2009 IRL Team Reports: A.J. Foyt Racing

IRL Team reports for the 2009 IRL season

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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:43 am

Vitor Meira Plans To Attend His First IndyCar Race since Indy 500 Accident

MIAMI July 2, 2009--Indy car driver Vitor Meira will attend his first IndyCar Series race this weekend since sustaining two broken lower vertebrae in his terrifying accident in the Indianapolis 500 in May. Meira arrives at Watkins Glen (NY) International Friday afternoon.

"The reason I want to go to Watkins Glen is first of all to be with the team, with ABC Supply and A.J. Foyt Racing," said Meira in a telephone interview from his home in Key Biscayne, Fla. earlier today. "They've been giving me a lot of support since the accident and most of all, they're all my friends and I want to be with them. Second of all, to be at the race track, that's where I always want to be and that's where I love to be. I don't want to be at home if I can be at the race track. If I have to choose, I'm definitely going to be at the race track."

Meira plans to help the ABC Supply Racing team in any way he can once he's at the beautiful 3.4-mile road course which is located in New York's Southern Finger Lakes Region.

"I'll probably go around the track and watch some cars with a stopwatch and take some times and take notes on some different lines so I can keep Ryan [Hunter-Reay] updated on what people are doing out there," Meira explained. "I'll do whatever else the team asks me to do but I'm just not going to be very good changing tires and fueling...the rest I will do!"

When asked if he ever had to watch someone else drive 'his' race car, Meira responded quickly, "Never. It's very weird," and then added with a chuckle, "Well, it's not my race car, I'm just driving A.J.'s race car but it was planned for me to be there. But it is different. It makes you appreciate a little more the opportunities you have."

Meira has just returned from a 10-day trip to his native Brazil where he was visiting his family and checking in with his personal physician. "I had some business things there to sort out that I didn't have to do, but it would be good to do since I had the time," Meira said. "And I saw my family and my family doctor to keep everybody abreast...not to get a second opinion because I value Dr. Trammell's opinion but I just wanted to let my family doctor know how I was. It kept me busy a little bit."

Meira plans to be a frequent spectator at the races but will not attend the upcoming Canadian races because he would need to get a visa. "It's a lot of paperwork just to go watch a race," he explained.

Defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay starts practicing in the No. 14 ABC Supply Indy car Saturday morning with qualifying for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen taking place that afternoon. The race will be broadcast live on ABC-TV this Sunday afternoon starting at 1 pm EDT.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:14 am

Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Toronto

Ryan Hunter-Reay: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on Toronto: "Toronto is similar to Long Beach and St Petersburg. We have to get the car working out of some of the tight corners and onto the long straights. It's a fun race track and at the same time you just need to get the car to work right over the rough surfaces. It's an issue of getting the compliance right on the car with the dampers and springs; we'll work away at it. It will be my first time back there in four years. That was where I got one of my first Barber Dodge Pro Series victories so I'm looking forward to going back."

* Past performance at Toronto: In the recent past, Ryan Hunter-Reay had three starts in the race with his best start coming in 2004 driving for Herdez and his best finish of sixth coming in 2005 for Rocketsports. The Foyt team started racing at Toronto in 1988 with A.J. Foyt driving the first three years followed by Mike Groff who gave the team its best start of ninth in 1991 (finished eighth). Jon Beekhuis drove for the team in 1992 and Robby Gordon gave the team its best finish of sixth in 1993 after starting 12th. Bryan Herta had a serious accident in 1994 at the track and didn't compete in the race while Eddie Cheever started and finished 11th in the team's last appearance in Toronto.

* Ryan Hunter-Reay has visited Toronto and the surrounding area many times in his youth as his mother is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He spent some holidays there and visited during the summers as well. He still has relatives in the Toronto area.

* A.J. Foyt took a detour to Indianapolis en route to Toronto to do an interview on Wednesday with NASCAR star Tony Stewart for ABC/ESPN 's pre-race show on the Brickyard 400. The interview was conducted on the yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Amidst much good-natured ribbing, the two men revealed their deeply held respect for each other. Stewart announced his decision to start his own team in partnership with Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series nearly a year ago. He chose the No. 14 for his car in honor of A.J. Foyt's illustrious history with the number which had been campaigned by the likes of past Indianapolis 500 winners Wilbur Shaw and Bill Vukovich. The last time the No. 14 visited victory lane was ten years ago when Kenny Brack won the Indy 500 driving for Foyt.

* The Honda Indy Toronto will be broadcast live at 1:00 p.m. eastern time Sunday afternoon, July 12 on ABC-TV.

