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A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney Reminisce on Le Mans the year after Ford v Ferrari

November 13, 2019

The film Ford v Ferrari chronicling Ford’s podium sweep of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 will be released nationwide this Friday.  A.J. Foyt was originally scheduled to compete in that 1966 race, but he was badly injured at the Milwaukee Mile when he crashed in practice (suspension failure) and hit the wall.

Although Foyt missed that opportunity, the following year he was invited back to join the Ford team by Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby, a fellow Texan. Gurney and Foyt rocked the motorsports world when they became the only All-American team to win the historic race with a car built in the U.S. and piloted solely by American drivers. It is a record that still stands. In contrast, the 1966 entries were built in the U.K. and were driven by a contingent of international drivers.

 In April, 2017, Gurney and Foyt reminisced about their victory for a special 50th anniversary event which reunited both drivers with their No. 1 Ford Mk IV for the first time since 1967.  Following are some excerpts from the interview conducted for Ford Performance, Ford’s motorsports division.

A.J. and Dan pose with their Ford Mk II–reunited after 50 years.  (Photo courtesy  of Ford Performance)

Q: After Ford won in 1966, did you feel pressure coming back in 1967?

Foyt: “At the time, I was supposed to go over in 1966 with the Holman Moody bunch, but I got hurt at Milwaukee, burnt real bad. Ford lost three or four of their drivers before Le Mans that year: Walt Hansgen – the boy from the East Coast, was killed testing in the rain [at Le Mans], and Lloyd Ruby was supposed to drive and he crashed his airplane taking off from Indy. I can’t remember who else. [Note: The fourth driver was Jackie Stewart who was in a horrific crash in the Belgian Grand Prix the same weekend as Foyt’s crash.] We went over there to blow Ferrari off. That’s what Ford wanted us to do and that’s what Dan and I did.”

Q: Fifty years later, you’re still the only All-American team to win Le Mans, car, engine,

  drivers. Are you surprised at that? How do you feel about it?

Foyt: “I feel great about it, mostly because a few of my races were overseas and I was fortunate enough to win some of them, but most of them were in the U.S. I’m an American so it means a lot. I was invited to go back more than once but I said I went over as a rookie and won, so I have no reason to go back. It was great.”

Gurney: “Does it surprise me? Yes it sure does. But all those wimps haven’t come back (laughs), I don’t know what’s stopping them. For us, Ford said they were going for it and they went for it. I’m very proud to have been part of it, just like A.J. is.”

Q: You both participated in a very special time in American racing, probably never equaled. A.J., you won the Indy 500, then went over and won Le Mans. Dan, you won at Le Mans and then won the F1 race at Spa in a car you built, the first and only time an American has done that. How do you feel about that time of your life, in terms of where you were in your careers?

Foyt: “I don’t think the boys [today] realize what they’ve missed. When Dan come up, and when I come up, it was altogether different racing. It was a great time in your life. Back then when I raced, I loved racing the midgets and sprints and stock cars and everything, like Dan loved to go over there and run [Formula 1] and he did a great job, and I respect him highly for it, and for picking up a little Texan like me to go over and run the 24-hour, I give him a lot of respect. I know at that time, a lot of them thought I was kind of wild, so Dan had faith in me, and I knew if he got the car set up, I thought I could hang onto it for him.”

Gurney: “Of course, looking backwards, that was a pretty high peak in my career. I think racing drivers, a lot of people, want to have bragging rights and certainly A.J. and I have them now and that’s a fabulous feeling.”

Dan Gurney was the first driver to spray champagne in victory circle which has become a tradition in motorsports.  (Photo courtesy of All American Racers Archives)

Q: Did you feel there was competition between the Shelby and Holman Moody teams?

Gurney: “Yes.”

Foyt: “There was a lot of friction. (Beating Ferrari was the object). Ford wanted to win, regardless of which Ford won. He (Gurney) wanted to win. I damn sure wanted to win, but regardless of how Ford had to get there, we were going to get there some way. Like I said, there were two different teams. There was no love between either team.”

Gurney: “We wouldn’t tell them the time of day. But they were prepared, so they were going to do very well.”

