NOTES & QUOTES: Milwaukee IndyFest at The Milwaukee Mile

Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply team are in their first season together. Sato is making his third start at The Milwaukee Mile. Following his 11th place finish (after starting 21st) at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, he is fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.

Takuma Sato On:

The Milwaukee Mile: “I like it because it’s a very unique and challenging, flat one-mile oval. Physically it’s not the fastest track, but you feel so much speed because it’s flat and you have to really drive it. Plus the wall’s coming sooo quickly that you feel the speed, and it's a very busy track.”

Passing at The Mile: “It’s difficult because you don’t have the support from the banking but you can pass. The way you do is a bit like what you do at the road courses and you use the brake as well so it’s a tough track. The best place to pass depends on the wind direction and the car balance but usually either Turn 1 or Turn 3.

The key setup for the race and qualifying: “Like any other oval, you need a lot of stability for the race because you need to run in traffic, but in qualifying, you go with very neutral balance for minimal scrubbing. It's quite thrilling as we need to get the right balance just to be able to go flat in qualifying.”

Whether The Mile requires patience or aggression: “Both really, it requires much patience because a little thing will bite you on ovals, but you need to attack to gain positions.”

Finding the performance the team had before Indy: “Everything is related. We have gained good experience so far to understand the car more and more, so I am looking forward to doing our usual business and try to drive the car fast!”

His favorite place to eat in Milwaukee: “There are many great restaurants around there and any bar should be good as it is beer country right?”

Sato - a rookie again! Sato will be a rookie celebrity bartender this Wednesday evening at the Miller Time Pub in downtown Milwaukee from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Competing for tips against an attending media member (or race fan), Sato along with fellow drivers James Hinchcliffe and Indy 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter, will be serving beer and cocktails to guests. The tips will benefit The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Racing for Kids.

Past performance: In two appearances, Sato’s best start was 5th and his best finish was 8th, both in 2011 with KV Racing. In seven appearances since IndyCar returned in 2005, the Foyt team’s best start (15th) and best finish (11th) came with Darren Manning in 2007.

ABC Supply will host over 900 guests this weekend at The Mile, about 70% of them are associates (and their families) from the company’s headquarters in Beloit, Wis. The company is in its ninth year as primary sponsor of A.J. Foyt’s No. 14. Since ABC Supply began sponsoring AJ Foyt Racing in 2005, they have entertained well over 47,000 people at IZOD IndyCar Series events.

ABC Supply roofing customer SRS Roofing and Sheet Metal, located in Waterford, Wis. will be featured atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Guests will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.

ABC Supply national account Mastercraft Exteriors, based in Rockton, Ill., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply car this weekend. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend and will meet Takuma Sato.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 455 branches in 45 states and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors.  ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle – take care of contractors better than any other distributor. It remains an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed. As a six-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only a handful of companies in the world to have earned this honor every year since its inception in 2007. More information is available at www.abcsupply.com.

The Milwaukee IndyFest will be televised live Saturday, June 15, starting at 4:00 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.