NOTES & QUOTES: Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix
A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply Racing team revamped some key elements over the off season, including drivers, technical director and several support engineers and mechanics. Tony Kanaan drives the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet while Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist is his teammate in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Eric Cowdin is the Technical Director and Kanaan’s race engineer; Mike Colliver is the race engineer for Leist.
TONY KANAAN: “Phoenix is one of the tracks that I always look forward to going back to. For some reason ISM Raceway and I click really well and I was fortunate to win there twice over the years. The track layout suits my style, I guess. AJ Foyt Racing had a pretty good test there earlier this year which is a good indication that the team is headed in the right direction with our short oval package. Setting up the car for a night race is always a bit tricky because we practice and qualify in the heat of the day which is quite different from what we’ll have in race conditions, but that’s part of what makes this race so special. I’m looking forward to getting to Phoenix this week and hitting the ground running with the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.”
MATHEUS ‘MATT’ LEIST: “Phoenix will be one of the hardest races for me because it’ll be my first oval race in an Indy car and also my first night race in a car—ever. I’ve done a few go-kart races at night but never a car race. I’m pretty excited. I think the pre-season test in Phoenix was good, the ABC Supply Chevrolet was looking fast. With all of the hard work we’ve been doing in the off season, I think we’re in good shape for the race. Hopefully we’ll have fun and manage to get some great results for the team and myself as well. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
A.J. Foyt Update: Foyt, who was attacked by killer bees March 14th at his ranch in west Texas, is planning to attend the race this weekend. Foyt: “I’m still recovering. I have welts all over and I’m not feeling a hundred percent yet. I finally got off all the medicine the doctors prescribed. Those bees put me down pretty good, but I will be back."
Past Performance at ISM Raceway [née Phoenix Int’l Raceway]: Tony Kanaan’s best start is from pole (2003); he won the race in 2003 and 2004. In fact, his worst finish in five starts is sixth (2017). Matheus Leist will be racing at Phoenix for the first time in his career. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start is from 2nd (multiple times) and with A.J. Foyt driving, they won in 1971 and 1975. Since his retirement in 1993, their best finish is 2nd (1996, 2001).
Last Race: In St. Petersburg, Leist qualified third in his first ever IndyCar start while Tony Kanaan qualified 10th. In the race, Kanaan finished 11th. Leist pitted on lap 22 with electronic issues which the team attempted to fix. Another problem surfaced on his first re-entry to the race necessitating another pit stop. When he re-entered the race the second time, the car pushed going into Turn 3 and he hit the wall in Turn 4. He took responsibility.
ABC Supply roofing customer, AllPhase Construction, located Phoenix, Ariz., 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 Tony Kanaan.
L&W Supply, a subsidiary of ABC Supply, selected national account CDS Framing Inc., based in Phoenix, Ariz., to be featured on the engine cover of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Matheus “Matt” Leist.
The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Saturday, April 7, starting at 9:00 pm ET. The radio broadcast will be on Sirius XM radio on the following channels: Sirius 212, XM 209, SXM 970.
For more information on the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing program, please check our web site: www.ajfoytracing.com. To follow us on Twitter: @AJFoytRacing, @TonyKanaan, @MatheusLeist, @LarryFoyt14. On Instagram, @AJFoytRacing, @tkanaan, @matheusleist, @larryfoyt14. On facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.