2012 IndyCar Season Finale
By A.J. Foyt
The drama of the IndyCar season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California started early for our ABC Supply team but we weren’t the only ones to know drama last week. Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay brought their battle down to the last laps of the 500-mile race Saturday night with Hunter-Reay winning his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship and Power watching his title hopes evaporate – for the third straight year.
Our troubles began when our regular driver Mike Conway told us on that Wednesday that he didn’t want to race on ovals anymore—starting immediately. Was I shocked? You bet. Was I upset? Yes and no. Yes, because it put us in a really tough position, and no, because I will never make a driver do something he doesn’t want to do when it comes to racing. I won’t even tell him what helmet or safety equipment to wear because in the end, it is his butt in the seat and he has to be comfortable and confident.
Mike was neither on Wednesday and that’s not good for a driver who is expected to drive an Indy car at over 200 miles an hour. And he did drive it at 210 mph in testing that day (even when others struggled to reach 206 mph), but he didn’t want to do it any longer. I know it was hard for him to tell me but I’m glad he did.
My son Larry called Wade Cunningham who drove our second car at Indy this year, and Wade flew in the next morning, getting there a little bit later than his custom seat which was overnighted from our Houston race shop. Wade was excited about the chance to drive again even if he was coming in at the last minute. Everyone else had a day of testing under their belt—not to mention a season of running these new cars. Wade‘s last race was four months ago at Indy.