CONWAY'S OVAL LEARNING CURVE CONTINUES IN FRIDAY PRACTICE
INDIANAPOLIS (May 8, 2009) -- Last year, Mike Conway was driving the GP2 formula car road racing circuit. In fact, Conway's entire racing career has been run on roads.
The 25-year-old rookie driver from Sevenoaks, Kent, England, has been going through a huge learning curve this year in the 2009 IndyCar Series since over half of the 17-race tour is contested on oval tracks. Conway had never seen an oval track before testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway in February.
Conway drove in his first oval race two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, and the young Brit is gaining oval experience with each lap. The big two and a half mile oval in Indianapolis is an imposing figure for a rookie driver in the Indy 500.
Conway is using the knowledge of veterans like teammates John Andretti and Davey Hamilton to help him work on his oval racing craft. Other rookies like Robert Doornbos also are oval novices.
On Friday, Conway ran 39 laps during practice with a best speed of 220.500 miles per hour, 29th fastest for the day in the No. 24 Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara.
But Conway knows he is learning day-by-day how to handle an oval track
Conway passed his Rookie Orientation Program on Tuesday afternoon and had to sit in his DRR garage on Wednesday and watch the rain all day.
Conway's new mount was introduced this week at the Speedway with Purex Complete 3-in-1 as the new primary sponsor for the No. 24 Honda-powered car this month at Indianapolis. Purex returns to the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team after many successful seasons with current co-owner Robbie Buhl at the wheel.
MIKE CONWAY, No. 24 Purex Dreyer& Reinbold Honda Dallara:
"Our goal for today was basically to improve on what we learned from yesterday. We were able to get some laps in, but we would have liked to be able to get some more in. We learned in some areas and will have to go back in some other areas. We are looking okay. Obviously with all of the cars that we have we can exchange a lot of data and see where one learns. Qualifying is only tomorrow and we need to be ready for that."