Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team switched to Chevrolet this season with 25-year-old drivers Carlos Munoz (No. 14) and Conor Daly (No. 4). Munoz finished 7th and Daly 16th in the April 9 Long Beach Grand Prix. Following are their thoughts on racing at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend.
CARLOS MUNOZ (#14) ON:
Barber Motorsports Park: “Barber is one of my favorite tracks on the IndyCar calendar.
It is a beautiful facility but it is tough both mentally and physically on the drivers. Our test there was productive so with the changes we’ve made, we think our car will be better and more competitive than we were in the test. We need to continue the momentum from the good result we had in Long Beach.”
What he likes about the circuit: “I like everything about this track—the elevation changes, the quick corners – especially the downhill corners—and that it is really physical. The [outdoor] art that surrounds it is really cool too.”
The Difficulty of Passing at Barber: “It is difficult to pass at Barber because it is a really fast track and it doesn’t have a lot of braking corners plus it is a little bit narrow. If you have a good run out of Turn 3, you can overtake down at Turn 5 but it is a really hard place to pass.”
Most Important: Aero or Mechanical Grip: “Mechanical grip plays a big part I think. The track is full downforce, has really fast, undulating corners so if you have really good mechanical grip, it will make it easier for the drivers.”
Whether Barber is reminiscent of other tracks he’s driven: “It reminds me a little bit of tracks I raced on in Europe because it is a nice, smooth track. But it’s different from the other tracks we race on because it is really fast, which is one of the reasons I love it.”
His Easter holiday: “I stayed in Key Biscayne and did some riding, gym sessions, kite surfing, and went to The Chainsmokers concert. Also spent time with my family visiting from Colombia.”
CONOR DALY (#4) ON:
Barber Motorsports Park: “After testing at Barber not too long ago it’ll be nice to get
back and continue the work we started. I was happy with our car at the end of the test so I’m really hoping we can have a smooth weekend and get rid of some of the bad luck we’ve had so far. We always get a great crowd in Alabama so I look forward to seeing the turnout again this year.”
What he likes about this particular circuit: “The track has an incredible variation of corners and elevation changes which makes it a great driver’s track.”
The Open Test’s challenges last month: “We struggled with a lack of grip at the test so as long as we can lock the rear of the car down a little bit more on entry we’ll improve.”
Most Important: Aero or Mechanical Grip: “We run a very high aero level at Barber so we’ll be looking for the best way to optimize the use of the Chevy aero kit. As usual though we’ll have to get the best out of the mechanical platform and aero setup to be at the front.”
The Difficulty of Passing at Barber: “The track is a very high downforce track with short straights making it difficult to get a good run on anyone for overtaking. Even though it’s difficult to pass, there will always be places to make things happen depending on the situation.”
His Favorite Food at Barber: “I love a good southern BBQ!”
His Easter Holiday: “I just spent Easter with my family which was nice since we won’t have an off weekend for a while.” [Month of May activities begin with Rev presented by Fifth Third Bank May 6]
A.J. Foyt will miss this weekend’s event at Barber: Foyt returns today from a week in Cancun, Mexico where he received three treatments of stem cell therapy arranged by his Houston-based physicians. The therapy is to help minimize the pain in his ankles injured in his Elkhart Lake, Wis. accident in 1990. The therapy’s are projected to be felt within three months of the treatment.
Past Performance at this track: Carlos Munoz’s best start at Barber Motorsports Park in IndyCar is 7th (2014) and his best finish is sixth (2015). In Indy Lights, he swept the card in 2013, winning the pole and the race. Conor Daly’s only start at Barber in IndyCar came in his rookie year (2016) when he started 17th and finished 20th. In Indy Lights, Daly started fourth and placed 11th in 2011. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start of fourth and best finish of seventh came in 2012 with driver Mike Conway.
Last Race: In the Long Beach Grand Prix, Carlos Munoz qualified 14th and finished seventh for his first top-10 of the season. Conor Daly started 17th and finished 16th due in part to electronic issues.
L&W Supply, a subsidiary of ABC Supply, selected national account FL Crane & Sons., based in Fulton, Miss., to be featured on the engine cover of Conor Daly’s No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Daly.
ABC Supply roofing customer, Goodall Homes, located in Gallatin, Tenn., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Grand Prix of Alabama. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Carlos Munoz.
ABC Supply celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The company was founded in 1982 by Ken and Diane Hendricks with just three stores. The company now has over 700 stores and topped $7 billion in sales in 2016. ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining over 84,000 associates and customers over the past 12 racing seasons. At Barber Motorsports Park, the company will entertain over 360 guests.
A.J. Foyt’s iconic career is honored in an extraordinary exhibit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. A.J. Foyt: A Legendary Exhibition presented by ABC Supply Co., Inc. runs April 14 through October 31. With additional support from Alfe Heat Treating and Chevrolet, the exhibit features over 30 different race cars Foyt drove plus rare memorabilia from his personal collection.
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Sunday, April 23, starting at 3pm ET. Qualifying will be broadcast Saturday, April 22, starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. The radio broadcast will be on Sirius XM radio on the following channels: Sirius 212, XM 209, SXM 970.