Archives for A.J. Foyt Racing PR

Notes & Quotes: Iowa Corn 300

Notes & Quotes: Iowa Corn 300
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

Takuma Sato On:

Iowa Speedway: “Iowa Speedway is small and short but I like it a lot. I think it’s a good contrast from some of super speedways but it’s suited for IndyCar. It’s a different style but it’s so much fun with such close racing with good driver’s actions. I mean we drive really hard with lots of throttle control. I have great memories of my earlier visits but I do have a lack of good fortune there. Hopefully we can change that this weekend.”

Increased G-forces with new aero package: “It could be a new record this year, will see. I remember it pulled 6Gs on my pole lap which are enormous G-forces but I really did enjoy the laps. We haven’t had a big lap since there was some reduction of downforce in recent years but this year with the new aero package, it should be a lot faster.”

Increased physicality of the car at this track: “Well, you just have to be prepared, and not only for this track because the whole season has been like that. But it is true that Iowa is definitely the most physically demanding oval and it will be even tougher this year.”

What he does in Iowa for fun: “Oops, I already answered that one – see above!”

Jack Hawksworth On:

Iowa Speedway: “I was impressed with the banking and just how short the track is. The length of the circuit really makes the cars look and feel incredibly quick! It’s very easy to go a lap down and catching a yellow at the wrong moment can cost you big.”

Racing at Iowa Speedway: “I enjoyed it in Mazda and Indy Lights, I had a couple of strong runs there and enjoyed the bull ring style of racing. I struggled here last year though so hopefully this year we are a little stronger!”

New aero package at Iowa: “The tire degradation should be a little better and it’s possible we might be able to run side by side a little easier. It may open up some different lines and lanes during the race so the racing could be closer.”

Using Milwaukee race as test session: “We were able to confirm a few things we learned in practice and understand the car a little better. Hopefully we can use some of that information to kick off this weekend in a better place.”

Last year’s Iowa race: “This race was a bit of a disaster for us last year. We had no practice time due to the weather and then struggled to find a happy balance in the race. We weren’t competitive and wound up finishing a few laps down.”

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. Hawksworth has been plagued by red flags (for others) during his qualifying sessions this year. The Iowa Corn 300 will be Sato’s 99th IndyCar race and Hawksworth’s 30th race.

Past Performance at Iowa Speedway: In five races at Iowa, 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 his rookie season, Hawksworth started 20th and finished 15th at Iowa. In eight 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 celebrates its 10th anniversary of AJ Foyt Racing sponsorship: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining nearly 70,000 associates and customers over the past 10 racing seasons. This weekend the company will entertain 450 guests.

ABC Supply national account Blackstone Roofing, based in Winterset, Iowa 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, Craftsmen Exteriors, LLC, located in Burnsville, Minn., 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 490 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 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 Iowa Corn 300 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Saturday, July 18th starting at 8:00pm 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, @LarryFoyt14. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.

Race Report: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250

MILWAUKEE July 12, 2015—Nearly 1900 guests of ABC Supply saw Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth demonstrate their tenacity in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile today. Although their effort did not result in a top-10 finish, the team learned valuable information with regard to the new aerokit that will benefit them moving forward.

In a packed race day schedule, the noontime qualifying session under hot, sunny skies, proved challenging to many teams. Sato, one of the quickest in practice at the one mile oval, qualified a surprising 13th on the grid. Hawksworth, who had been struggling with his car’s handling in practice, started 21st.  By the second lap, Sato had fallen back to 18th and Hawksworth was 20th. By lap 30, they were 21st and 22nd as they soldiered on until the first round of pit stops.

When they pitted on lap 52, changes were made to both cars but they each lost a lap to the leaders. The No. 14 ABC Supply Honda’s handling improved, but Hawksworth’s No. 41 began losing power which the team eventually traced to a throttle pedal problem. By the time the problem was corrected after two pit stops and a trip behind the pit wall to work on the car, Hawksworth had lost 27 laps. At that point, the race had become a test session which they put to good use.