Foyt: “Ford had two great teams, but they weren’t really one team. Shelby’s team was there, Holman Moody’s team was there, and we wanted to beat them. It was a race between Ford teams, to be honest. There was no love.”

Q: Was it similar among the drivers?

Foyt: “They had some good drivers and we were all friends. It was just that when the green flag came down, there was no love between none of us, right Dan?”

Gurney: “They were all good drivers and we were friends until they became even better. Then we didn’t like them anymore.” (Both laughing). “Typical thing.”

Q: Let’s talk about Henry Ford II. Did he chat with all of you before the race? Do you remember his reaction to the win?

Foyt: “I think Dan [and I] had the same idea. We knew we couldn’t tear the car all to pieces. We knew we had to take care of it and I think Dan felt the same way I did. We had to nurse it, then when we had to run hard, we could run hard. I think that’s how we won the race.”

Gurney: “We were up there celebrating, and everyone was up there, Michael Parkes from Ferrari and all the Ford people. We didn’t call him Henry II, we called him ‘Hank the Deuce.’ He was an imposing figure and if he looked at you the wrong way, you kind of shriveled up and tried to disappear. He was there with a new bride, I think, on their honeymoon and when I started spraying him, I’m not sure he liked it or not, but he was a good sport about it and we had a wonderful time spraying champagne, A.J. and I both.”

Q: The champagne. It was a spontaneous thing, right?

Foyt: “That’s true. I think Dan was as happy as I was. Now you see all the Formula 1 drivers doing the same thing, but we did it 50 years ago. It was just a great victory, I think, for both of us.”

That April evening in Long Beach, Edsel Ford II presented Foyt with the Spirit of Ford award, the racing division’s highest honor, which Gurney had received in 1999. The award recognizes lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry both on and off the race track.

 Edsel Ford II presented A.J. with the Spirit of Ford award in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ford Performance)

Sitting with Gurney and Ford, Foyt entertained the idea of returning to Le Mans for the 50th Anniversary celebration of the victory. Two months later, he did return as a guest of Ford and was amazed at the changes in the venerable venue. He was driven around the track just before the race by Sebastien Bourdais’s father, Patrick, who is a longtime competitor at Le Mans.

Racing fathers and sons figured in the filming of Ford v Ferrari. Gurney’s son Alex, who is a two-time national champion in sports car racing’s premier Daytona Prototype division, worked on the film in two capacities: as a stunt driver/consultant in the on-track racing action and as an actor—he played his dad.

 A.J. and Dan pose with Dan’s wife Evi and their son Alex who was on the set of the movie for 60 days as a stunt driver and consultant. (Photo courtesy of Ford Performance)

While Foyt may not see the film in the theater—the last film he saw in a theater was The Godfather in 1972—if and when he does watch it, it will be sure to bring back some fond memories of a magical time in motorsports.

The boys today don’t realize what they missed.

Race Report: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

MONTEREY, Calif.— That’s a wrap for the NTT IndyCar Series as Josef Newgarden won his second series title and rookie Colton Herta won his second IndyCar race of the season.

 

Following the 19-year-old rookie across the line were three IndyCar Series champions Will Power, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and fellow rookie Felix Rosenqvist.

 

For AJ Foyt Racing, the season finale was bittersweet as ABC Supply made its exit as the team’s full-time sponsor, a partnership that spanned the last 15 seasons. However the company will be back as a sponsor of a third Foyt entry at next year’s Indianapolis 500.

 

“A big thank you to ABC Supply for 15 wonderful years of red, white and blue race cars out there,” Larry Foyt said. “We’re definitely going to miss all of the ABC associates and customers that we’ve gotten to know over the years. It’s a bit sad today saying goodbye to some of the people here at the track, but hopefully they’ll come to some races next year and see us. We just really appreciate the partnership, it was really great for AJ Foyt Racing and it was great for ABC Supply.”

 

The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was off to a smooth start – so smooth in fact that the race went green for the first 45 laps. With Tony Kanaan starting 21st and Matheus Leist starting 23rd, the chance to advance was hindered by the lack of cautions since passing on the classic 2.258-mile road course is difficult at best.

