Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Toronto

Mike Conway on racing in Toronto: “The track is fairly small so straight-line speed is not really a big thing there. I know you’ve got two long straights but the main thing is getting the car quick through the corners. Turn 1 is really important because it leads onto the longest straight all the way down to the tight twisty section which is pretty much the whole circuit through the back. You’ve got to get the car to ride well over the bumps, and you’ve got to have a good car there. You’re really hanging it out on qualifying laps, really close to the wall everywhere, and there are so many bumps that it’s hard to get it right every time. It’s always a constant challenge but it’s a lot of fun.”

Conway on the city of Toronto: “I always like it when there are races in a city—all the street courses are pretty cool. Building a track in the middle of a city always gets lots of fans because it’s right there and I think it makes for good racing. I really like Toronto. It’s multicultural so there are different areas of the town to go to and actually it’s one of my favorite places that we visit.”

Conway on Push-to-Pass: “I think it’s good—it creates overtaking opportunities where before you might not have been able to pass. I think the races have been good this year anyway but it definitely makes it more exciting, more watchable with more passing going on. The only thing you worry about is if it is going to cause more engine issues.”

Conway on his past performance in Toronto: “Last year was disappointing because we were running in the top 4 all day, looking after our tires and saving fuel on the first stint. Then we got shuffled back because of when Dario pitted (earlier) and then we waited it out too long-- me and Will Power were in mid-pack. That was one part of it. Then we were fighting our way back through and then I had contact with Briscoe as I was getting back though the field, then I got a drive-through penalty for that. So then I was way at the end of the pack again. On the restarts it was getting pretty messy. Two cars spun out in front of me and I just had nowhere to go so I stopped but I rode over one of the rear wheels, it damaged the suspension and that was the end of the day. Pretty gut-wrenching really. In 2009, Things were going okay,  we were running sixth and Paul Tracy and I were battling it out. Coming out of the corner I got a little bit loose and kissed the wall. That was then of my day. Tough little track. If you hang in there all day—and you’re quick--you’ll get a good result. You’ve got to be patient.”

Past performance in Toronto: Conway has qualified for the Firestone Fast Six in both of his starts: (6th in 2009 and 4th in 2011) and he is looking forward to his first finish in the race. The Foyt team’s record shows better finishes than starts: in 2009, Ryan Hunter-Reay started 12th, finished 7th; in 2010, Vitor Meira started 26th, finished 11th and in 2011, Meira started 14th and finished 5th.

Going Home: Conway will be getting a little rest and relaxation at his family’s home in Kent, England between the races in Canada. His parents Mike Sr. and Kim will be coming to the race in Toronto (their first since Indy) and he will be flying back with them.

The Honda Indy Toronto will be shown live at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 8 on ABC.