After Sato’s pit stop on lap 102, the car’s handling improved to the point where he was running with the leaders. When the yellow came out on lap 114 for James Jakes’ blown engine, Sato didn’t pit in hopes of getting a wave-around and getting his lap back. Unfortunately, leader Bourdais didn’t pit either so there was no hope of getting the lap back during that caution period. When he was running behind Bourdais through the middle stint of the race, both drivers pulled away from the field.

By lap 213 when Bourdais pitted for his final time, Sato got his lap back. When the yellow came out on lap 222 for Justin Wilson’s slowing car, Sato made his final pit stop.  After the race went green with 18 laps to go, Sato was only able to gain one spot; he finished 14th.

“It was a long tough race,” Sato said. “The first stint we were struggling so much so after the pit stop we went a lap down.  Tried to get lap back but it didn’t work the way we wanted and we had to really fight hard. At the end of the day we got back on the lead lap but there were less than 20 laps to go. With everyone on the same age tires, it was difficult to overtake. It was a tough day.”

Despite his seven pit stops due to his throttle troubles, Hawksworth placed 17th, albeit 28 laps in arrears.

“It was not a very good day,” Hawksworth said. “It’s never good when you start at the back at the Milwaukee Mile anyway because you lose track position easily. It was more so this year because it was very difficult to pass unless you were much faster than the car ahead. We’d just come in and did our first stop and then we had a problem with our throttle pedal. We tried to fix it and then the issue came back and we had to come in and fix it again. After that, we went back out and tried to stay out of everybody’s way and let those guys race. In the end we just did a bit of testing for ourselves which was interesting but not the day we wanted.”

Bourdais won the race, while Helio Castroneves finished second. Third through fifth were Graham Rahal, Juan Pablo Montoya and Josef Newgarden, who won the pole—the first of his career.

The next race will be the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway which will be broadcast live this Saturday (July 18th), starting at 8 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Practice Report: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250

Practice Report:  ABC Supply Wisconsin 250

MILWAUKEE July 11, 2015—Takuma Sato was third quickest in practice today at the Milwaukee Mile as the Verizon IndyCar Series teams prepared for a full day of activity tomorrow which includes a morning practice, qualifying and the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250.

Sato’s speed of 168.777mph was quickest in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda until the final five minutes of practice when Josef Newgarden eclipsed it with his speed of 169.626mph. In the final two minutes, Simon Pagenaud snuck in a lap of 169.408mph to take over second. Sato’s teammate Jack Hawksworth struggled with understeer for nearly the entire session. He was 20th with a speed of 163.923mph in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda.

“It was a very good practice today,” Sato said afterwards. “We knew we always loved Milwaukee, it was just a matter of getting the balance right with this new aero package which we haven’t tested on the short ovals yet. Initially we had to make quite a few changes, but it was very easy to feel out the car. The car was very responsive so we could move on quite rapidly. In the end we were quite happy with the balance and it seems to be pretty strong.”

A.J. Foyt had the chance to see the No. 1 Sheraton/Thompson Meskowski/Offy dirt car which he drove to win the pole at the Mile August 22, 1965. Recently purchased at auction by Brumos Automotive Chairman Dan Davis, the beautifully restored car was on site as part of the Millers at Milwaukee Vintage Indy car display.

The ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 5 p.m. ET. The qualifying show will air an hour earlier starting at 4 p.m. on the same network.

