April 18, 2018 Tony Kanaan is in his 21st year of Verizon IndyCar Series competition with 346 starts, 17 wins, 15 poles, 132 Top 5s and 218 Top 10s. Matheus “Matt” Leist (his last name rhymes with waist) is in his first year of IndyCar competition with three starts. He made the Firestone Fast 6…
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April 14, 2018 LONG BEACH, Calif. – Under warm sunny skies, qualifying for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach saw veteran Tony Kanaan make the cut into Round 2 as rookie Matheus “Matt” Leist was pipped by veteran Sebastien Bourdais in the final seconds of the first round. Kanaan posted a time of 1 minute, 7.3478…
Foyt to partner with Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi to field James Davison in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500
April 13, 2018 LONG BEACH, Calif. April 13, 2018 —James Davison has been named to drive the No. 33 Chevrolet in the Indianapolis 500; the car has been entered by Foyt Racing with partners Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, Hollinger MotorSport and Belardi Auto Racing. “I am honored to be driving for the legendary A.J. Foyt with…
April 10, 2018 Eric Cowdin joined AJ Foyt Racing in October as the Technical Director and Tony Kanaan’s race engineer. Following are his thoughts on this weekend’s race on the Streets of Long Beach. On the biggest challenge at Long Beach: “One of the biggest challenges is the track. It will change constantly through the weekend. …
PHOENIX – The ABC Supply team had its ups and downs Saturday night at ISM Raceway but Tony Kanaan posted the best showing for the team in its last six outings with his eighth place finish in the 250-lap race. He moved up to ninth in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.
Starting ninth in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet, Kanaan stayed in the top-10 throughout the race which saw very little passing on track. He ran as high as seventh and never dropped below ninth. On the final restart with just seven laps to go, he mounted a charge past Ed Carpenter but was blocked in his attempt. Kanaan crossed the line in eighth.
“It was a big improvement for the team, we’ve been aiming to finish in the top-10 and we did that tonight,” Kanaan said afterwards. “We have our struggles and there are things we need to fix and we’re doing it one piece at a time. I think we had a great weekend, we were in the top-six all weekend long. I’m happy with the progress but there’s a lot more work to do.”
Matheus “Matt” Leist had a big learning curve in his first IndyCar race on an oval track. After starting out smoothly from his 16th starting slot, he ran in the top 15 until his first pit stop on lap 43. He came in too hot and slid into his pit box hitting one of the tires laid out for the stop. Making the rookie’s task more difficult was that his pit box was not on the front straight but on the curve between Turns 1 and 2, which made it difficult for the team to guide him in. The error dropped him back to 20th as he had to stop again for the team to check the front wing that had hit the tire.
On the next stop there was an error on the team’s part when Leist was sent before the left rear tire changer was finished. As he burned out of the stop, the unsecured wheel came off causing Leist to spin out in pit lane. Fortunately, he didn’t hit anything. However, the team did have to wait until the pit stop cycle was finished before they could roll the car back to the pits.
At that point Leist was seven laps down. Race strategist Larry Foyt radioed Leist that the game plan had changed. With no hope of winning the race or even securing a top-five finish, Leist was instructed to the use the opportunity to learn as much as he could. He did make several successful passes of slower cars despite not being able to improve his position.
When asked for a comment after the race, he replied, “My first oval done, my first complete race in IndyCar done, so lots of new stuff learned. We made a lot of passes which was good–not too many guys were passing. I was feeling good physically in the car, I’m not tired at all. Today wasn’t our day, wasn’t my day, but I want to say thanks to the team. I think we had a car to finish in the top-seven. Onto Long Beach now.”
There were several single car accidents where cars brushed the wall but only two caution periods slowed the race for a total of 23 laps. Defending series champion Josef Newgarden claimed the victory with his pass for the lead on lap 247. Robert Wickens finished second. Third through fifth were Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon, and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
“A hard-fought day for the team all around,” Foyt said. “Tony drove hard all night but passing was super difficult and he and the 14 team did a good job to hang in there and get the top-10 finish. Matheus did a nice job, and really did exactly what we asked him to do. He had the mistake on the first stop, and we had a mistake on the second stop which took us out of contention for a good finish. He still drove a great race and it seemed like he passed more cars than anyone. He brought it home in one piece and learned a great deal here for his first oval race. The experience he gained will be a big help for Indianapolis. Both teams are looking for more in Long Beach, and we will keep building on the experience we have taken from these first two races.”
April 6, 2018 PHOENIX—Tony Kanaan used his experience to negotiate a big wiggle on the first hot lap of his two lap qualifying run and still managed to salvage the lap and qualify ninth in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. His rookie teammate Matheus “Matt” Leist will make his first IndyCar start on an…
A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply Racing team revamped some key elements over the off season, including drivers, technical director and several support engineers and mechanics. Tony Kanaan drives the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet while Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist is his teammate in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Eric Cowdin is the Technical Director and Kanaan’s race engineer; Mike Colliver is the race engineer for Leist.
