Bommarito Automotive Group 500
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 10th and Daly 14th in the ABC Supply at Pocono International Raceway.
Carlos Munoz on Gateway Motorsports Park: “After they repaved the track at Gateway my teammate Conor Daly ran there a few hours. The car seemed pretty competitive – he was third fastest. I think we have a strong package. In the Open Test our team was really quick. It seems like a nice track, it’s new for everyone and they did a great job with the repaving. I’m looking forward to Gateway -- we need to keep the top 10s coming.”
Conor Daly on Gateway Motorsports Park: “I've been looking forward to the Gateway race since our first test there in May. I've really enjoyed the testing we've done there this year and we've been quick every time on track so I have high expectations for the weekend. It'll be supremely close as IndyCar weekends normally are but I hope to be fighting at the front end of the field all weekend long."
Mike Colliver is the race engineer on Conor Daly’s No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Daly was quickest at Gateway in the Open Test there in May and he was third quickest at the test after the track was repaved. Following are his thoughts…
On whether he was surprised at Conor Daly being quickest in the Open Test at Gateway: “It’d be nice to say no, but to be honest, I think we as an entire TEAM were all both pleasantly and mildly surprised by our performance at the test. We learned a lot at the April Texas test and again during the Phoenix race weekend - so we knew we were headed to Gateway having started to get a solid handle on our 2017 oval package. Anytime a small re-building team can pace a test against competition as strong as we have in the current IndyCar series it IS a surprise. The fact we were able to back it up at the “track surface” test with a solid 3rd quick – only two-hundredths of a second behind Scott Dixon for second-fast wasn’t a surprise – and we expect to be very competitive this weekend.”
On how he came up with the setup: “I had raced at Gateway back in the early 2000’s, twice with Little Al [Unser] and it did help with the baseline setup. The Gateway baseline was developed using a series of mechanical and aero “relative offsets” to setups I had used at other tracks that we raced at during that same period.”
Changing the setup for the repaved track: “We made a few changes, nothing wholesale, but a few tweaks here and there. Unfortunately the rain shortened the test so we didn’t get to complete our entire list and get the car exactly where we wanted it, but neither did our competition.”
On Conor’s performance despite his lack of oval track experience: ”The fact that only a couple of drivers had been there before put most of them back on level ground – so Conor’s relatively limited oval experience is less relevant at this track. Additionally, the fact that it is not wide open all the way around and requires some “pedaling” down in Turns 1 and 2 makes it a little more similar to a fast road course sweeper than most ovals.”
On the first time this season that there’s been a level playing ground (and if it bodes well for 2018): “I think we have a strong group that is just beginning to gel. Definitely being on level ground puts us at less of a disadvantage in terms of fighting against teams with many years of data at certain tracks – so yes - I do think it bodes well to show what we are capable of as a group moving forward. Drivers, Engineers, Mechanics, the whole team – both the 4 and 14.”
On summarizing the progress of the team in 2017: “I think we are finally starting to find a rhythm. I think it’s easy to for us and others to lose sight of how big of an overhaul that the team really went through over the off-season. Having two new race engineers (neither of which had run an IndyCar full-time in more than 8-9 years), two new drivers, a new engine package, a new aero kit, moving one of the teams to Indy, setting up a new shop and with the 4 car basically being an entirely new crew………I’d say we’ve made great progress since the beginning of the season. But, the interesting and frustrating thing is that we’ve had pace at many events by the time the race rolled around….including the opener in St. Pete (pit-lane speed limiter issues killed a sure top-10), we were solid in the Phoenix race until the fire, the Indy road course until the stall in pits, the 500 (crashed while running strong), Detroit (electrical while in top 10), but we just seemed to have had something unusual happen to us that has prevented the results I know we’re capable of.”
ABC Supply national account ARAC Roof It Forward, with its headquarters in Kennesaw, Ga., will be featured on Carlos Munoz’s No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Munoz.
ABC Supply local roofing customer Metro East Roofing, headquartered in Collinsville, Ill., will 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 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 300 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 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Saturday, August 26, starting at 9:00 pm EDT. Qualifying will be broadcast on NBCSN earlier that day starting at 6:30 pm EDT. The race will be broadcast live on Sirius XM radio on the following channels: Sirius 212, XM 209, and SXM 970.