Foyt Racing Notes – ABC Supply 250 at Milwaukee Indyfest

Notes & Quotes: ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee Mile Indyfest
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

This year marks the 50th anniversary of A.J. Foyt’s 1965 pole-winning run at Milwaukee: Although Foyt won many poles in his career (53), including the pole for the Rex Mays Classic at Milwaukee in June, 1965, his pole-winning run for the Tony Bettenhausen 200 in August was incredible! Not because of the speed (107.881 mph) which was 3 mph slower than his previous pole in June (110.756 mph), but because he turned it in the Sheraton-Thompson Meskowski/Offy, i.e. an upright dirt car against a field of low-slung rear-engine cars! Indeed the next closest upright car started in row 10–Bobby Unser in Gordon Van Liew’s Vita Fresh Orange Juice No. 88. As Foyt tells it, “When my crew warmed up the oil to start the motor on the Lotus, it blew out the tank and they couldn’t fix it in time. I had gone there anyway from Springfield [Ill.], and was waiting for them. When they didn’t show up, I called and found out what happened. So I unloaded my dirt car which I had won Springfield with the day before, and figured I’d at least try to make the race. I had nobody there to help me but Steve Stapp. They gave me two laps of practice because I had to mount tires and all. And Stapp said, “You’re a second faster than the field!” and I said, “You don’t even know how to read a stopwatch.” Then I went out and qualified and set on the pole. I couldn’t believe it. Lining up I felt like I was in a Greyhound bus against a bunch of sports cars. Normally you didn’t make pit stops in the dirt track races because you carried enough fuel for 100 miles but I had to pit since this was a 200-mile race–and he had to change my right rear tire. It took more time. With the dirt car, you had dump cans like those used with a stock car, and with the rear engine cars you plugged in. I finished second. It’s one of the highlights of my career.” Gordon Johncock won the race–his first of 25.

MilwaukeePole_1965

Takuma Sato On:

* The key to a competitive car: “I like Milwaukee because you really have to DRIVE the car. It demands a lot of mechanical grip, as does everywhere, but it is important to have a stable car and good drivability. The driver has to do a lot of control with the throttle pedal and the steering wheel because this flat oval doesn’t have banking support, so the car is always very grip-limited, and it’s easy for it to slide or snap around.”
* What makes the Mile a difficult track regarding car’s set-up: “It’s straightforward as we can focus only on flat, high-speed cornering, but of course, to get the balance right is not easy at all. If you have a stiff car, you get good response but not very good grip. If you have a soft car, you don’t get the feeling of the car very much, but you have more grip. On top of that we have to think about the aero effect too, so the softer car has a better mechanical grip but it doesn’t control the platform well, meaning it is generating the downforce a little too inconsistently compared to the stiffer car… so we need to find a good meeting point.”
* Additional pressure knowing so many ABC Supply guests are attending: “It’s a good thing. I like their support and it’s a great feeling to race in front of a huge amount of our guests.”
* Having to practice/qualify/race in one day: “We have had qualifying and a race in one day at some of the doubleheaders but I don’t think with a practice session thrown in too. It will be a very busy day!”
* The city of Milwaukee: “I think Milwaukee is a good fun place. It’s a beautiful city with the waterfront and lots of great restaurants and bars! The Beer and Cheese? Awesome! I went to a couple of breweries and really enjoyed it.”

Jack Hawksworth On:

* His first impression of the Mile: “It was a bit of an eye opener the first time I turned up here! The track is very old but it has a ton of character. It’s the only oval we go to with almost no banking and it was like nothing I’d raced on before or since.”
* What makes the Mile difficult to set up for and the difference of the new aero kit: “The Mile has a few different types of asphalt and seams so having a car with good balance and compliance on different types of asphalt is crucial. I’m not sure the new aero kit will be any different in terms of how easy it is to drive. That will largely depend on the actual set up of the car and how good the balance is.”
* Feeling pressure with 1800 ABC Supply guests in attendance: “I don’t really feel any more pressure but it will certainly be an extra motivation and a real lift to know we have 1800 ABC guests behind us! Hopefully we can do a great job and put on a good show for them!”
* Having to practice/qualify/race in one day: “I can’t ever remember a schedule this packed! It’ll certainly be interesting, hard work for the team and drivers but great value for the fans at the track! With the limited time on track and the small amount of time between sessions it’ll be critical to roll off the truck on the right foot.
* His first Milwaukee “Summerfest”: “It was fun! Lots of people and good music. There was a really good buzz around the place and I hope we can recreate that kind of atmosphere this weekend at the Indyfest!”
* The city of Milwaukee: “I like the city, it’s not very big but there’s always plenty going on. The track itself has so much history and is a place where every driver wants to win.”

