By Eric Mauk: The A.J. Foyt Racing team and Mike Conway went backwards early on Saturday night in Iowa
Mike Conway and his A.J. Foyt Racing teammates suffered through a dismal evening in Iowa Saturday night, struggling with an ill-handling car that caused the team to give up the chase just after the halfway point of the Iowa Corn Indy 250.
Conway plummeted 10 spots from his grid position in the first two laps after qualifying 15th, and things never got any better from there for the British driver. The team tried some setup changes during the first pit stop, but Conway compounded the problem by speeding on pit lane, which resulted in a drive-through penalty on Lap 84.
A caution on Lap 98 allowed Conway to dive back to the pits for more changes, but not feeling any improvement the team decided the discretion was the better part of valor and called it a night on Lap 128.
“It was a tough few days in the office for us. We had to treat the qualifying session as a test session to try and get the car handling better and more dialed in. When it came to the race it was clear that we still hadn’t got the right set up and the car was nervous at the rear end which made it tough to drive the oval;” commented Mike Conway. “We made the decision on lap 128 to retire the car as we couldn’t resolve the handling issues and didn’t want to run the risk of damaging the car.”
Conway was credited with a 20th place finish.