NOTES & QUOTES: Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway

Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team are in their first season together. Sato is making his fourth start at Iowa Speedway. Following his 7th place finish (after starting 15th) at The Milwaukee Mile last weekend, he is fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings.

Takuma Sato On:

o Iowa Speedway: “It’s one of my favorite tracks. We didn’t have a good race there last year but I am looking forward to coming back. It is just 18 seconds per lap and has lots of cornering. With the current spec of less downforce, it’s getting more challenging. Hopefully we can get it right.”

o How tough physically Iowa Speedway is: “It's a very physical track, actually the most physical oval track I have known. Because you have high downforce aero, you get a lot of grip. With it being a high-banked track, there’s even more grip so the car runs very fast in the quite tight corner. It pulls over 5Gs during cornering which is very high. So it requires high stamina from the driver and is especially demanding because of the steering effort required.”

o The key setup for the race: “It’s pretty much the same as usual; the car needs good stability but we have to keep minimizing the scrub. We are using the road-course type of high downforce aero package with a traditional oval mechanical set-up, so it's kind of a combination of the two which we have to find a good balance from it.”

o Why Iowa Speedway is one of his favorite tracks: “Like any other short oval, the driver needs to drive so hard from wall to wall. I have really enjoyed this track from my first visit to it. I find the racing very exciting. It's a great, fun track.”

o What was learned from his run at Milwaukee: “We always learn something from a race and especially when you race in front, you gain a lot. Perhaps the outcome from the race was not what we wanted to see, but we raced hard and we were competitive in middle stage of the race, so that gave us many positives both mentally and on the technical side too. Also throughout the entire race we learned a lot about where we were strong and not so strong… that all counts towards making us better. Hopefully we can transfer our strength and speed to Iowa.”

Past performance: In three starts at Iowa, Sato’s best was from the pole in 2011 with KV Racing and his best finish was 12th in 2012 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan. In six appearances, the Foyt team’s best start (13th) came in 2010 with Vitor Meira and its best finish (5th) came with Darren Manning in 2007.

ABC Supply will host over 400 guests on race day at Iowa Speedway. 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.

The ABC Supply Founders Celebration Picnic at the Company’s Beloit, Wis. headquarters is Thursday evening and Takuma Sato and Larry Foyt will be signing autographs there en route to Iowa Speedway. A.J. Foyt will remain in Houston, missing his fifth race of the season due to health issues.

ABC Supply roofing customer Conner Roofing, located in York, Neb., 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 Hoffman Weber Construction, based in Minneapolis, 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 Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be televised live Sunday, June 23, starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC-TV.