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. Hawksworth has been plagued by red flags (for others) during his qualifying sessions this year. The ABC Supply 250 will be Sato’s 98th IndyCar race and Hawksworth’s 29th race.

Past Performance at the Milwaukee Mile: In 2013, Takuma Sato led 109 laps but an untimely caution negated their advantage in pit strategy and he placed seventh. Last year, the car jumped sideways on the start and he dropped from 10th to 19th by Turn 1; he went down a lap early and by the time the track came to him in the middle stint, he was passing cars but not for position. He never got a wave-around on the race’s only caution so he finished 15th.
Jack Hawksworth started 17th and finished 10th in his first appearance at the Mile, saying: “We were one of the quickest cars in the first few stints and drove through to the top-10. After that Marco clipped my front wing when he tried to pit from the outside of the track, we lost a little front aero and then just maintained around 10th for the rest of the race. It was a really solid race, the guys did a really good job.”

ABC Supply celebrates its 10th anniversary of AJ Foyt Racing sponsorship: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining nearly 70,000 associates and customers over the past 10 racing seasons. This weekend the company will entertain a record 1,870 guests.

ABC Supply national account American Dream Home Improvement, based in Downers Grove, Ill., 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, Infinity Exteriors, LLC, located in Waukesha, Wis., 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 490 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 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 250 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Sunday, July 12th starting at 5:00pm ET. The qualifying show will air at 4:00 p.m. 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, @LarryFoyt14. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.

Race Report: MAVTV 500

FONTANA, Calif. June 27, 2015–The box score results will show Takuma Sato finished 18th today at Auto Club Speedway, a two-mile banked superspeedway in Southern California. But for those who witnessed the MAVTV 500 either in person or on the NBC Sports Network broadcast, they saw Sato drive the race of his life for 240 pf the 250-lap race.

Teammate Jack Hawksworth wasn’t quite as competitive in his No. 41 ABC Supply Honda but he was able to finish 10th, his first top-10 since placing seventh in Detroit last month.

It appeared Sato could put his No. 14 ABC Supply Honda anywhere on the track running high, low or in the middle of the four (and sometimes five) groove track. Although he favored the high line, he made some of his most dramatic passes on the low side entering Turn 1, thus bringing to mind “No attack, no chance.”

Sato led six times for a total of 31 laps. Twice he had to pit for new bodywork, taking a new nose on lap 138 -which the ABC Supply team fitted along with tires and fuel in just 13.3 seconds! He restarted 14th and took the lead back on lap 174.

He pitted from fourth on lap 188 but got hit by Sage Karam which required replacing the rear bumper on lap 197 during the caution period for debris (a result of the Karam punt). This replacement took longer and Sato lost a lap which he regained when the yellow came out on lap 221 (for debris).Now back on the lead lap, Sato pitted on lap 224 while 17th.

When the green came out on lap 227, it was a 23-lap sprint race to the checkers. Sato, still 17th, set the fastest lap of the race (218.164mph) on lap 229. Eight laps later he was fourth. On lap 240, he became the filling in a Chevy sandwich as he exited Turn 4 with Will Power to his right and Scott Dixon to his left. Power squeezed down from the high line and Dixon drifted up from the low line. Sato tried to avoid Power but then he couldn’t avoid Dixon too and they touched wheels, sending Sato into Power and causing both cars to spin and hit the outside wall hard. They slid across the track and came to rest on the infield. Both drivers emerged unscathed but deeply disappointed.