* For more information on the Foyt Racing program, please check these web sites: www.ajfoytracing.com and www.ryanracing.com
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Postby mlittle » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:42 am

Hunter-Reay Looks Forward to Edmonton and Reflects on His Season So Far

Q. You just earned the best finish of the year for the ABC Supply Team at Toronto. You've now done that twice this year, with both of the teams you've driven for, but it's been a tough season. Talk about the highs and lows of the last few months.

RHR: Toronto was very important for everyone on the Foyt team considering the horrible luck they have had lately. AJ and I both knew it was a pivotal weekend for us and thankfully we were very competitive all weekend. We advanced through the first round of qualifying and lined up on the grid right next to the Penske cars, but we were never satisfied. The race was tough, such a bumpy track with a big passing zone and those walls seem to have a magnetic attraction to an IndyCar. Half the races we have contested together have ended on the first lap due to another car/driver's mistake, so survival was first and foremost. At times the strategy seemed to really pay off for us, we ran as high as 2nd, but in the end we had to come in for a 3rd stop and that put us outside the top ten. We fought hard and ended the day well inside the top ten in 7th, so we were all pretty relieved and I was happy to bring the team its highest finish of the year, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Q. What's it like to work with AJ Foyt?

RHR: Working with AJ is great. He has won everything there is to win, been there, done it and won it - so when he speaks you listen. I'm just trying to learn everything I can from him, just being a sponge. I really respect the fact that after all these years of racing he still has so much passion for the sport. He calls all the shots, he's on the radio with me, he makes the key decisions, and he even gets his hands dirty on changes between sessions. It's unreal.

Q. Is the Monkey off?

RHR: The monkey may be off our back, but he's still right there staring us in the face. We have lots of work to do and we need to be as consistent as possible by racking up more solid finishes.

Q. This will be your third start at Edmonton, talk about your impressions of the circuit? It is known to be very fast and very bumpy. What do you anticipate?

RHR: I raced Edmonton in '05 and last year with Rahal. It's a fun track, I'm a big fan of airport circuits, they make for great racing and the best view for the fans. It's a unique track, it's pretty much half road course half street circuit and the sweet spot for the set-up is pretty small so we'll be working hard to get it right.

Q. The IndyCar schedule has been hectic, and you've been busy off the track! How's engaged life? Also, you've talked about you mom's battle with cancer--how is she?

RHR: The schedule has been hectic, but I like it. The hardest part is to go through a schedule like this then have all those months off in the off-season. Engaged life is great, the same, if not better than before and that's important. My Mom is doing very well considering what she has to deal with. The chemotherapy is brutal and it's every week, no breaks. The doctors just switched her to a more aggressive chemo, which has been very tough on her. I'm so proud of her, she's fighting so hard.

Q. IZOD is a great partner of yours and of the IndyCar Series. They seem to be maximizing this opportunity with promotions and publicity. What is like to represent such an illustrious brand? Talk about your relationship with IZOD and the events you have appeared at representing them?

RHR: Representing IZOD has been such an amazing experience, I am so thankful to be partnered with them. The level of activation IZOD has already executed and is still committed to - is stunning, and I'm honored to be a part of it. As for advertising it started with a photo shoot at Watkins Glen, which went into a two page ad spread in Sports Illustrated, then the 90 foot tall billboard right in the middle of Times Square, followed by the IZOD commercial everyone sees so much of which was a bit of a reenactment of the Watkins Glen win but shot in Sonoma. Once the season was over we went down to Cabo and shot golf stills on amazing courses (where I had my best round ever of 79). IZOD uses these ads in stores followed by a film shoot of the tip of Cabo racing two America's Cup racing sailboats! Lastly we did another still shoot at Indy this year with some vintage IndyCars as well as some more golf on the Brickyard Crossing course. As for appearances we're doing a lot of cross promotion with Macy's so just about every other race I'm at Macy's in market signing autographs and meeting fans the day before on-track activity.

Q. You've won at Watkins Glen and you scored your first front row start and podium finish as a rookie in Champ Car at Mid-Ohio. You've also won on street circuits (Surfers Paradise) and on the oval at the Milwaukee Mile. Do you have a preference - is there a circuit type that suits your driving style the most?

RHR: The thing I love most about IndyCar is the fact that we are the only series in the world that races all disciplines of racing. We compete on short ovals, super-speedways, Indy, natural terrain road courses, street circuits, airports. It's like no other racing series in the world, it's so unique and when you win a championship in IndyCar it means that much more. As for my personal preference on tracks as far as ovals go I love the two extremes--I love Indy and I love Milwaukee, both you really have to drive hard to get the most out of the car, but you're still only as good as your car. Whereas on road and street circuits the driver can carry the car more and there seems to be a bit more to it. Up through the gears, down through the gears, left, right, brake, throttle, down to 40mph up to 200 all in a lap. But no, no preference, my preference is for every weekend to be a different style track.