 

Throughout the 90-lap race, the drivers made the most of the situation, keeping their cars on track, avoiding the mistakes of others. At one point, Leist was squeezed in the famed Corkscrew set of turns as cars entered three-wide – perhaps a first — but he managed to maintain control and not lose a position. Both drivers started on the alternate red tires (as did nearly all but three cars in the 24-car field), but on the second fuel stint, Kanaan opted to stay on the alternate tires while Leist switched to the primary black tires. Kanaan found the tire degradation was too much in that stint and switched to the primary tires for the final fuel stint while Leist stayed on the primary tires, too.When the checkered flag dropped, Kanaan finished 16th and Leist placed 17th.

 

Kanaan won the Hard Charger of the Year Award with 97 passes in competition, 14 more than any other driver.

“It was an okay race for us,” Tony Kanaan said afterwards. “I think we were actually pretty competitive in the beginning. We struggled with the race pace all weekend long so I think by the end of the day we should have been a couple tenths quicker a lap to be able to be more competitive, but we did what we could do. Looking forward to what’s next. I want to thank ABC Supply for all the years that they helped this team. We have a long offseason now, so we have a lot of time to work on the things that we think are going to have to be better. We’ll be back next year, reset and start again.”

 

Leist, who turned 21 earlier this month, was not quite as happy with his race day ABC Supply Chevrolet as he was with the car he qualified yesterday.

 

“Overall a difficult race today, I thought we would have a better pace,” the young Brazilian said. “We made some changes after qualifying and I feel like we didn’t go in the right direction today. Our tire degradation was pretty high with both types of tires. Still it was a fun race, I think we were in the mix back there, not where we wanted to be but still in the mix and not so far off the pace. I felt that towards the end of the year we gained some pace with the car and the car setup overall. We’re still far away from where we want to be but we’re going to keep working hard and hopefully we will be back next year.”

Team President Larry Foyt assessed the 2019 season which was one of the most frustrating seasons for both the drivers and the team.

 

“2019 was a really tough year for us but there were a lot of positives to take out of it,” Foyt said. “For one thing, I’m really proud of our guys to go through this whole season without one DNF (Did Not Finish) mechanically. That shows the quality of the mechanics we have putting these cars together. We just struggled for pace a bit which is what racing is about. It was good to have three top-10s – including a podium finish at Gateway – towards the end of the year but we’re not here to get top-10s, we want to win races. That’s what we have to focus on this winter, what changes we need to do to make it better next year. That starts tomorrow. I’m proud that the crew and drivers and engineers kept their heads down all year, even through the tough times, they gave 110 percent.”

The loss of ABC Supply certainly impacts the team but Foyt was philosophical, saying, “We have to move on to another chapter but I’m looking forward to the future.”

 

Qualifying Report: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

September 21, 2019 MONTEREY, Calif.—Despite the beauty of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and its surrounding hills, the frustration of this season was summed up in the first round of qualifying for the AJ Foyt Racing team today. While Tony Kanaan is still searching for the sweet spot on his No. 14 car, Matheus Leist…

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Notes & Quotes: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

September 19, 2019 Shelby Tracey joined AJ Foyt Racing as a mechanic in­­­­­­ January. Born and raised in Monterey, Calif., Shelby grew up at Laguna Seca where his mother was a volunteer on race weekends. He handles the No. 14 car’s bodywork, the vinyl wraps and decals, and assists where needed. On race day, he changes…

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Jack Mason Brand Launches A.J. Foyt Limited Edition Watch

September 17, 2019  DALLAS–Texas-born watch company, Jack Mason, announces the launch of their new limited-edition watch to celebrate the legendary race car driver, A.J. Foyt, in time for the NTT IndyCar Series finale this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. This A.J. Foyt Limited Edition Chronograph is the second watch in Jack…

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Race Report: Grand Prix of Portland

Matheus Leist captured an eighth place finish in his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet after starting deep in pack in the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway Sunday afternoon.

A strategy twist to capitalize on a late race caution saw Leist pit with five laps to go for a fresh set of Firestone alternate (red) tires. Armed with fresh rubber, the young Brazilian passed both Charlie Kimball and Sebastien Bourdais in one lap to move into eighth. He put heavy pressure on seventh-running Simon Pagenaud, weathered a few blocks by the wily veteran before settling in for his second top-10 of the season.