“It was a big shame we couldn’t finish the race,” Sato said afterwards. “The No. 14 car was really strong and really fast. We had some situations where we had to come from the back twice and we did. The last 25 laps was a crazy race, three wide and sometimes four wide which I enjoyed it myself. We were competitive and it was good racing, very exciting. But at the very end, Power was outside and then Dixon was inside and I was in the middle and then all I could see was the two cars coming together with me in the middle. It was impossible to avoid and both sides of the car got touched and we didn’t finish the race. The ABC crew did a good job today. And the car was tremendously fast so I am very appreciative and proud of the entire team. I wish we had finished the race because it would have been a super result.”

The race was stopped with six laps to go as the track was cleared of debris. When the pits were opened, Hawksworth, in 12th, pitted for fresh rubber. He came out 14th and had moved into 12th the race was slowed for a final time with two laps to go. Ryan Hunter-Reay got tapped by Juan Pablo Montoya and Hunter-Reay tangled with Ryan Briscoe who launched into the air with a spectacular flip. Again, both drivers emerged uninjured.

The race finished under yellow with Graham Rahal taking the win, his first since 2008. Second through fifth were Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Montoya and Karam, all of whom led at least one lap of the race.

Hawksworth’s tenth place finish is his best finish on a superspeedway and matches last year’s performance at the one mile oval in Milwaukee.

“We finally got another top 10 after what seems like a long, long time,” Hawksworth said. “But it was a good job from the ABC Supply guys. It’s been a difficult few races but at least we got some points on the board. The race itself was quite long, we seemed to be good on old tires at the end of the stint but on new tires at the start we weren’t quite quick enough. Overall the car was pretty decent and we just kind of hung in there and ended up finishing tenth, so not too bad.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action on Sunday, July 12th with the live broadcast of the ABC Supply 250 at the Milwaukee Mile starting at 5 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: MAVTV 500

FONTANA, Calif. June 26, 2015–Under hot, sunny skies, Takuma Sato qualified ninth in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda at Auto Club Speedway this afternoon. Teammate Jack Hawksworth will start 17th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda for the MAVTV 500.

“I’m very pleased – it was a good performance from the team,” Sato said, after posting a two-lap average speed of 217.109mph which made him the second fastest Honda driver in qualifying. “In practice we weren’t able to optimize the car but they put everything together in qualifying and I was able to run on the bottom of the lane which is difficult to hold the line because it’s bumpier. The first lap was good but on the second one it naturally started sliding so I lost a little bit of speed. To be in the top-10 is a good place to start.”

“We had a little too much downforce in the car, we should have trimmed out a little more,” Hawksworth said, whose average speed of 215.346mph put him on the inside of row nine. “It was one of those deals where we didn’t know. We thought the pace might be slower than it was but it wasn’t, the track was very quick and had a lot of grip so we got caught out by that a little bit. But the car was good in practice today so we think we can have a good race tomorrow.”

Simon Pagenaud won the pole with his average speed of 218.952mph in his Team Penske Chevrolet.

The 250-lap race around the two-mile track will be broadcast live starting at 4 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Notes & Quotes: MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway

Notes & Quotes: MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway
Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda
TAKUMA SATO ON:

* Auto Club Speedway: “Auto Club Speedway is one of the most exciting high speed ovals. It’s a very fast track and there are lots of overtaking opportunities. I always enjoy racing there and I have great support too [from the fans].
* On racing during day vs. night: “Running the race during the heat of the day will be very tough. You lose tons of downforce with the high ambient temperature and you lose significant mechanical grip due to the high track temperature as tires are given a very hard time. So there will not be enough grip and the race will be a tough one to deal with as a driver.”
* Last year’s best start/finish (4th/6th) for you and team at ACS: “We worked one specific setting for a long time and finally it seemed to work better. The track is quite bumpy so you need a very good mechanical grip and try to reduce the downforce. The boys did very fast pit stops last year so that helped for track position too!”
* The aerokit at ACS: “I think we will have a tough race but we learned a lot from both Indy and Texas so it’s expected to be competitive. Especially the tire management (like Texas) will be very important as we will have a day time race and it will be very much grip-limited compared to the previous night races there.”
* On his weekend off: “I had a very busy week with appearances and a photoshoot in Japan, but had a good weekend off to spend some time with my family. I am now very refreshed and ready to get back in the car!”

JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:

* Auto Club Speedway: “It’s an interesting oval, certainly the bumpiest oval on the calendar, and coupled with the seams and the amount of dust the track holds, it is extremely tricky and not an easy place to get it right! It really demands the drivers and engineers to be on top of the car across the seams. I like the challenge it brings and it’s one of the most unique tracks on the calendar.”
* Day vs. Night races: “I have always preferred the oval races at night, I think it brings more of a stadium atmosphere. However racing in the day will bring some new challenges especially from a track temperature point of view. The track could be a little greasier with the sun on it and that could make finding the correct balance in the race just a little harder.”
* What he did for fun last year in Fontana: “I had my first ever In & Out burger! Does that count?”
* What he did on his weekend off: “I spent some time back at home in the U.K, the first time I’ve been back since Christmas and New Year. I spent most of the weekend just catching up with friends and family! It was a lot of fun and I have to say I now feel refreshed and recharged heading into the final part of the season!”

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. Hawksworth has been plagued by red flags (for others) during his qualifying sessions on road/street courses this year. The MAVTV 500 will be Sato’s 97th IndyCar race and Hawksworth’s 28th race.

Past Performance at Auto Club Speedway: Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply team both posted their best start of fourth and best finish of sixth at Auto Club Speedway last year. Jack Hawksworth, starting 17th, had an issue on the warm-up lap and had to pit which contributed to his losing a lap after the first pit stop; he never made up the lap despite having a competitive car; he finished 15th.

ABC Supply celebrates its 10th anniversary of AJ Foyt Racing sponsorship: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining nearly 70,000 associates and customers over the past 10 racing seasons. This weekend the company will entertain nearly 300 guests.

ABC Supply national account BEST Contracting Services, Inc., based in Gardena, Calif., 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, Lines & Lundgreen Roofing & Insulation, Inc., located in Yuma, Ariz., 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 490 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 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 MAVTV 500 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Saturday, June 27th starting at 4:00pm 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, @LarryFoyt14. On Facebook, we have the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.

Race Report: Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO June 14, 2015—The rain in Toronto didn’t last long enough for Takuma Sato and it didn’t make a difference to Jack Hawksworth.

When the green flag fell along with the rain, Sato passed Helio Castroneves for seventh before the end of lap one on the 1.75-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place. When Juan Pablo Montoya went off on lap seven, Sato’s No. 14 ABC Supply Honda took over sixth and began closing in on fifth-running Luca Filippi. However, the track began drying out and teams began pitting for slicks.

Hawksworth, who’d started 14th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, hadn’t made any forward progress so he was one of the first to pit for slicks at the end of lap 10. Sato pitted two laps later and also took on red (alternate) tires.

A full course yellow for James Jakes on lap 29 turned out well for Josef Newgarden and Carlos Munoz who had pitted just before Jakes’ accident (who had pitted with Newgarden and Munoz). As the rest of the field ducked into the pits with the exception of those two plus Castroneves and Rodolfo Gonzalez, Sato pitted for black (primary)tires but lost a position to Montoya once the stops cycled out.

When the next full course yellow came out on lap 41 for Stefano Coletti’s brush with the wall, Sato and Hawksworth did not pit but several cars did. Sato was running ninth and Hawksworth 15th at the halfway point of the 85-lap race. Sato passed Montoya again for eighth by lap 48 but when he pitted on lap 55, he dropped to 13th and Hawksworth to 18th as the different fuel strategies came into play. Graham Rahal passed Sato on his out lap from the pits (when Sato was on cold tires) dropping Sato to 14th. Three laps later, Sato passed Simon Pagenaud for 13th.