Q. You are the only driver in IndyCar who has won under the CART, Champ Car and IndyCar banner. It must be professionally rewarding to compete against the current field of IndyCar drivers, most of whom you have competed against in the past, but now all together on the same grid. How would you rate the current level of competition in IndyCar?

RHR: The fact that I'm the only winner in all three series is pretty cool and I'm proud of that, especially considering the fact that I re-validated the earlier wins with another win after the merger. As for the current competition, in Toronto last weekend, AJ and I were talking about how deep the talent is in the current field. AJ then said "In all my years of racing this is by far the deepest road course talent I have ever seen in IndyCar." That about sums it up and I think he's a pretty good judge of that.


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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:25 am

Edmonton: AJ Foyt Racing preview


Notes & Quotes: Rexall Edmonton Indy

Ryan Hunter-Reay: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on racing at Edmonton: "I like racing there because of the atmosphere and I'm a big fan of airport road courses. They're usually really fast and flowing which makes for good racing like Cleveland back in the day. They end up being fun because you're using airport runways and taxi ways where you can actually get a lot of corner speed. What makes it challenging is the fact that it has road course type corners and street course type corners in it -- all at the same track. It has a very smooth flowing fast section and on the other side it has a very bumpy section so it's a small window to nail the set-up. I think there's a little bit of a compromise in the set-up but if you make the car good over the bumpy stuff, it'll be good over the smooth section."

* RHR on what it takes to win at Edmonton: "You have to be very strong in the fastest corners which are the two last two, 13 and 14, and then the back fast right hander -- turn 9 -- because those turns lead onto the only passing zones on the track. I think those are the keys. You have to be quick in the really fast chicane and the very fast right hander at the back side of the track."

* Last year at Edmonton, Hunter-Reay started 13th and finished eighth; Darren Manning started 18th in the No. 14 and finished 10th.

* On his weekend off: "On Friday and Saturday I was in Florida with my mom and then Saturday night I came out to California. I did some cycling and surfing on Sunday."

* Life in the Fast Lane: A.J. Foyt and his family jetted into (and out of) Napa, California on Saturday, July 18th to attend the wedding of his grandson A.J. IV (Anthony) to Casey Irsay, daughter of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Larry Foyt was the Best Man and had been in California most of last week as there were extensive activities planned for the wedding party and guests. The newlyweds flew to a 5-star resort in Jackson Hole, WY for their honeymoon.

* Toronto performance: Hunter-Reay started 12th (tied with his best start of 09 and the No. 14's best start of 09) and finished 7th for his best finish with the Foyt team. It was also the ABC Supply team's best finish this year to date.

* Past Performances on road courses in 2009: At Watkins Glen, Hunter-Reay started 21st but never made a lap; he was eliminated in a multi-car crash on the first lap. At Long Beach he started 12th and finished 11th driving for Vision Racing while the No. 14 started 20th with Vitor Meira and finished 14th. At St. Petersburg, Hunter-Reay started 14th and finished 2nd while Meira started 17th and finished 9th.

* Brickyard Interview: A.J. Foyt and Tony Stewart's joint interview, taped at the yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this month, will be shown as part of the pre-race show.

* The Rexall Edmonton Indy will be shown live Sunday, July 26 at 5:00 p.m. ET on Versus.
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Postby mlittle » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:45 am

Edmonton: AJ Foyt Racing race report


EDMONTON, July 26, 2009--When the Rexall Edmonton Indy began, it appeared Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team were going to have a good day.

The changes made to the No. 14 car Saturday night following qualifying were to the driver's liking as he was in the top-10 for most of the final practice on race morning. In the race, Hunter-Reay got a good start advancing from his 21st grid position to 15th, aided by the mistakes of several cars ahead of him. By lap 16, he moved to 14th.

He pitted on lap 31 and when the pit stops cycled out, he'd picked up an additional three positions to move into 11th. Running the Firestone alternate red-rimmed tires on the first two stints of the race, Hunter-Reay pitted for his final set of tires and fuel on lap 64.

That final set of tires were the primary black ones which didn't seem to work as well as the alternates. Running 12th and chasing down 11th, Hunter-Reay had a slight miscue on lap 76, did a quarter spin and tagged the wall in turn 10, knocking his rear wing askew.

"The rear stepped out -- it went sideways and did a quarter spin," he said afterwards. "I almost had it off the wall but nicked it just enough. I got that black set of tires and from the start of it, it was not happy at all. I don't know why, they were just sliding all around on me."

He limped back to the pits and the crew replaced the wing but struggled to disentangle the two sets of tethers. When he rejoined the race, he was eight laps down to the leader in 17th position, which is where he finished.

