Doug Barnes has worked with AJ Foyt Racing several different times throughout his career which began in 1983. He rejoined the team this year and currently works as a mechanic on the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet driven by Tony Kanaan. We asked him a few questions…
Where were you born and raised?
How did you get involved in racing? Where did it start for you?
DB: “My cousin John Barnes (former owner of Panther Racing) got me into racing about 1983. His mom and dad and my mom and dad bought Lindsey Hopkins’ race shop equipment and started a race shop in Clermont, Indiana. We started selling Earl's Hoses and Fittings and did fabrication work. Then we got a deal to work on the Theodore race car.”
What is your job and what does it entail?
DB: “Preparing the car for the race weekend - I take care of the rear end of the car.”
What do you do on race day?
DB: “I am the tire handler for tire changer and also the backup tire changer and airjack man; help get the car to the grid.”
What did you do before re-joining the Foyt team?
DB: “I worked for Juncos Racing building a DPI Cadillac for the 24 Hours of Daytona.”
Doug Barnes with his son Derrick and the Juncos Racing DPI Cadillac.
Greatest thrill of your career (to date)?
DB: “Changing tires on the same car with my son Derrick – which we did when Jack Hawksworth drove for the team.” (2015-2016).
Tell us something that may surprise people about you.
DB: “I like to go to yard sales and auctions.”
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
How do you prepare for a race?
DB: “Try to get some rest and keep my focus on the race.”
What’s your favorite track and why?
DB: “The Indy 500 because it's the GOAT!!!” (Greatest Of All Time)
Do you have a motto/favorite saying?
DB: “I don't care how you do it as long as it is perfect!!!” – A.J. Watson
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
DB: “My father because of his strong work ethic and taking pride in the work that you do.”
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of racing?
DB: “I like puzzles and like to go karting with my son.”
TONY KANAAN on Pocono: "It's extremely encouraging to go to Pocono. The next two races are ovals where I think we had decent results. My best two results were on the ovals so I'm extremely confident and excited to go there. It's a really fast race track, a fun oval to be at and I'm looking forward to it."
MATHEUS LEIST on Pocono: "Pocono is a tough place. Last year I never felt very good in the car there, but by the fact it is a very challenging track it make things very interesting. ABC Supply will be there with lots of guests, and it's always a great thing to have the support from thousands of people. I’m looking forward to having a solid run with the team, we need some results."
Last Race: At Mid-Ohio, Kanaan started 23rd and finished 20th; Leist started 21st and finished 18th. The race was caution-free which made it difficult to use an alternative fuel strategy to gain track position.
Past Performance at Pocono: Tony Kanaan’s best start (4th) and finish (5th) came in 2017 with Chip Ganassi Racing. Matheus Leist made his first start here last year—he started 20th and finished 11th, which was his best finish in his rookie year. The Foyt team’s best start is 3rd (2016) and its best finish is 6th (2015) -- both with Takuma Sato. Sato qualified in the top 10 in all four starts here with Foyt. A.J. Foyt has the most IndyCar victories at the track with four: ’73, ’75, ’79, ’81.
ABC Supply is in its 15th season as primary sponsor of A.J. Foyt’s IndyCar team, making it the longest running team sponsor in the NTT 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 $10.5 billion in sales in 2018. ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining well over 110,000 associates and customers over the past 14 racing seasons. This weekend the company will entertain over 2100 guests.
ABC Supply account, A Plus Exterior, located in Milford, Conn., 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.
The ABC Supply 500 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, Aug. 18, and starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Qualifying will be broadcast Saturday on NBC Sports Network from 12:30 – 2:00 PM ET. All of the practices will be available on NBC’s subscription-based service, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.