VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
SHELL PENNZOIL GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON
MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 27, 2014
MIKE CONWAY, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at the Shell Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Full transcript:
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE THE LAST RACE YOU COMPETED IN AT DETROIT?
“Not racing anything, but was in Le Mans.That is about it really. Spent a bit of time in Europe and then back here about a week ago. Not loads to report I’m afraid.”
YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN PRETTY BUSY IN THAT PERIOD WINNING AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY. HOW IS PRACTICE HEADING OFF OF THAT MOMENTUM?
“A huge congrats to the team on Texas, I was watching it at about 3 a.m. in the UK (United Kingdom). So far it’s been okay. Some good track improvements from last year which has been good. We struggled a little bit in the first session I think. We put on new tires at the end, but just didn’t get to execute a good time. We have some work to do I think between the two sessions, but not too bad of a start I suppose in terms of what we think we can get out of the car.”
CAN YOU TALK A BIT MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE CHANGES TO THE TRACK? WHAT HAVE THEY IMPROVED AND HOW IS IT REFLECTED IN HOW YOU DRIVE THE CAR AND THE LAP TIME?
“I suppose the biggest one was as you went through Turn 1 big improvement on the straight there. We are not taking off anymore. It’s really smooth now you hardly notice that section which is good. It feels like the curbs have changed slightly through (Turns) two and three. It just seems like it’s more of a chicane now whereas last year you could kind of really pound through it. I don’t know if there is much of a change there, but the rest of it is not too bad. Typical kind of street track, very bumpy into (Turn) three and then it feels a bit smoother through four, five, that seems like they have ground down some more areas through there. Yeah, pulled the curbs back in three I believe or four and then the rest is fairly similar. Still pretty bumpy most places, but the trick is I think the last corner where it’s so quick. You’ve got big kind of rise and then a dip as you go in. But it’s not too bad but yeah it gets your attention if you get sideways through there that is for sure.”
ED CARPENTER SEEMED TO SUGGEST DURING THE RADIO BROADCAST FOR PRACTICE THAT THE TEAM WAS REALLY STRESSED OR FRUSTRATED GIVEN THE CURRENT CONSTRUCTION OF THE SCHEDULE. WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OUT OF YOUR TEAM DURING THE TESTING AND LEADING UP TO THIS RACE WEEKEND?
“Yeah, they have had a really busy schedule, three test days after Texas. They had everybody on a coach and they kind of toured around for like a week and a half. They are really busy and I think the guys got a few days off, but it’s been a really hectic schedule this year. They all look fresh and rejuvenated and ready to roll this weekend.”
BEING THAT THIS IS A STREET COURSE LIKE DETROIT WHERE WE JUST HAD ANOTHER DOUBLE HEADER DOES YOUR TEAM SHOW UP WITH THE SAME KIND OF SET-UP OR ARE THERE CHANGES THAT YOU MAKE TO IT?
“I think since Long Beach we have had quite a good base set-up for the car. We pretty much turned out to most of them with that base set-up and then we just tweak it with some things and final adjustments that the circuits need. But it’s fairly similar to what we rolled out with at Detroit and not too dissimilar to what we had at Long Beach. We need to make a few adjustments, but nothing drastic. It’s normally the smaller things once you are in the window.”
DO YOU FEEL THAT ED CARPENTER RACING MIGHT HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF AN ADVANTAGE BECAUSE BOTH YOU AND ED (CARPENTER) GET TO BE A LITTLE BIT FRESH GOING INTO THE STRETCH OF RACES COMING UP?
“Maybe, yeah, I suppose there could be some of that, but I think all the boys are pretty fit in this paddock. I think the more seat time whatever the track is, is better anyway. I think it is pretty similar.”
WHAT DO YOU RATE YOUR CHANCES OF HAVING ED CARPENTER RACING SWEEP THE TEXAS ROUNDS OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP? THE LAST TIME THAT WAS DONE WAS A LITTLE OVER 30 YEARS AGO?
“I would like to think we’ve got a good chance to. Ed (Carpenter) got some guns and a Stetson (cowboy hat) and we got the chance to get some boots to match the outfit this weekend (laughs). We could have a complete outfit. I don’t know we will see. I think everyone is pretty confident, but double-headers are always tough and this track is I don’t know. They are long races, tough races and hot temperatures. We will see.”