The race went without a full course yellow until the final two laps when Tomas Scheckter spun and hit the wall in turn 10. Pole winner Will Power won under caution after leading 90 of the 95 laps for his first IndyCar Series victory. He was followed by Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti.

Tony Kanaan sustained burns to his thumbs and face after his car caught fire while leaving his pitbox on lap 34. The fuel hose remained open after the stop, splashing fuel on the car which then ignited. The Penske and Panther teams acted quickly to extinguish the fire. Kanaan will be evaluated by IndyCar Series medical personnel this week.

The ABC Supply transporter will head straight to Kentucky Speedway while the crew will head there on Tuesday to switch the cars' configuration from road course to oval track.

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Postby mlittle » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:34 am

Kentucky: AJ Foyt Racing preview


Ryan Hunter-Reay: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on Kentucky: "It's somewhat similar to the other 1.5 mile ovals but it does have bumps in turns one and two that you have to get around. I heard that they got worse over the winter and they had to be ground down but it's the same for everyone. We need to work on a good 'race' car and hopefully move our way up through the race. The competition is so tight and the teams are doing such a good job that it's really tough to get into the top-10 so when we do get in the top-10, it's a job well done."

* Hunter-Reay on new aerodynamic options to add 300 pounds of downforce and Honda 'Overtake' function to enhance competition: "I don't know about the downforce because I think you're going to get cars that are fast and they're going to run without the downforce on the bottom of the race track and you're not going be able to get around them anyway so I don't think that'll be enough. I think the push-to-pass will be a good thing. I don't know how much of a boost it is. In champ car it worked well but I think it was a hit of 80 horsepower--that was a lot of horsepower." Note: officials estimate at Kentucky Speedway, the Overtake Function will increase maximum revs to 10,500 for a five percent increase in horsepower. The Overtake Function parameters will be tailored to the individual tracks and may allow as much as a 20 percent increase in horsepower at some tracks.

* Vitor Meira and A.J. Foyt IV to be at Kentucky: Meira, who traveled to his native Brazil while the team was racing Canada, plans to be in Kentucky this weekend. This will be Meira's second IndyCar race since his accident in the 500 with his first coming at Watkins Glen International in early July. Foyt IV and his new bride Casey Irsay-Foyt returned from their week-long honeymoon in Jackson Hole, WY last Sunday and plan to drive down from their Indianapolis home to attend this weekend's race.

* IZOD spokesman Ryan Hunter-Reay will be appearing at the Macy's department store in the shopping mall in Florence, KY along with two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. to meet fans and sign autographs from 4:45 -- 7:00pm on Thursday, July 30.

* Past performance at Kentucky: Hunter-Reay finished ninth last year after starting 14th. In his first appearance at the track in 2008 he started eighth but had electrical problems which kept him in the pits for an extended period of time. He rejoined the race and finished 15th, 17 laps down to the leader.
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Postby mlittle » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:49 pm

SPARTA, KY Aug. 1, 2009--A pit road accident on lap 48 sealed the fate of Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team in the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.

After losing Friday's practice and qualifying due to weeper holes oozing ground water onto the track, the starting field was set according to entrant's points, putting the No. 14 car in the 17th position on the grid. The teams did get 75 minutes of practice Saturday afternoon. Hunter-Reay was happy with the car except for a vibration in his right rear tire. Firestone took steps to correct the problem for the race which seemed to work.

In the race, Hunter-Reay moved up three positions by lap four but by lap 15, he radioed in that he was getting an aero push in traffic. Team owner A.J. Foyt told him to hang on until they could make a wing adjustment.

Unfortunately that first pit stop turned into a near disaster. On exit, Hunter-Reay had trouble getting it into first gear which cost him a precious second or two. At the same time, rookie Mike Conway was exiting his pitbox behind Hunter-Reay. As they raced out of their pit boxes, Mario Moraes came roaring into his which was the next pitbox ahead of Hunter-Reay. Moraes and Conway crashed and came sliding into Moraes' pitbox in front of Hunter-Reay who was able to stop before hitting either of them.

His ABC Supply crew wheeled him back and he rejoined the race. Since the accident happened under green, he lost two laps and dropped to 18th. From then on, it was a matter of driving a clean race and bringing the car home to the finish which he did.

The crew continued to adjust the car with slight changes and by the final fuel stint, he was able to keep pace with the leaders. He passed the couple of cars that were on his same lap and a couple more dropped out so Hunter-Reay finished 14th.

"We got a good start but my ABC Supply car had an aero push in traffic so we did a wing change on the first stop," said Hunter-Reay. "But when I came down and put it in first [gear] and revved the motor, it wasn't in gear so I popped it into gear again. But Moraes cleaned out our pit and that did the damage to our whole race, it put us two laps down. We fought back for the positions we could gain but it's a shame we had a problem on that first stop...horrible timing but that's the kind of year we've had."

