Notes & Quotes: Kohler Grand Prix
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 18th and Daly 7th in the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas.
CARLOS MUNOZ: “Road America is more or less a European style track—really long and really fast. It’s really technical as well. It has a lot of history in America and it is for sure a tough track but I really enjoy it. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last few races, we’ve been more competitive so hopefully we can continue to show that. I’m looking forward to this race weekend.”
CONOR DALY: “I don’t think you’ll find many drivers who aren’t excited about Road
America. It’s one of the best tracks in America and it produces great IndyCar racing. We had a great race going last year until we had a failure so I’m excited to get back. We’ve got some good momentum going after Detroit and Texas so hopefully we can capitalize on it.”
TEAM OWNER A.J. FOYT ON:
Road America: “After 21 years, I didn’t think it changed that much other than they made it a lot nicer and prettier. It was my favorite road course because it was fast and you could actually race on it, it wasn’t a follow-the-leader road course, it had long straightaways and places to pass. [On coming back from accidents]: “Well the press said I wouldn’t race again, that I couldn’t come back and I wanted to prove them wrong. I wasn’t through racing, I still wanted to race. I liked racing and I wasn’t ready to quit yet.”
On his return to Le Mans on the 50th anniversary of his All American victory there with Dan Gurney:
“I was glad to go back after 50 years and see the new course because it is nothing like the course when Dan Gurney and I won over there. I think the course is slower and a lot easier to run because the old course was very dangerous, you didn’t have crash walls or guardrails, all you had were trees that were whitewashed which they don’t have now. It’s still a beautiful course but I think I liked the other course better because you could do a lot more racing.
Sebastien Bourdais's father Patrick, who also races cars, took A.J. around the track in this "Get Well Seb" Mustang just before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“It was just two drivers back then and now it’s three drivers and if one of them gets sick, you can have another driver. Now they have adjustable seats, adjustable pedals and steering wheels where Dan and I shared the same seat. His arms were crimped and mine were stretched out because he was much taller than me—that’s also why they had the bubble in the roof. Nowadays, the cars have air conditioning and it’s monitored so if it gets too hot, the drivers are black-flagged to come in. To me, it’s not real racing because you shouldn’t have air conditioning in the cars, if you’re a race driver, you live with it, no matter how hot it gets.
“It surprised me the people who had my cars (die casts) and pictures of me driving
cars like my Gilmore and Bowes Seal Fast cars and people must have had them for years. I must have signed over 300 autographs. Then they had a lot [of pictures] of the Le Mans car that Dan and I drove. I think one of the highlights of the whole deal was when we got there, Ford [of Europe] had a golf cart painted up like the car we won with and it had A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney on it. That was quite an honor. Ford really treated me well, they had a beautiful hospitality center. They asked “What was yours [in 1967]?” I said, “We just had a little pup tent—it was nothing like you have here today.”
“It’s a beautiful race track and I’m glad to see all of the improvements, they’ve probably improved it 2000 percent. It was nice when we were there but now with all the modern technology, it’s so different. We had a clutch and a square pattern on the shifting and nowadays all they use is the paddle shift. I’d like to see some of those guys drive the stuff Dan and I had to drive. I think it’d be a lot more work and the air conditioning back then wouldn’t cool them off that much. It’s hard for me to believe that you have to have air conditioning now—I don’t believe in that.
“It was great to see our car back here in Le Mans. I told some people that if Dan and I were young enough to drive it today, I don’t know if they could beat us or not because they’d have to run fast. The museum had a lot of cars—the oldest was from 1895 I think. It was amazing to see some of the foreign cars, I had never seen them before so I was awful glad to be taken though the museum, it was terrific.”
Chevrolet Display Appearance: Both Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly will appear at the Chevrolet Display located at the bottom of the hill on the main straight for a 15-minute Q&A with fans on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
Past Performance: Carlos Munoz started and finished 10th in his only race at Road America (2016). Conor Daly started ninth (alongside Munoz) but did not finish (spun in Turn 1 and hit barrier due to a failure). The Foyt team’s best start is eighth with Robby Gordon in 1993, and their best finish is eighth with Mike Groff in 1988.
L&W Supply, a subsidiary of ABC Supply, selected national account C & M Builders, based in Eau Claire, Wis. to be featured on 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, Veridian Homes, located in Madison, Wis., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest. The company name will be on the engine cover 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. The company will entertain over 900 guests this weekend.
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 through October 31. With additional support from Alfe Heat Treating and Chevrolet, the exhibit features nearly three dozen race cars that Foyt drove plus rare memorabilia from his personal collection.
The Kohler Grand Prix will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Sunday, June 25, starting at 12:30 pm EDT. Qualifying will be broadcast on NBCSN on Saturday starting at 5:00 pm EDT. The race will be broadcast live on Sirius XM radio on the following channels: Sirius 212, XM 209, SXM 970.