jerry Nadeau at the United States team for the 1996 EFDA Nations Cup, finishing second. He progressed to Championship Auto Racing Teams' developmental series Indy Lights, winning a solitary race during his three-season stint in the championship from 1998 to 2000.

In 2002, Renna signed with Kelley Racing to be its test driver in the IRL, and was actor and Infiniti Pro Series participant Jason Priestley's driver coach and spotter. He subsequently competed in seven races for Kelley Racing, before signing a contract to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2004 IndyCar Series. During an October 2003 tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Renna was killed instantly in a major collision with a retaining fence. He was the first driver to be killed in an accident in the IRL since Scott Brayton at the 1996 Indianapolis 500. As a consequence of Renna's death, car speeds and horsepower were reduced through a reduction in engine sizes. A memorial fund and IRL award were named after him.

Early and personal life

Renna was born in Victorville, California on November 23, 1976,[1] to Joe, the owner of a meat company and a jockey, and his wife Mary Renna.[2] He has two sisters, Kathryn and Nicole,[2] and is a cousin of George Steinbrenner IV, co-owner of Harding Steinbrenner Racing.[3] The family moved to Apple Valley, California from Tampa, Florida in 1975 and Renna's parents subsequently divorced.[2] His family later moved to the Orlando neighorhood of College Park, before residing in DeLand.[4][5] He was educated at Bishop Moore High School, and Father Lopez Catholic High School, graduating from the latter in 1995.[1] As a child, Renna was a batboy for the New York Yankees baseball team,[6] and played American football, basketball and baseball.[5] He was engaged to Debbie Savini at the time of his death. The two were due to marry in Hawaii on November 22, 2003.[1][7]

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