Ryan Briscoe won the hard fought race but it was Ed Carpenter who stole the show driving Tony George's Vision Racing No. 21 car. Carpenter started 14th and moved into the top five by lap 30. He never left. He led five times for a total of 34 laps and was narrowly edged out at the line by .0162 of a second! It was Carpenter's best finish and tied his team's best finish of second, which Hunter-Reay had given them in St. Petersburg earlier this year. Briscoe won that race too.

With just one caution flag, the average race speed was 200.893mph--the second fastest in history. Third through fifth were Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal.

The IndyCar Series moves to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this week.
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:14 am

Ryan Hunter-Reay: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on Mid-Ohio: "Mid-Ohio is a really special place to me because I grew up racing Skip Barber there when I was 16, 17, 18 years old. I had my first pro-race series race there--the Barber Dodge Pro Series race. I love that place -- it's like the heart of road racing in America. In my rookie year in champ car, I started on the front row next to Paul Tracy which was a big deal in my career at the time. I finished third that weekend which was an awesome result for what we did. I've run well there in the past and I really enjoy driving there; it's a fun track. I went there when I was 12-years-old to watch an Indy car race and it's pretty cool that I'm in Indy cars
now driving there. It's always been a special place--really looking forward to going back."

* Hunter-Reay on the key to Mid-Ohio: "It's a natural terrain road course so it's not incredibly bumpy. You need to have the front of the car working very well because it's a lot of corners; you're in the corners a lot. It's similar to Watkins Glen with less straights. Getting the front to work aerodynamically is very important there."

* ABC Supply roofing customer L & S Roofing and Sheet Metal of Toledo, OH won the 'Your Name Here' contest for the Meijer Indy 300. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Sam Laas will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with Ryan Hunter-Reay. The "Your Name Here" promotion selected winners by random drawing from a pool of entries sent in by ABC Supply customers earlier this year.

* ABC Supply will entertain over 500 guests in their hospitality tent this weekend.

* IZOD spokesman Ryan Hunter-Reay will be appearing at the Macy's Polaris department store in the shopping mall in Columbus, OH to meet fans and sign autographs from 4:45 -- 7:00pm on Thursday, August 6.

* Hunter-Reay performance at Mid-Ohio: In his first IndyCar start at Mid-Ohio in 2003, Hunter-Reay qualified second and finished third. His next start came in 2007 when he replaced Jeff Simmons in the Rahal Letterman car. He qualified 10th and finished seventh. Last year he qualified 15th and finished 10th.

* Past performance for Foyt Racing at Mid-Ohio: Last year, Darren Manning started 21st and capitalized on changing from the rain tires to slicks immediately after the green flag flew as did 11th-starting Vitor Meira. Meira and Manning ran one-two until the first full course yellow. Manning eventually finished eighth (Meira was sixth). In 2007, Manning started eighth and finished sixth after running as high as third in the first stint. He was running in the top-five for most of the race, dropping to sixth on a restart snafu and then popping up to fourth before a dash into the pits for a splash of fuel dropped him to sixth with 10 laps to go. The Foyt team competed in eight CART events at Mid-Ohio in the years 1988-1995. The team's best start--14th--came in 1991 with Mike Groff, who dropped out with electrical problems. Robby Gordon gave the team its best finish--second--after starting 15th in 1993.
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Postby mlittle » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:43 am

Hunter-Reay Posts Best Start of '09 for ABC Supply Team at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, OH Aug. 8, 2009 -- Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified seventh for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today to give the ABC Supply team its best start ever at the 2.25-mile road course. It is also the best start for Hunter-Reay and the team this season.

Hunter-Reay was in the top-10 in the morning practice session, an improvement over yesterday afternoon's session in which he was 13th. In qualifying, he turned a lap of 120.899 mph (1:07.23) to claim the inside of row four.

"That's the way you want to do it, make your quickest laps come in qualifying," said Hunter-Reay afterwards. "We worked together well as a team this weekend, and made the ABC Supply car better from yesterday to today. We made the right changes on it. I did the driving and A.J. did the right changes and together we got it up to 7th. I wish we could have made the Fast Six cause it was close but that's how it goes. We're glad to get the team its best start this year and now we can work on getting its best finish."

Ryan Briscoe set a new track record en route to winning the pole with a speed of 121.905 mph (1:06.6814). Trailing him were Justin Wilson, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti. Rounding out the top-10 behind Hunter-Reay are Tony Kanaan, E.J. Viso and Paul Tracy.

