Notes & Quotes: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle

Mike Conway on the Sao Paulo street circuit: “Brazil is very bumpy and in that way it’s similar to St Pete and Long Beach. There are two really long straights; the longest one starts coming out of turn 10-- I think it’s a mile long-- so that’s a really good place to overtake people. You can get a really good run with big tows. I think we’ll get to see how well these cars tow up—they tow up pretty well at the Speedway so we’ll see what it’s like with the bigger wings. From that corner there (Turn 11) all the way down to the next one there’s a pretty long straight  which takes you into a tight chicane so there’s definitely another passing opportunity there as well. So you’ve got two back-to-back passing zones, which makes it quite interesting because if you don’t pull the pass off in one straight, you might pull it off the corner after. You’ve got to have a quick car in a straight line to overtake and avoid being overtaken. In the first two practice sessions we’ve definitely got to be looking at where we are in the speed traps  compared to everyone else because that is going to be very important.”

On the team’s focus in Brazil: Mike Conway: “The big focus is going to be trying to get more speed out of the car; we still need to find more time in qualifying. We’re starting to get knocked out in the first round so we’ve really got to unlock some of the speed that’s in the car which we haven’t found yet. Hopefully we can do that.”

Team Director Larry Foyt: “Even though we’ve seen more passing in every race this year compared to last year, the field is so tight that qualifying remains very important. For some reason, we’re still lacking speed with the alternative (red-rimmed) tires. We haven’t found what Mike wants to feel out of this car yet and that’s what we’re still searching for. We’ll be trying some stuff in Brazil. We’re learning every race but with a one-car team, there are only so many things we can try on a race weekend because we’re so limited on practice time.”

Conway on last year’s Sao Paulo Indy 300: “We had some bad luck last year. We were running third and we had an electrical problem which caused the car to keep cutting out. When the race got red-flagged, I was actually back in 20th. The race was postponed to the next day [because it was raining so hard]. We fixed the car overnight and we managed to come through the field to finish sixth. It was a wet race so it was kind of tricky but I enjoyed it.”

A.J. Foyt will miss the Sao Paulo event: “I’m still not 100% and I felt with Indy coming up, I didn’t want to put myself through that long trip to Brazil,” Foyt said. “I know that my team will do just fine without me there. Larry’s been running the team day-to-day, and he’s doing a great job. I’ll be watching them on TV.”

Past performance at Sao Paulo: Mike Conway has finished in the top-10 twice at Sao Paulo: he was eighth in 2010 and sixth last year.  His best start was 9th in 2011. The ABC Supply team’s best finish is 3rd (2010, Vitor Meira) and their best start is 14th (Vitor Meira, 2011).

The Sao Paulo Indy 300 will be shown live at 11:00 a.m. E.T. Sunday, April 29 on the NBC Sports Network.

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