NOTES & QUOTES: Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT
• Mike Conway on the Baltimore street course: “Baltimore is a good track but it’s probably the most physically demanding one on the circuit because it’s really bumpy and there are so many corners, plus it’s fairly long for a street circuit. [At 2.04 miles, Baltimore is the third longest of the seven temporary circuits -- only Sao Paulo (2.5 mi) and Detroit (2.07 mi) are longer.] Last year there were exposed railroad ties and makeshift curbs that were put in on the race weekend but I expect it will be better this year because they’ve made a few changes to the circuit. I enjoy the challenge of a new circuit, getting to learn it as quick as possible and finding out the tricks of the place -- like where you can make up time. Street courses in general are always fun because the cities are pretty cool. The Baltimore circuit has a stretch where you can actually smell the food from the food stores and restaurants just before the right hander that leads onto that long main straightaway. Makes me hungry when I go through there—not really. It’s funny that you notice those things while driving a race car at speed.”
• Conway on coming back from a frustrating weekend: “Sonoma was definitely frustrating because we really wanted to do well there and going into the weekend, we thought we had a good shot at it but it just wasn’t to be. We just have to work harder, iron out all the little issues we had and come back quicker. Mentally, you put it behind you and get on with the next one.”
• Grid Penalty: AJ Foyt Racing had to change their Honda engine after the Sonoma race because the engine was well over the 1850-mile mark (the minimum for an allowed engine change). However, because it will be the sixth engine installed which exceeds the five engine limit allowed for the season, the car will incur a 10-spot grid penalty at Baltimore this weekend. It will be the second grid penalty of the year for the team with the first one occurring at Texas Motor Speedway (Conway qualified eighth, started 18th and finished 16th due to aero issues on the car).
• Ryan Homes will be an associate sponsor on the No. 14 for this race. Ryan Homes is one of the nation’s top five home builders, building new homes in 27 markets in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Established in 1948, the company has built well over 300,000 homes in the past 64 years. Ryan Homes is a member of the NVR family, a distinguished group that also includes NVHomes, Fox Ridge Homes, and NVR Mortgage.
• ABC Supply roofing customer Auletto’s Roofing & Siding, located in Cherry Hill, N.J., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for this weekend’s race. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Owner William Auletto and a guest will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with A.J. Foyt and Mike Conway. The “Your Name Here” promotion selected winners by random drawing from a pool of entries sent in by ABC Supply customers earlier this year.
• Clarence “Chubby” Comer, of Washington, D.C. will be the ABC Supply Honorary Crew Member of the race this weekend. An employee with ABC Supply for two years, Comer works inside sales in the Hyattsville, Md. branch. This event will be Comer’s first visit to an IndyCar race.
• Performance at inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix: Mike Conway qualified seventh last year but a broken suspension put him out after 64 laps so he placed 23rd. AJ Foyt Racing started 12th (with Vitor Meira) and finished ninth.
• ABC Supply will entertain over 700 guests at the Grand Prix this weekend! The regional team rented out the local Hooters Restaurant where the servers will work two seatings to accommodate all of the ABC Supply guests. Since the company began sponsoring AJ Foyt Racing in 2005, they have entertained well over 40,000 employees, private contractors and vendors.
• The Grand Prix of Baltimore will be shown live starting at 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 2 on the NBC Sports Network.