Hunter-Reay, who replaced Vitor Meira (injured at Indy), posted the best finish for the ABC Supply team to date this year when he placed seventh in the Toronto Indy. Meira, who made his first trip to a race (since being injured) in early July, is here as an advisor. He had gone to Indianapolis this past week where he was re-evaluated by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell. Trammell advised Meira that he will be cleared to drive for the Homestead-Miami race in October but the race in Japan is still in question.

The Honda Indy 200 will be shown live on the VERSUS channel Sunday afternoon, starting at 1 pm EDT.
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Postby mlittle » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:53 pm

LEXINGTON, OH Aug. 9, 2009--Starting a season-high seventh, Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team set the stage to score their best finish of the season in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday afternoon.

Everyone played their part well as Hunter-Reay drove the wheels off the No. 14 ABC Supply car to finish fourth in front of a sellout crowd that included over 600 ABC Supply guests! It was the team's best start and finish of the season to date.

"We just rolled off the truck with a good setup and from there we did what we thought was smart," said Hunter-Reay afterwards. "I put it together on the track and the guys put it together on pit lane and that's what it takes. We didn't make any mistakes. A lot of guys that are making a lot of money--veterans--made a lot of mistakes today so it's awesome for ABC Supply and A.J. And a big thanks to ABC Supply for their support."

On the start, Tony Kanaan squeezed by Hunter-Reay for seventh but the next lap Kanaan went off the track and Hunter-Reay was back to seventh behind Helio Castroneves. He began conserving fuel as did Castroneves. When it came time for his first pit stop on lap 30, the ABC Supply team took off the faster Firestone alternate tires (red-rimmed) and slapped on four sticker primary (black) tires. They got him out in short order and he kept his seventh place position.

Ten laps later he moved into sixth when Castroneves went off the track in turn 9, bringing out a full-course yellow for three laps. The second full-course yellow came out a couple laps later when Danica Patrick was punted off course by Mike Conway who drew a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. Once the track went green on lap 49, there were no more full-course yellows.

The team had one more stop and had to decide between a set of slightly used 'red' tires that had six laps on them from qualifying or a new set of black primaries. Foyt decided on the blacks because he was concerned how the heat cycle (tires get hot and then sit for a period--in this case 22 hours--and cool down) may have affected them.

"He was running such a good race and he didn't seem to lose that much with the blacks speed-wise so we gambled that he could still keep up the pace and he did. He drove a helluva race!" said Foyt.

When Hunter-Reay pitted, he slipped to seventh because of the different fuel strategies in play but soon moved into sixth when Justin Wilson, who was running second after leading the early stages of the race, ran short of fuel and coasted into the pits.

In the final fuel stint, Hunter-Reay was battling hard with Hideki Mutoh who had put on a new set of the faster 'red' tires on his final stop. Maintaining his cool, Hunter-Reay capitalized when Graham Rahal went off course ahead of him allowing the No. 14 to move into fifth. He moved into fourth place when Marco Andretti had to pit for fuel with 10 laps to go. It was during those final ten circuits that Hunter-Reay drove his fastest lap of the race while holding off Mutoh to the checkered.

Visibly dehydrated after climbing out of the car, Hunter-Reay was congratulated by Foyt and the entire ABC Supply team.

Reflecting on the race afterwards, Hunter-Reay said, "That was a hard race, especially knowing Hideki Mutoh was on reds [tires] because he's been fast all weekend. Mid-Ohio has always been known to be a very physical race track. It's known to provoke a lot of mistakes and with the heat [90-plus degrees] that we had today, it definitely did that. Man I was qualifying there towards the end and there was no margin for error. I was one lock-up away from going off, that's how hard I was driving. I was just real proud for all of us, A.J. on the radio with me there counting down the laps and we brought it home fourth. It was a really good day."

Also having a good day was Scott Dixon who won his fourth race of the season, easily outdistancing Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti. Dixon set a new record in the Series with his 20th career IndyCar Series triumph.

Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team head to Sonoma, California this week to test at Infineon Raceway on Thursday along with several other teams. Following the test, teams have a weekend off before returning to Sonoma for the IndyCar race there Sunday, August 23rd. It will be televised live on VERSUS at 5pm EDT.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:41 am

AJ Foyt Racing Sonoma test notes
Racing series INDYCAR
Date 2009-08-14

SONOMA, Calif. August 12, 2009--Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team tested today at Infineon Raceway along with 12 other drivers representing 10 teams in total.

In the morning session, Hunter-Reay turned some laps and wasn't happy with the No. 14 ABC Supply car. A.J. Foyt decided to make a time-consuming change to the car's set-up which meant less track time in that session. Five of the drivers ran their quickest lap times in the morning.

