Notes & Quotes: Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda
Takuma Sato On:
Iowa Speedway: “Iowa is a great track. It is one of the most exciting short ovals and we have such close battles in very tight competition. It’s physical–we pull over 5Gs–so you can see the cornering speeds are quite impressive. I think Iowa always produces great entertainment because it is a very competitive race. I enjoy driving this challenging track and love the venue. We had a successful test day there on the 29th. We covered many experimental test items although we had to stop for a while due to rain. We still have a lot to learn and prepare before the race, but we will analyze our results from the test and should come back faster on race weekend.”
New aero package at Iowa Speedway: “I believe the 2016 aero package does not necessarily affect the setups at Iowa that much but having said that, we needed to improve our baseline setup. We had a great opportunity to try different types of setups at the test last week which was very productive. We now have a much better understanding of our 2016 package and I’m confident that we did improve a lot.”
What makes Iowa so difficult: “Immediately I enjoyed racing this unique short oval in my first year in IndyCar and I had a strong run that time [qualified seventh] and an even stronger run in my second year [won the pole in 2011]. Iowa is always tricky; it’s 18 seconds a lap and you spend most of the time cornering. In other words, it has such a short straightaway that physically you’re in the action all the time, and that naturally expands the chance of something happening. Maybe that’s why this track is tough to get it right…but I still love it even though my record here is a mixture with not great finishes but I always enjoy racing in this crazy tight battle.”
Racing at Iowa Speedway in the daytime: “I had experienced a couple of daytime races in Iowa which I quite liked as it gave us more of a challenge but the late afternoon start to an evening finish is the first time for me. We will need to see how much the temperature changes from start to finish but it’s going to be a more consistent condition than one that starts in the evening and gets dark. If the evening finish will give us more pleasant and comfortable temperatures, then I think it will be good!”
Jack Hawksworth On:
Iowa Speedway: “Iowa is the shortest track on the calendar but also extremely quick. It makes for some of the best racing and mentally one of the most draining races on the calendar for the drivers.”
Racing at Iowa Speedway in daytime: “Conditions will be hotter which in theory will make it a little slippery out there. Other than that it should be the same kind of race as we saw last year.”
New aero package at Iowa: “This year the aero kit is different but we were able to narrow in on some of the differences between the ‘15 package and the ‘16 package at the test this past week.”
Iowa Speedway test session: “The test was very interesting, especially in the afternoon where we were able to do a lot of running and test a lot of items. I had a good feeling with the car, especially over the longer runs and in traffic. This bodes well for the race.”
Last year’s Iowa race: “Last year we spent most of the race in and around the mid pack, we had an issue with the pass around on our first stop which put us a lap down, but after that, we were able to fight back and work our way through the field to 13th. I think we’ll have a stronger car in the race this year from what we saw and learned at the test.”
Past Performance at Iowa Speedway: In six races at Iowa Speedway, Sato’s best start was from the pole in 2011 with KV Racing and his best finish was 12th in 2012 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan. In two starts, Hawksworth’s best start is 20th (2014) and best finish is 13th. In nine appearances, the Foyt team’s best start (7th) came in 2013 with Sato but a problem with the engine forced them out after 162 laps. The team’s best finish (5th) came with Darren Manning in 2007.
ABC Supply Co. is in 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 (in the past) and now at Pocono Raceway with the ABC Supply 500, and by entertaining over 75,000 associates and customers during the past 11 racing seasons. Over 300 guests will be entertained this weekend.
ABC Supply national account, Apex General Contracting, headquartered in South Beloit, Ill., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply car during the Iowa Corn 300. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.
ABC Supply local roofing customer, HCI Get-A-Pro, located in Moline, Ill., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for the Iowa Corn 300. 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.
Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company operates over 600 branches in 49 states plus the District of Columbia 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 10-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 Iowa Corn 300 will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network Sunday, July 10th starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.