Notes & Quotes: Long Beach Grand Prix

Mike Conway on being the defending race winner: “I’ll approach it like any other weekend but obviously you’ve got that extra little excitement knowing that you won there the year before. The hard bit is to try and do it again.”

Conway on what he was feeling after he won at Long Beach last year: “That one meant more to me than some other ones because I’d been laid off after May the year before [due to leg/back injuries from his accident in the 2010 Indy 500]. To get our first win--and how we did it--made it more special. With it being at Long Beach, well, I didn’t realize the amount of history that race had until I was up there on the podium and saw all the previous winners’ names etched onto bronze plaques in victory circle. It was pretty cool, and that’s when it sunk in what had just happened.”

Conway on the Long Beach street circuit: “It’s a cool track, I think all the drivers like it. It’s quite challenging. There are some really tight areas. With a green street circuit, it’s constantly getting faster and faster each time you go out, so you’re constantly learning. You have to know what the circuit’s going to do and how that affects your car’s setup. It’s pretty bumpy in areas but most street circuits are like that. There’s even less margin for error at Long Beach because of how tight it is in some sections of the course but that makes it more challenging.”

Conway on new rule about pits being open at outset of non-emergency full course cautions: “It’s going to throw a lot of things into the mix-if the first 4 or 5 cars go past the pit entrance and then it goes full yellow, and you dive in as soon as it has gone yellow, then you’re going to come out ahead of them eventually when they go in to change tires. I think it’s going to really mix things up in your favor or against depending where you are on the track. You’re going to need a bit of luck at the end of the day.”

Past performance at Long Beach: Mike Conway’s best finish is first and best start is third (same race-2011). The ABC Supply team’s best finish is 9th and their best start is 13th (Vitor Meira, 2011).

ABC Supply roofing customer, LI Metal Systems, located in the Pico Rivera, CA area, won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Long Beach Grand Prix. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda.  Manager Len Beebe will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with A.J. Foyt and Mike Conway.

William Chacon will be the ABC Supply Honorary Crew Member of the race this weekend. Chacon works as a delivery driver for ABC Supply in the Chatsworth, CA area; he began working for the company in 2005.

ABC Supply will entertain over 400 guests at Sunday’s race. Prior to 2012, the company had entertained over 35,000 guests since it began sponsoring Foyt’s team in 2005.

The Long Beach Grand Prix will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network at 3:30 p.m. E.T. Sunday, April 15.