After the one-hour lunch break, the team continued to improve the car's set-up by making changes to the roll centers, toes and springs. The last 90 minutes of the test proved to be the most productive in terms of speed. Hunter-Reay was fifth quickest in the afternoon session with a lap time of 1:18.37; that time was 10th quickest overall.

Hunter-Reay said, "In the end we were getting to where we needed to be. We made some really big changes to the car, and it took some track time away from us. But we cancelled some things out so we're not going to try those in the future and we found some things that worked, so in the end it was pretty productive. Hopefully we'll come back and have a weekend like we did at Mid-Ohio. We definitely have some improvements we need to find in the car when we come back next week."

Team owner A.J. Foyt concurred saying, "When we started, we weren't happy with the car but as we worked on it, we got it better and better," said team owner A.J. Foyt. "We played with springs, rocker ratios and roll centers, about everything you could play with. We went through a lot of stuff today so I thought it was a very good test. When we come back I think we'll be very competitive."
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Postby mlittle » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:12 am

Sonoma: AJ Foyt Racing preview
Racing series INDYCAR
Date 2009-08-20

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on the key to Sonoma: "I think the key to getting around Sonoma is having a very well-balanced car, no big surprises. It's a track with a lot of fast corners, a lot of steep ascents and descents so you need a car that's going to stay under you for the most part. The undulations in the track definitely make it more challenging--and fun. I think the most fun section of the track is the first four corners--there is so much going on. I don't know the exact altitude climb that we do but it's a lot. I think I heard once that it's six stories and we do it in like 10 seconds. It's a big climb from the bottom at the start/finish line to turn four which is at the top of the climb."

* On his past two races at Infineon: "Well just like at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago, we need no luck at all: no good luck and no bad luck. In '07 I got into it with Marco [Andretti] and it cut my brake line, and then last year, I got turned around by Justin Wilson." Hunter-Reay started 7th in 2007 and eighth in 2008 but finished 18th both times.

* On momentum from Mid-Ohio: "Everybody believes in what we're doing and we know what our capabilities are. I mean we were mixing it up with the top teams in IndyCar so we have every expectation to only do better. We won't be happy with anything less. So we're definitely pushing hard." Hunter-Reay's seventh place start and fourth place finish is the best performance to date this season for the ABC Supply Racing team.

* Last week, the Foyt team tested at Infineon Raceway along with nine other teams. Foyt said, "When we started, we weren't happy with the car but as we worked on it, we got it better and better. We played with springs, rocker ratios and roll centers, about everything you could play with. We went through a lot of stuff so I thought it was a very good test. When we come back I think we'll be very competitive."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:24 am

SONOMA, Calif. August 23, 2009--It was a case of good news, bad news for Ryan Hunter-Reay and the No. 14 ABC Supply team in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway Sunday afternoon.

After a disappointing 16th place qualifying run, the team changed the car for the final practice causing Hunter-Reay to remark that it was a whole new race track for him. He was running in the top-six for most of the warm-up session before quitting early because they were satisfied with the car.

On the first lap of the race, a chain reaction crash triggered by the second row caused a mass scramble of cars. Hunter-Reay did a masterful job of snaking his way through the flying debris, and although he tagged one car with his nose, he emerged in eighth position when the dust settled!

He ran there for the first fuel stint as he tried every which way to pass Robert Doornbos who was slower than him. He pitted on lap 26 and switched from the red alternate tires to the black primary tires, getting out in 7.7 seconds. The quick stop allowed him to pass Doornbos on the scoring chart. But on the next lap he had a run-in with Oriol Servia, who'd just left the pits.

Hunter-Reay explained, "He was on cold tires, I had hot tires and got a big run on him going into the hairpin so I put it inside of him and he turned in and tore off my front wing."

Hunter-Reay made it back to the pits where the team replaced the nose assembly without losing a lap, but it was a 20-plus second stop as the damaged wing was difficult to remove. He exited the pits in front of the leaders and was able to pull away from them, turning even quicker laps times on the black tires than he had when he was trying to get by Doornbos.

On his third and final stop, the ABC Supply crew put on their final set of Firestone red-rimmed tires and Hunter-Reay ran his quickest laps of the race. He opened up a 12-second gap on pole sitter and eventual winner Dario Franchitti as Hunter-Reay had one of the fastest cars on the track.

As he closed in on 16th place, Hunter-Reay had three cars ahead of him he could pass for position when the electronics on the No. 14 car failed shutting down the Honda engine and bringing his race to an end with 10 laps to go. He was credited with 19th in the final tally. A preliminary investigation pointed to a problem in the alternator and/or its wiring.

"We just tried to get back in the race," he said afterwards. "We were able to pull away from the leaders and then the car died. The ABC Supply car was fast, it's a shame we don't have the result to show it."

