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May 30, 2014 - 06:29 PM
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2014 Detroit: Mike Conway IndyCar Post-Practice Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on May 30, 2014 - 06:28 PM
IndyCar News
2014 Detroit: Mike Conway IndyCar Post-Practice Press Conference


MIKE CONWAY, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 2ND IN PRACTICE: "It felt good to come off the trailer and run well here. I really like this track and the ECR/Fuzzy’s team has worked hard in the last eight to nine weeks on the engineering program. Ed (Carpenter, team owner and oval driver for ECR) had a very good month at Indy except for the last 25 laps Sunday. We came here with the setup we had at Long Beach when we won. So things have been progressing well with our street program. I really like sliding the car around here and it is fun. The surface changing from pavement to concrete makes the car jump around and you really have to be on your toes at all times here at Detroit. It is very encouraging to be in the top six in the first practice and we only ran one set of tires. I think qualifying will be very exciting with the Firestone red tires added to the mix. You could see some low 76s (seconds) laps."

 

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PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:

THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with Mike Conway. Mike finished second fastest in today's combined practices. He won race one in 2013.

Mike, obviously very successful at this track here. Coming back it seems like you've been able to pick up where you left off.

MIKE CONWAY: Yeah, seems that way. Obviously couldn't do that without a good car from Ed Carpenter Racing. I think we picked up where we left off at Long Beach. Seemed to be a good base to start with here.

Haven't touched it much. All credit to the team.

I do love this place. It's a lot of fun. Each lap gets your attention, that's for sure. Non-stop action around here. Yeah, pretty happy so far. Obviously a bit different tomorrow with the reds and stuff.

THE MODERATOR: Any significant changes you noticed? I believe last year it was actually warmer than it was today. Anything different about the track that you noticed?

MIKE CONWAY: No, not really. To start with, I thought there was more grip than there was last year. Felt pretty hooked up to start with. Just some curve changes down in three and seven were really the biggest things. Opened up seven a lot more now. Entry speed is a lot quicker than last year. Maybe a bit of time gained there.

I don't know. Just the grip laid down, I suppose, helped us out too.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. (No microphone.)

MIKE CONWAY: No, I mean, no ambitions to be out there really at all. I felt like I was a bit out of the loop, a bit of a spare part.

It's still good to be there, a great place to be, the Speedway, especially when the 500 is on. Good to see Ed doing so well. A shame it didn't end too well. But they ran well all month. I think they'll be a threat on all the ovals coming up.

But, yeah, still good to be there.

Q. Mike, two different years, two different teams, but still showing success. What do you bring as a driver to be successful at a track that you like?

MIKE CONWAY: Just tried to bring as much back from last year as I could this year. The car rolled out. As soon as I went out on pit lane I felt like the car had a lot of grip. Small input in terms of setup from where we started back in Sebring.

We've been trying to push the car as much as possible, developing things, dampers. We come to this point where we can roll out and be in the top six, which is where you always want to be. It's always where you want to be, especially with the doubleheaders.

All credit to the team though. They've been working hard, flat out. Late night last night. Non-stop, big effort from the boys. They've been flat out for the last eight, nine weeks. They're still pushing all the time. They're so competitive. It's good.

Q. How much more is left in the car? What is your favorite passing place here?

MIKE CONWAY: We started on new tires. Didn't get to run a second set in the first practice. We did run a second set in this practice, but didn't get a time out of it with the yellows. Hopefully more time to be had. Little tweaks to the car, I don't want to change it too much. Always a risk.

But, yeah, I think it should be pretty quick tomorrow on the reds. It's going to be, I don't know, 76 or something.

And passing, down into three. Get a good run through one and two, car is pretty hooked up through there. Down into seven as well. That's always harder because you sweep over to the right anyway to approach the corner. You can make your car a bit wider than it needs to be sometimes.

Q. What do you like about this track? It seems to be made to order for you.

MIKE CONWAY: Yeah, I don't know. It's a real challenge around this place. Every lap, as I said, gets your attention. Very bumpy, very challenging. There's some corners that have got a lot of grip. Sometimes you go into corners and you're like, Oh, am I going to make it? You come through it.

It's always like that around here really. Just because of the bumps, quick change of direction, it's a lot of fun.

Q. It seems like watching the cars in general, they look like they're sliding, then at the last second the driver catches it. Is that part of the problem with the bumps? Do you expect problems during the race?

MIKE CONWAY: I wouldn't expect any problems. You can easily get caught out here, cold tires, restarts, stuff like that. You've got to keep your wits about you.

It's all part and parcel of the circuit, the way the bumps are. You can get your car set afterwards. That's the biggest thing with the dampers, getting the thing to catch afterwards. A lot of corners, you're going in, the car is very neutral on entry, then you catch the bumps. You got to make sure you're going to make the corner, then get out.

Even on a quick lap around here, you seem to have quite a few slides. Most circuits don't seem to get as much as that. But it's fun though.

Q. (No microphone.)

MIKE CONWAY: Simon is standing next to me. I can't say too much. I don't want to give him any secrets (laughter).

But Simon was bloody quick around here last year, too.

Q. (No microphone.)

MIKE CONWAY: I don't know. I think it's being comfortable with letting the car slide on you. If you don't like a car loose on entry or sliding around, if you drive it in too much, you'll get a lot of understeer around here. That's something you don't want.

True or not?

THE MODERATOR: Mike, we'll let you go. Thank you for joining us.

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