NOTES & QUOTES: ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda
Takuma Sato On:
* Pocono Raceway: “I like Pocono Raceway. The venue is set up in a great natural environment that I always enjoy and the track is very challenging. The characteristic of this tricky triangle is so much fun that every corner is totally different and feels like an ultra high-speed road course. I always enjoy driving here especially since we were able to find a good setup for the last two races here.”
* The key setup for the race: “Turn 1 and 3 are very different corners as one has a big banking and the other has no banking which made the balance of the car quite different so we work to get closer on balance between these two and seem to be succeeding at that. Since we have a very good chassis setup here, I believe we should be strong even with the new aerokit. Particularly since the configuration of the aerokit is the version that we run well with this year.”
* Running strong and finishing: “We know what happened the last two races here so I’m confident we will be able to finish as strong as our start. It’s another long 500-mile race so it will be very challenging for all of us but I have a good feeling.”
* Having 1300 ABC Supply guests in the stands: “It just feels fantastic for another great support from our title sponsor ABC Supply. Having 1300 guests is massive, and it is very impressive. Hopefully they enjoy watching us have a strong this weekend.”
* How he enjoyed his time off: “It was a very nice time off. I spent a good amount of time with my family and had a great trip to both Europe and Canada. We did lots of things while in South France and shared good times with my old friends. We also had a fantastic time in the mountains in western Canada, lots of great outdoor activity that was so much fun, so I am totally refreshed and ready to go to Pocono race!”
Jack Hawksworth On:
* Pocono Raceway: “The sheer size and width of the front straight is pretty spectacular! It’s certainly the most diverse oval I have ever raced on. Each of the three corners is completely different in terms of banking and radius which is very unique.”
* Last year’s accident: “Last year’s accident was a combination of a few things, pushing a little hard on cold tires and being a little aggressive in terms of car setup to try to dial it in for qualifying. We had a limited amount of track time that weekend and with no testing leading up to the event, I think it pushed us into a tricky situation. That’s racing sometimes!”
* Any hesitation about returning to track where you got injured? “Honestly, I’m really hoping for some redemption at Pocono this year. The accident wasn’t fun but it’s a long time ago now and it would be great to firmly wipe that one from memory with a good run this year. The team has been strong there in the past and I would absolutely love to capitalize on that. I have to say the guys have been working hard since Mid-Ohio in all areas, and I think we have seen some consistent improvement throughout the team of late with four top-10’s in the last eight races. We have a long road ahead still, but we’ll be looking to see out these last couple of races with solid performances so that we can carry some positive momentum into the off season.”
* How he enjoyed his time off: “I stayed in Texas the whole time. Last weekend I went shifter karting in Dallas which was a lot of fun.”
– A.J. Foyt will miss the final two races of the season. Foyt underwent surgery August 10 due to a staph infection in his right artificial knee (the January, 2012 infection was in his left artificial knee). The prosthesis was removed, and in its place an antibiotic-infused cement spacer was inserted to aid in clearing up the infection. Once his doctors are satisfied that the infection has cleared (about six weeks), Foyt will undergo another surgery to have a new artificial knee implanted, which will require an additional six weeks of recovery time. “Well this is one of the worst things I’ve gone through in my life,” Foyt said, adding, “Knowing I have five or six weeks dealing with this and then having to get operated on again to take the spacer out and put in a new knee. This staph infection, it’s the second time I’ve had it and it’s really beat me down. I don’t know if I’ll ever be like I used to be but I’m sure hoping, so I’m fighting awful hard.”
– Past performance: Last year Takuma Sato qualified fourth and was running third when his car had electrical problems, forcing him out after 25 laps. Jack Hawksworth did not start the race because of an accident in the first practice in which he sustained a bruise to his heart muscle. It was the only race he missed last year.
– This season’s performance: Takuma Sato’s best performance to date has come at Detroit with his best start of fourth in Race 1 and his best finish of second in Race 2. It was his first podium finish since his runner-up finish in Brazil in 2103. For Jack Hawksworth this year, his best finish of seventh came in both races in Detroit, while his best start of eighth came in New Orleans.
– ABC Supply will host over 1300 guests on race day at Pocono Raceway. The company is celebrating its 10th anniversary as primary sponsor of A.J. Foyt’s No. 14. Since ABC Supply began sponsoring AJ Foyt Racing in 2005, they have entertained well over 70,000 people at Verizon IndyCar Series events.
– ABC Supply national account Schernecker Property Services, based in Waltham, Mass., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.
– ABC Supply roofing customer, Pieros Construction Co., located in Somerville, N.J., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for this weekend. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.
– Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 460 branches in 47 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 an eight-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 ABC Supply 500 will be televised live Sunday, Aug. 23, starting at 2:00 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.
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