Leist started the race in 21st, just behind teammate Tony Kanaan who qualified 19th in his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. In a repeat of last year’s race, there was a multi-car crash in Turn 1 on the start– this time triggered by contact between Graham Rahal and Zach Veach.

Both Kanaan and Leist managed to snake their way through for the second straight year. Veach and Rahal were out and so were the Arrow team cars with James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly. Takuma Sato lost laps in the pits with his repairs.

Leist ducked into the pits on lap 11 to top off his fuel as his team re-thought the two-stop strategy in favor of more flexibility. The race restarted on lap 12 but contact between Jack Harvey and Ryan Hunter-Reay on lap 14 brought out the second caution. By the time they restarted on lap 17, Kanaan was sixth and Leist was 11th.

Kanaan, on a three stop strategy, pitted on lap 30 with the team thinking he could gain track position (if not spots) by running in clean air. Unfortunately the car didn’t have the pace he needed to take advantage of it. By lap 62, he lost a lap to the leaders. He regained it when they pitted on lap 73 but lost it again when he pitted on lap 82.

After Leist’s initial stop under caution, he was essentially on the cycle of pitting with the leaders, who were doing a two-stop strategy.

A bit of good fortune played into his hands with the final caution on lap 98 as he was the last car on the lead lap. Race strategist George Klotz made the call to pit for fresh tires and the team performed it quickly to get him in and out. Kanaan also made a final stop on the same lap 99 but the cars around him (also a lap down) pitted too so he didn’t gain the advantage Leist did. However, Kanaan’s stopping likely helped him to maintain his 12th position in the final five laps of green.

“Tough but pretty good race for us here at Portland,” said Leist. “Since the beginning we decided to do a different strategy and we went for a two stop strategy and I think it worked pretty well for us. We had to save fuel for most of the race and we were consistently running in the top 10 or 11. On the last yellow, as we were the last car on the lead lap, we decided to come in and put new alternate tires on. We went out tenth and finished eighth so I think decent job, another top-10 for me and a good job for the team too. The guys did a pretty good strategy, and a pretty good job in the pits so I’m proud of everybody. Let’s go for the last one.”

Kanaan soldiered through in his record 316th consecutive IndyCar start—a streak which began here in Portland in 2001—to finish 12th.

“Good start, awesome start actually,” said Kanaan whose career tallies 376 IndyCar total starts. “It’s a shame on the strategy, we missed the boat on that and I have no control over that, so after that I just hung in there. Good job for the team though, two cars in the top-12, that was always the goal so it looks like we’re getting stronger towards the end of the season which is good. I’m happy for Matt, he drove a great race. They got the strategy right and got him in the top eight. Let’s move on to Laguna and see what we can do.”

Will Power won his second race of the year, assuming the lead when Scott Dixon stopped unexpectedly due to electrical issues. Power then had to fend off Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist in the closing laps after the field packed up following the final caution on lap 98 of the 105-lap race.

Trailing Power and Rosenqvist across the line were Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta and Josef Newgarden. Just 42 points separate the top three NTT IndyCar Series championship contenders Newgarden, Rossi and Pagenaud.

With double points up for grabs in the season finale at Laguna Seca’s WeatherTech Raceway, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will decide the champion. The race will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, Sept. 22nd starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: Grand Prix of Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist will start 19th and 21st in the Grand Prix of Portland Sunday afternoon.

Despite his starting position, Kanaan is enthused about his chances tomorrow in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because if you look at the lap times we’re only a tenth and a half from the top 12,” said Kanaan, who posted a lap time of 58.10 seconds (121.68mph). “That’s the closest we’ve been all year. We improved the car a lot but it’s that little bit (still needed). I’m happy because the boys did everything right, we timed qualifying right to have the right tire choice. We went quicker than we went in the morning so it was a step in the right direction. I’m excited. I think we’re coming from a great momentum, everybody’s uplifted (from his third place finish at Gateway) and I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Last year at this 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course, Kanaan started 24th and finished 11th.