Although he should have had enough fuel to finish the race, Sato was instructed to save fuel in the closing laps as there had been a problem on the final stop – he didn’t get the entire fill of fuel. Hawksworth meanwhile had moved into 15th. Once again the various fuel strategies played out and Sato was in 10th with less than 15 laps to go. However, he couldn’t close in on Rahal and had to settle for 10th.

“Tough race,” Sato summed up afterwards. “In the end we weren’t quick enough to get into the top level, and there wasn’t enough rain for me either. At the beginning of the race when it was wet, we gained a couple positions and it was really good. But when it got drier, other teams got lively. On our final pit stop somehow we had an issue on the fuel where we didn’t get a full tank and I had to save fuel quite a lot at the end which cost us a bit of time. Nevertheless, I think the whole ABC Supply team did a good job and hopefully we have a good race in Fontana.”

Hawksworth advanced to 14th in the final lap as Ryan Hunter-Reay had to pit with a rear brake issue with one lap to go.

“Not too good a race for us,” Hawksworth opined. “We weren’t very fast today—we just didn’t have anything to fight with to be honest with you. We were just out there circulating all afternoon and finally got to the checkered. The car had a lot of understeer for whatever reason so we’ll have a think about it. The car seemed quite alright in qualifying and today it just wasn’t competitive.”

Josef Newgarden won the Honda Indy Toronto while teammate Luca Filippi finished second, giving the Carpenter-Fisher-Hartman team its first ever one-two finish. Third through fifth were Castroneves, teammate and pole sitter Will Power, and Sebastien Bourdais who won here last year.

With next weekend off, Hawksworth flies east to the U.K. while Sato will be flying west to Japan as each driver heads back to their homeland. The next race for the Verizon IndyCar Series will be at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The MAV TV 500 will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, June 27 starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Foyt Racing Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Toronto

Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Toronto

TORONTO June 13, 2015—The ABC Supply team’s record in Toronto shows that they finish better than they start which should bode for a good result Sunday! Takuma Sato qualified eighth today to post the team’s best ever start on the 1.755-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place. The team’s best finish of third came in 2012 with Mike Conway.

Sato, who posted a lap of 59.9500 seconds (105.388mph) in the second round, missed advancing to the Firestone Fast Six by .0578 of a second! “I was satisfied with my lap but it’s just so close, the field is so tight,” said Sato. “We only needed five-hundredths of a second to make it to the Firestone Fast Six.  I was temporarily fifth until the very few last corners in the final seconds and then two guys overtook me. It is what it is and that’s racing. I think the ABC Supply boys did a great job to put everything together. Yesterday it was positive but this morning it was a little bit disconnected feeling but we came back strong. It’s a shame it wasn’t a little bit higher but P-8, I’ll take it. It’s a good place to start, and the weather looks good, so hopefully we have a sweet Sunday afternoon.”

Teammate Jack Hawksworth was frustrated as his attempt to post a quick time was cut short by a red flag brought out by Rodolfo Gonzalez’s contact with the wall seven minutes into the 10-minute Round 1 session. For Hawksworth, it wasn’t the first time that he found himself outside of the top 12 because of an untimely red flag caused by someone else.

“We had just put the red tires on and the red flag came out [half a lap later], and we couldn’t do a time,” said Hawksworth, who suffered similar circumstances in both the Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Detroit Grand Prix earlier this season. “It’s starting to sound like a broken record,” he continued, adding, “The car was as good as it’s been in qualifying all year so I’m disappointed. It would have been nice to have seen what we could have done.”

Hawksworth qualified the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda in 14th with a time of 1 minute, 1.4569 seconds (102.804mph).

Although Sato was the fastest Honda-powered driver for the third time this season, he didn’t make it into the Firestone Fast Six as he did at St. Petersburg and more recently at Detroit. Will Power topped the Chevrolet contingent with his time of 59.4280 seconds (106.314mph). Following Power across the line were: Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, and Luca Filippi.