For the team the good news was that they gave Hunter-Reay a good race car at a track where they have struggled in the past. The bad news is that the results don't show just how good the car was.

Franchitti won the race fending off Ryan Briscoe for the entire 75-lap distance. Mike Conway finished third with Mario Moraes and Hideki Mutoh rounding out the top five.

This week the IndyCar Series heads to Chicagoland Raceway for the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300.
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:25 am

Ryan Hunter-Reay: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on Chicagoland: "I enjoy racing at Chicagoland; it makes for some great racing as the fans will tell you. The key for us is to go back there with a car that's similar to the one we had at Kentucky and make a good race car out of it. I think the most interesting part of this weekend will be to see what teams are doing with the 300 lbs. of available downforce. At Kentucky there were quite a few different approaches and ours was somewhere in the middle. As far as the track goes, I've heard there are some new bumps. Chicagoland races like a big track whereas Kentucky races a little bit smaller. I think it's because Chicagoland has more banking, but I'm not sure. I just know that some 1.5s feel like they're a mile long and others feel like they're 2 miles long."

* RHR on racing at night: "I think it's great for the fans. On the track, it's the same for the drivers--night or day--but for the fans, everything looks a lot faster at night. There is one challenge associated with racing at night, though. On the in and out laps, it's hard coming off the oval at 200 mph onto the access road which isn't really lit up very well. You have to be very fast around the access road coming into pit lane and when you come off a very well lit oval onto a darker area that is flat with no banking, it is definitely difficult. One advantage to racing at night is that the track changes less because you don't have as much of a temperature fluctuation."

* Vitor Meira to be at Chicagoland: Meira, who hasn't missed a race in the States since his first one back at Watkins Glen, will be at Chicagoland this weekend. Although he isn't driving, Meira works as a teammate to Hunter-Reay; they discuss the track, car set-up and race strategy with team owner A.J. Foyt and chief engineer Adam Schaechter.

* IZOD spokesman Ryan Hunter-Reay will be appearing at the Macy's department store located at 111 North State Street; Chicago, IL 60602 on Thursday, August 27 from 5:00 - 7 p.m.

* On Sunday morning A.J. Foyt will fly to Indianapolis along with some of his crew to watch their first Red Bull Indianapolis GP motorcycle race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Foyt had planned to go last year but Hurricane Ike hit Houston hard and he cancelled his plans to attend. It appears that weather won't be a factor in this year's race on Sunday.

* Past performance at Chicagoland Speedway: Hunter-Reay finished ninth last year after starting 16th. In his first appearance at the track in 2007 he started 12th and finished seventh. The Foyt team's best finish came in 2001 when Donnie Beechler finished fifth and A.J. Foyt IV posted the team's best start in 2004 which was sixth.
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Postby mlittle » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:12 am

JOLIET, IL Aug. 29, 2009--In spite of the cold temperatures Saturday night, the racing action was hot and heavy in the Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Unfortunately for Ryan Hunter-Reay and the ABC Supply team, the beginning of the race saw him get stuck behind a couple cars causing him to lose the main draft.

"I got hung up in the beginning behind guys who weren't flat-footing it through the turns and we lost the main draft and that sealed out fate," said Hunter-Reay afterwards.

Starting 18th, Hunter-Reay lost half a lap by the time of his first pit stop on lap 42. Being out of the main draft, the car was using more fuel which caused him to pit earlier than the leaders.? The leaders passed him when he emerged from hi stop and he was never able to get the lap back.? He had a slight push in the beginning of the race - the team the front wing on the second stop.? Compunding the issue was being geared too low in the top two gears.?

However, several yellows slowed the pace, allowing the field to catch up to the leaders, near the halfway point . Hunter-Reay was able to stay in the draft and run with the pack even though it wasn't for a top 10 position due to his earlier travails.

With 17 laps left in the 200-lapper, Helio Castroneves suffered a suspension failure which shot his car into the wall bringing out the final caution. He escaped uninjured. The green flag flew with 10 laps to go setting up a tense battle among the top five cars. Ryan Briscoe edged out Scott Dixon at the line while Mario Moraes beat Dario Franchitti to finish third. Graham Rahal rounded out the top five.

With the aerodynamic changes recently authorized by the IRL, the cars were able to run closer together than they had in recent months. There were races within the race as the cars ran two and three wide nearly the entire race. Several times cars touched wheels as the drivers diced for position.

"When we have racing like that we have to take it back a step and have more respect for each other," said Hunter-Reay. "There was a lot of chopping out there. I saw a couple times where cars touched and should have gone flying. There were way too many close calls. This racing can be fun if you do it right."

The next race is the Japan Indy 300 at Twin Ring Motegi on September 19th.
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