Notes & Quotes: Kohler Grand Prix
MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST on Road America: “Road America is a pretty cool track. It is one of my favorite tracks in the world and my favorite track in the U.S. Last year I had a great weekend there in Indy Lights winning the first race [of two] as well as the pole position. Each time we work together as a team, we are developing the car and getting quicker. I think we might have a great car for this weekend and I’m looking forward to it.”
On testing there June 13th: “Testing went okay. I think we figured out a lot of new things and mainly things that we should not try at the race weekend because we tested and realized that doesn’t work. I believe we might have a competitive car and I’m looking forward to a top-10.”
On differences between the Indy Lights car he won with last year and the ABC Supply Chevrolet: “It was not a big difference. Indy lights car is pretty fast and the lap time is less than 10 seconds slower to the Indy car, which is pretty impressive on such a long track. But basically the Indy car is just faster through the high speed corners and at the big braking zones.”
On importance of qualifying here: “It is important but not as much as a street course. It’s an easy track to pass on, I’d say. But I hope to be starting at the front, so I don’t have to worry about passing people.”
On the key to running well there: “It is just the same as everywhere else, being fast, consistent and trying to maximize your performance with what you’ve got.”
On why he likes Road America so much: “I don’t know to be honest. You usually like the places where you’re fast or the places where you’ve done well so that’s why I think. And it is such a cool track to drive too, it’s old school, has long straights, slow corners, fast corners and is also a narrow track.”
TONY KANAAN on Road America: “I love going to Road America for a number of
reasons. It’s a very cool, fast and challenging track, the fan experience is one of the best in America and it’s the closest INDYCAR race to ABC Supply’s headquarters, so I’m expecting to have a lot of support during the weekend.”
Last Race: At Texas, things could not have gone much worse for the team at its home track. Leist escaped serious injury when he extricated himself with the speed of a 19-year-old after his car caught fire due to a cut o-ring in the fuel system after just five laps into the 248-lap race. Twenty laps later, Kanaan brushed the wall in Turn 2 and damaged a toe link in the right rear suspension. The team repaired the car and Kanaan rejoined the race 12 laps down. After several laps, team owner A.J. Foyt asked Kanaan to park the car, citing the risk vs. reward was not worth it.
Past Performance at Road America: In seven races, Kanaan’s best start is third and best finish is second in 2016 with Ganassi Racing. Leist’s experience here is in Indy Lights; in two starts (same weekend), he won the pole and the race in his first start. In his second race, he started second and finished fourth. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start is 11th in 1994 with Eddie Cheever, and its best finish is eighth in 1991 with Mike Groff. The team did not compete in IndyCar races there from 1996-2007.
ABC Supply is in its 14th season as primary sponsor of A.J. Foyt’s IndyCar team, making it the longest running team sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The company was founded in 1982 by Ken and Diane Hendricks with just three stores. The company now has over 700 stores and topped $9 billion in sales in 2017. ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining over 92,000 associates and customers over the past 13 racing seasons. This weekend the company will entertain over 645 guests.
ABC Supply national account Baney Construction and Restoration Inc., based in Rockton, Ill., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Tony Kanaan.
ABC Supply roofing customer, Dick’s Roof Repair Service, based in Kenosha, Wis., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest. The company name will be on the engine cover of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Matheus “Matt” Leist.
The Kohler Grand Prix will be televised live on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, June 24, starting at 12:30 pm ET.
For more information on the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing program, please check our web site: 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.