The race will be broadcast live tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Toronto

Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

TAKUMA SATO ON:

* Toronto Street Circuit: “Toronto is one of the most tricky among the bumpy street courses. It has a lot of surface changes in the corners and in some cases there are three changes in one turn! But that makes this track unique and certainly it has created exciting races over the years.”
* Key to success at Toronto: “To have success, the car needs a lot of mechanical grip, good stability under braking and good traction coming out of it as the track has several big braking areas.”
* The effect of post-Indy changes to Honda’s aero kit: “They had an impressive amount of work to do to not lose too much downforce even though we lost so many wing elements. We proved it can be very competitive at the Detroit track so I’m looking forward to going back to a street course.”
* His first trip to Toronto: “My first visit to Toronto was during my Formula 1 days but it was just a promotion. Since I joined IndyCar, I so enjoy visiting Toronto every year. The city hasn’t changed a lot but it has everything: great shops and restaurants and lots of fun! The fans are very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about motor racing so it’s always a great atmosphere.”

JACK HAWKSWORTH ON:

* Toronto Street Circuit: “Toronto is probably my favorite circuit on the calendar. It has a lot of history, it always attracts a great crowd, and the circuit itself is extremely challenging. There are lots of surface changes and bumps that make it a real old school street track.”
* Key to success at Toronto: “Handling over the bumps is extremely important, especially in the big braking zones. You need good grip through the many medium speed corners but also good speed on the long back straight which makes it a very challenging type of track in terms of aero efficiency.”
* The effect of post-Indy changes to Honda’s aero kit: “The new front wing should in theory help us here in Toronto. There’s a little less drag compared to the old wing and mechanically it should help us in a couple of the bigger braking zones and slower corners.”
* Being undefeated in Star Mazda/Indy Lights: “I have a lot of great memories here from the junior formula. I like the challenge of throwing the car around over the bumps and threading the needle through a couple of the rhythm sections at this track. It’s always been good to me!”

Tom Howatt, crew chief of the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, was born in Margate, England but moved to the Toronto area when he was seven. He grew up in Mississauga, 14 miles northwest of the city. Howatt began his racing career by working on sports cars. In 1985, he began working on Indy cars for the Canadian Tire team with driver Jacques Villeneuve, younger brother of Formula 1 driver Gilles and uncle to the 1995 Indy 500 winner. Howatt counts one of his fondest memories as winning with Villeneuve at Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI) in 1985. In his 32-year career, he has worked with Pat Patrick, Vince Granatelli, Truesports, Panther Racing and Rocketsports. Howatt has been working with Foyt’s team since 2008.

Takuma Sato will be a special guest Thursday of a local Japanese fan club tour organized by the Toronto branch of Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) which is the largest travel agency in Japan, and one of the largest travel agencies in the world. Sato will greet fans, host a track tour around the 1.75-mile circuit in Exhibition Place and participate in a Q&A session.

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. Hawksworth has been plagued by red flags (for others) during his qualifying sessions this year.

Past Performance at Toronto: Takuma Sato’s best start is ninth (2012) and his best finish is fifth (2014-Race 2). As a rookie, Jack Hawksworth’s best start is 15th (2014 – Race 1) and his best finish is sixth (2014 – Race 2). The ABC Supply team’s record shows better finishes than starts: 2009 Ryan Hunter-Reay started 12th, finished seventh; in 2010, Vitor Meira started 26th, finished 11th, in 2011, Meira started 14th and finished fifth and in 2012, Mike Conway started 11th and finished third.

ABC Supply celebrates its 10th anniversary of AJ Foyt Racing sponsorship: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining nearly 70,000 associates and customers over the past 10 racing seasons.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has more than 490 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 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 Honda Indy Toronto, 85 laps around the 11-turn, 1.75-mile circuit, will be televised live on NBC Sports Network Sunday June 14th starting at 3:00pm 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, @LarryFoyt14. Check us out on Instagram under AJFoytRacing and on Facebook, search for the AJ Foyt Racing fan page.

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