Kanaan’s team will start the race on Firestone’s primary compound tires. Leist, who will start the 105-lap race on the Firestone alternate compound (red) tires, felt he was stronger on the primary tires in qualifying his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

“Practice 3 was actually decent and gave us some direction and some things to think about,” said the Brazilian who will turn 21 a week from tomorrow (Sept. 8). “In qualifying I think my black tire pace was pretty good but we didn’t have a good run on the reds and that was it. We’re going to work on the reds (setup) for tomorrow and see if we can have a good race.”

Leist, who started 19th last year, ran in the top 10 for much of the race until an untimely caution ruined his fuel strategy. He placed 14th.

Rookie Colton Herta won his second pole of the season with a lap time of 57.81 seconds (122.3mph) beating veterans Will Power and Scott Dixon in the final seconds of the session. Rounding out the Firestone Fast Six were Jack Harvey, rookie Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

The Grand Prix of Portland will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Notes & Quotes: Grand Prix of Portland

August 29, 2019

Phil Long joined AJ Foyt Racing as a driver of the No. 4 ABC Supply transporter in January 2016. Along with his co-driver Rodney Klausmeyer, Long departed from Indianapolis for the 2250-mile trek to Portland which will take about 38 hours. We asked him a few questions…

Where were you born and raised?

PL: “Hialeah, Florida—a suburb of Miami.”

How did you get involved in racing? Where did it start for you?

PL: “I went to ‘help’ Champion Racing out of Pompano Beach, Fla. in 2000, and went to Sebring in March of 2001. Stayed with them until the end of 2008.”

What is your job and what does it entail?

PL: “Primarily I’m one of the two drivers of the No. 4 car transporter out of the Waller, Texas shop. Apart from that, I’m responsible for pit set-up and breakdown for the 4 car. I also rebuild all the pit guns a couple times a year and as needed. I was doing the air jack on the 4 car but lacerated my arm hours before having to drive to Toronto. I missed the race but mechanic Joe Pontin, [one of the 20-somethings on the team], stepped up and is doing a great job on the air jack. So now I am the super sub. Should someone go down for any reason, I can jump over the wall. I also have a vinyl plotter and have digitized nearly all of the graphics on the car and trucks and will help with car wraps.”

What do you do on race day?

PL: “I get the pits prepared so that no one wants for anything and be as certain as I can that everything functions smoothly. Pre-load trucks, help in pit stops (if needed), load up and go to the next one.”

What did you do before joining the Foyt team?

PL: “I have an art degree, and I have all my pre-requisites completed and was doing clinical rotations for an R.N. Was working hemodialysis at that time and got burned out on it. I did sports car with Champion Racing (Audi), ESM out of Stuart, Fla. (Ferrari and Honda prototypes). Also did some freelance stuff with Gunnar Racing/Restorations out of Riviera Beach, Fla. Then I got an offer with Foyt and moved our family to Magnolia, Texas.”

Greatest thrill of your career (to date)?

PL: “Being on the overall winning prototype at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005. Changed the inside tires for that with crew chief Bobby Green. Brought the big trophy back to the United States for the first time in 38 years. Ironically our Audi R8 was no. 38 for all stateside races. The last time that trophy was in America? Gurney – Foyt…straaange.”

Tell us something that may surprise people about you.

PL: “I love new home construction, design and architecture. I’m especially interested in ‘high performance homes’ where things function at a far more efficient level, the net gain being better function at lower operating costs. Matt Risinger, a builder out of Austin, Texas has YouTube videos that are fascinating.”

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

PL: “Staying awake on the overnight drives. I’m more nocturnal by nature but it can still be pretty tough.”

How do you prepare for a race?

PL: “Relax. Don’t let anything wind you up.”

What’s your favorite track and why?

PL: “I think Road America. It’s very picturesque and it has a good vibe to it. All the campsites and the different vistas they afford is cool. Plus, it has run-off areas so if the unthinkable happens, with hope, it won’t be too critical. A.J. might differ with me on that.”

Do you have a motto/favorite saying?

PL: “Not really. I don’t say a lot for the most part, but try to make it count when I do.”

Who has been the greatest influence in your life?

PL: “Probably uncles. Not taking anything away from my father, but uncles have less skin in the game. One uncle in particular was Pat Santello who was from Syracuse, N.Y. and was a car owner. He fielded several cars at Indy and took me to Pocono and Mosport races many moons ago. He probably planted the racing seed and it was just dormant for many years.”

