NOTES & QUOTES: FIRESTONE 550 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply team are in their first season together. Sato is making his fourth appearance (and fifth start) at Texas Motor Speedway. Following his 19th and 23rd place finishes in the doubleheader at Detroit’s Belle Isle, he is sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.
Takuma Sato On:
• Testing at Texas Motor Speedway: “It was productive. The team wanted to try some different setups from last year and we made good progress. However, the track condition was so cold back then that we stopped running before sunset so perhaps we need to revisit some of the items but still it was a good test.”
• Texas Motor Speedway: “Texas Motor Speedway is a great 1.5 mile oval. It always presents exciting racing because we run so close and go two-wide which is helped by the steep banking. But recently, it became even more challenging due to technical regulation changes. We have a lot less down-force than we used to have. The idea was to split up the field to minimize pack racing; as a result, there is no more 3-wide racing and very little 2-wide racing. It has become more single-file racing and quite difficult to overtake. Also, the low down-force increases the tire degradation and there is no more flat on the gas so it is very challenging for us to manage all of it well.”
• Extra Pressure Racing at Team’s Home Track: “Not necessarily extra pressure, instead, we will have more cheering from the fans and sponsors and the team’s family so it will be more fun.”
• Past Performance at TMS: Sato’s best start is fourth and his best finish is fifth, both coming in the first of two races at the track in 2011. The Foyt team’s best finish at Texas came in 1998 when they won with Billy Boat. The year before Boat had taken the checkered flag first but USAC Scorers ruled that he finished second and gave the win to Arie Luyendyk the next day (but Foyt still has the trophy). Boat also won the pole at TMS in the fall of 1998.
• ABC Supply will host 450 guests this weekend in Texas. 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 Scott Exteriors, located in Dallas, 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 and A.J. Foyt.
• ABC Supply national account D.R. Horton, America’s largest home builder, 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 and A.J. Foyt.
• 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 Firestone 550 will be televised live June 8, Saturday evening starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC-TV.