TONY KANAAN: “Phoenix is one of the tracks that I always look forward to going back to. For some reason, ISM Raceway and I click really well and I was fortunate to win there twice over the years. The track layout suits my style, I guess. AJ Foyt Racing had a pretty good test there earlier this year which is a good indication that the team is headed in the right direction with our short oval package. Setting up the car for a night race is always a bit tricky because we practice and qualify in the heat of the day which is quite different from what we’ll have in race conditions, but that’s part of what makes this race so special. I’m looking forward to getting to Phoenix this week and hitting the ground running with the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.”
MATHEUS ‘MATT’ LEIST: “Phoenix will be one of the hardest races for me because it’ll be my first oval race in an Indy car and also my first night race in a car—ever. I’ve done a few go-kart races at night but never a car race. I’m pretty excited. I think the pre-season test in Phoenix was good, the ABC Supply Chevrolet was looking fast. With all of the hard work we’ve been doing in the off season, I think we’re in good shape for the race. Hopefully, we’ll have fun and manage to get some great results for the team and myself as well. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
A.J. Foyt Update: Foyt, who was attacked by killer bees March 14th at his ranch in west Texas, is planning to attend the race this weekend. Foyt: “I’m still recovering. I have welts all over and I’m not feeling a hundred percent yet. I finally got off all the medicine the doctors prescribed. Those bees put me down pretty good, but I will be back.”
Past Performance at ISM Raceway [née Phoenix Int’l Raceway]: Tony Kanaan’s best start is from pole (2003); he won the race in 2003 and 2004. In fact, his worst finish in five starts is sixth (2017). Matheus Leist will be racing at Phoenix for the first time in his career. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start is from 2nd (multiple times) and with A.J. Foyt driving, they won in 1971 and 1975. Since his retirement in 1993, their best finish is 2nd (1996, 2001).
Last Race: In St. Petersburg, Leist qualified third in his first ever IndyCar start while Tony Kanaan qualified 10th. In the race, Kanaan finished 11th. Leist pitted on lap 22 with electronic issues which the team attempted to fix. Another problem surfaced on his first re-entry to the race necessitating another pit stop. When he re-entered the race the second time, the car pushed going into Turn 3 and he hit the wall in Turn 4. He took responsibility.
ABC Supply roofing customer, AllPhase Construction, located Phoenix, Ariz., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest. The company name will be on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Tony Kanaan.
L&W Supply, a subsidiary of ABC Supply, selected national account CDS Framing Inc., based in Phoenix, Ariz., to be featured on the engine cover of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Matheus “Matt” Leist.
The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Saturday, April 7, starting at 9:00 pm ET. The radio broadcast will be on Sirius XM radio on the following channels: Sirius 212, XM 209, SXM 970.
For more information on the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing program, please check our website: www.ajfoytracing.com. To follow us on Twitter: @AJFoytRacing, @TonyKanaan, @MatheusLeist, @LarryFoyt14. On Instagram, @AJFoytRacing, @tkanaan, @matheusleist, @larryfoyt14. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.
HOUSTON —In round two, A.J. Foyt survived yet another attack by Africanized Killer Bees while working on his ranch in West Texas on Wednesday. He was treated at a local hospital and released once his system had stabilized. Unfortunately, this most recent attack will cause him to miss the 12 Hours of Sebring where he…
HOUSTON —In round two, A.J. Foyt survived yet another attack by Africanized Killer Bees while working on his ranch in West Texas on Wednesday. He was treated at a local hospital and released once his system had stabilized.
Unfortunately, this most recent attack will cause him to miss the 12 Hours of Sebring where he was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday night and serve as Grand Marshal of the historic 12-hour endurance race Saturday. Foyt’s last major victory as a driver was the 1985 12 Hours of Sebring, and the car he co-drove to that victory with Bob Wollek is scheduled to be at the race.
“I’m very sorry I can’t be there because I was really looking forward to this weekend,” said Foyt, who is expected to make a full recovery. “I was doing some work on my ranch out west and got attacked by killer bees. I look like I had a fight with Mike Tyson and lost. Right now I’m on so much medication that I’m not feeling that great so I’ll take the doctors’ advice to rest for the next couple days.”
Foyt, 83, underwent his first attack in August, 2005 when he sustained over 200 stingers in his head alone. In both cases he was working on his bulldozer when he disturbed the beehives. By all accounts, this attack was more severe, and more dangerous because he had been sensitized to bee stings from his first encounter.
Foyt may just wish to decline the next time he is asked to be a grand marshal. In 2012, he was scheduled to be the Grand Marshal of the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 hour race at Daytona but he came down with a virulent and life-threatening staph infection days before the event. He spent several weeks in the hospital recovering from that ordeal.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team started the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with high hopes and rightly so with rookie Matheus Leist starting third and Tony Kanaan starting 10th in the 24-car Verizon IndyCar Series field. However, when Kanaan was hit on the opening lap by rookie Zach Veach,…