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of racing?

PL: “Guitar, bass guitar (I have a lot of guitars), drums, and waging jihad on my house [renovating and repairing].”

Why is your email philsartdorcom? Are you an artist?

PL: “Yes. Have a degree (for what that’s worth) in commercial design but gravitated to custom car and motorcycle painting, pin-striping and air brush.”

TONY KANAAN on Portland: “Coming from a great weekend in St. Louis, I’m looking forward to going to Portland which is a race I’ve always enjoyed. I raced many years there. It’s a fun race track. We were almost in the top 10 there last year so it’s another race where I hope I can put the ABC Supply car in the top 10.”

MATHEUS LEIST on Portland: “I can’t wait to get back to Portland. Since my first lap there last year I fell in love with the track. I feel like we had a pretty good car there last year, we ran in the top-12 most of the race but due to a yellow we ended up falling down a couple places. Anyway, I’m looking forward to working with my team, setting up a good car and getting the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet a great finish on Sunday, that’s what it’s all about.”

Last Race: At World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Kanaan started 20th and finished third to post his best result since joining AJ Foyt Racing last year. It was the best result for AJ Foyt Racing since Takuma Sato finished second at Detroit in 2015. Matheus Leist started 21st and finished in 17th as the five caution periods in the race did not fall his way.

Past Performance at Portland: In five races here, Tony Kanaan’s best start and finish came in 1998: he started fourth and placed eighth. Last year, Kanaan started 24th and finished 11th. Matheus Leist made his first start at Portland last year when he started 19th. He ran most of the race in the top 10, but the yellow brought out by Zach Veach’s spin ruined Leist’s race strategy. He finished 14th having gained four spots in the final 25 laps. In seven starts here, the Foyt team’s best start is 10th with Robby Gordon who also posted the team’s best finish of eighth, both in 1993. A.J. Foyt had the team’s second best finish of 10th in 1990.

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 150 guests.

ABC Supply national account Franklin Roofing Enterprises, Inc., located in Puyallup, Wash., 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.

L&W local account Plumbline Drywall, based in Tigard, Ore., 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 Grand Prix of Portland will be televised live on NBC on Sunday, Sept. 1, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET. Qualifying will be broadcast Saturday on NBC Sports Network from 6:00 – 7:15 PM ET. All of the practices will be available on NBC’s subscription-based service, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.

Qualifying Report: Bommarito Automotive Group 500

MADISON, Ill. – Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist were both on the same page when it came to describing their qualifying runs here at Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway this afternoon.

 

Oversteer. Too much of it.

 

It didn’t help that they were third and fourth to go out on the 1.25-mile oval which is always a disadvantage in qualifying as the track grip improves as each car lays down more Firestone rubber.

 

Kanaan qualified the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet at a speed of 178.974mph and will start 20th in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

 

“It wasn’t a good run for us, the car had a lot of oversteer which was the opposite of what we had in practice and that slowed the car quite a lot,” Kanaan said. “We’ll have to work on the race setup this next session and see what we can come up with for the race.”

 

Matheus Leist was right behind him with a speed of 178.290mph and will start 21st.

 

“I thought we had a better pace but we just struggled with oversteer in both turns and I don’t think it was because the track was a little bit dirty, I think overall we were more to the oversteer side,” Leist explained. “We’ll work on the car to make some changes for the last practice and try to get a good baseline car for the race tomorrow.”

 

NTT IndyCar Series points leader Josef Newgarden won the pole with a speed of 186.508mph. Second through fifth were Sebastien Bourdais, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Takuma Sato.

 

The 248-lap race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. ET

Notes & Quotes: Bommarito Automotive Group 500

August 21, 2019  Steve Gaddis joined AJ Foyt Racing earlier this year as a driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply Racing transporter. His previous racing experience came when he joined Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016 after a career as an over-the-road truck driver. We asked him a few questions… Where were you born and…

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      Tonya Bergeson-Dana talks with her son, Conor, about his father when he brings it up, which is often. If he’s asking the questions, she reasons, he’s ready to hear the answers. Paul Conor Dana, at age 9, knows that his father was Paul Dana, a journalist and IndyCar driver who died in March 2006 during […]