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Notes & Quotes: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda

Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

Alex Tagliani: No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Honda

 

TAKUMA SATO ON:

  • The circuit: “It’s a very unique circuit. It has one of the longest straights followed by a heavy braking zone which gives us a great overtaking opportunity. Also this is one of few tracks again that both the high downforce and low downforce setups mean similar lap times, so the difference between the teams’ setup philosophies makes for an interesting race.”
  • Why he likes it: “I like it because the track is flat but some corners are challenging and it is a great track for racing. I also have several unforgettable memories from both the IMS road course and speedway so it is a very special place for me.”
  • The track being closer to a street course or road course: “A great road course. We had been much stronger on street courses than road courses historically, but we were very competitive in the Indy GP last year. Our recent record shows we are much happier in road course set up so I am really looking forward to going back there.”
  • Difficulty of transitioning from road course to superspeedway:  “In some way of thinking it might be yes but I think it’s more of a fun and exciting feeling than difficult one. I mean it’s so different. The superspeedway package specifically for IMS is so light on downforce so you have a very fast car. It is nothing like any other track we drive. So although we’re in the same cockpit, the feeling is so different –even the main straight because we’re going 180 degrees opposite way! I enjoy this transitioning and can’t wait to take part in the INDY500.”
  • Friday the 13thSuperstition:   “We all know Friday the 13th but it doesn’t mean anything in Japan so I believe there is no effect on me!”

JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:

  • Difficulty of transitioning from road course to superspeedway: “The difficulty is more from a crew perspective. They have a lot of work to do between the end of the road course race and the start of 500 practice. They have to work long hours to turn the cars around. From a driving perspective it’s a different approach and mentally it’s a new challenge.”
  • The circuit: AJ Foyt Racing Notes & Quotes: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis“Indy’s a fun circuit, super smooth and has some big braking zones which opens up many overtaking opportunities and chaos on the start and restarts. It is a very European style race track.”
  • Key to a good finish: “Qualify well and have a good consistent car over the longer runs. This will be the key to victory.”
  • Friday the 13thSuperstition:  “I don’t believe in superstitions or any of that BS. You have to work hard and concentrate on the job at hand, and at the end of the day, the best team will win. Qualifying on the 13th, 14th or 15th, it makes no difference to me.” 
  • Whether the GP course is closer to a street circuit or road course: “It is much closer to a road course. The track is extremely smooth, which is the polar opposite of the street courses we go too. In terms of the corner radii there are some similarities between this track and some of the street courses we go too, there are quite a few 90 degree corners.” 

ALEX TAGLIANI ON:

  • Returning to AJ Foyt Racing for two races:“I appreciate being back with AJ Foyt Racing. Last year they welcomed me like I was one of their own for a long time. I made a lot of good friends and a lot of strong partners who are supportive of the team. I’m really thankful to represent Alfe Heat Treating, a company from Fort Wayne, Indiana so there will be a lot of friends and fans supporting the No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Honda.”
  • On driving the No. 35: “Driving a commemorative car with a special number—35 for A.J.’s 35 straight Indy 500s as a driver–makes me feel really honored. A.J. was on the grid with me with a bunch of pole winners in 2011 when I won the pole. I felt privileged that day to be on the same track with guys who have accomplished so much in the 500. Driving his car with a special number is huge.”
  • His first time on this circuit: “I don’t have experience on this track—in fact it’s been three years since I’ve driven an Indy car on a road course. The cars have changed—new downforce levels—and I know it’s going to be challenging. I don’t want to raise expectations because just getting back in the groove is going to be challenging, never mind getting to know the car, etc. I’ll probably feel like when the weekend is over, I could have done better and would do better if I had another shot.
  • Representing Alfe Heat Treating: “I’m very excited to represent Alfe Heat Treating again. They are a great group of guys and gals. I felt honored to know all of these people. The way they welcomed me into the Alfe family meant a lot to me. To be back in the car is an honor which I appreciate deeply. I will do the best job I can do, and if I can put a smile on their faces, then mission accomplished.”
  • Friday the 13thSuperstition: “I don’t have any superstitions about qualifying on Friday the 13th. I have some other superstitions though [which he was not prepared to divulge].”

Past Performance in the Grand Prix: Last year Takuma Sato started 22nd and finished ninth for the second straight year. Jack Hawksworth started 11th and finished 23rd. In his initial start, Hawksworth started second and finished seventh.

ABC Supply Co. enters its 12th season as marketing partner of AJ Foyt Racing: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and is the second longest active team sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar Series. With this season, the company ties U.S. Tobacco’s Copenhagen brand in length of sponsorship of Foyt’s team.  ABC Supply has leveraged its involvement by sponsoring races at Milwaukee and now at Pocono with the ABC Supply 500, and by entertaining over 75,000 associates and customers during the past 11 racing seasons. At the Indy GP, the company will entertain 160 guests.

ABC Supply national account, Universal Builders, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply car during the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.  Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.

ABC Supply local roofing customer, Home Value Renovation, located in Indianapolis, won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Guests will receive VIP treatment, plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.

Second time for Alfe Heat Treating as primary sponsor: Alfe Heat Treating, which has been an associate sponsor of A.J. Foyt Racing since 2011, becomes the primary sponsor on a car in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis for the second time. Martin Plowman drove the first Alfe Heat Treating Honda in 2014.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 600 branches in 49 states and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors.  ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle – take care of contractors better than any other distributor.  It remains an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed.  As a nine-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only three companies in the world to have earned this honor every year since its inception in 2007.  More information is available at www.abcsupply.com.

The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be televised live on ABC-TV Saturday, May 14th starting at 3:30pm ET.

For more information on the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing program, please check our web site: www.foytracing.com.  To follow us on Twitter: @AJFoytRacing, @TakumaSatoRacer, @JackHawk41, @Tagliani, @LarryFoyt14. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.