Mid-Ohio: Foyt Racing preview

Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda * Darren Manning on racing at Mid-Ohio: "It's a pretty technical track. There aren't as many long straights as Watkins Glen and it's not as bumpy as the street circuit in St. Pete. There are a lot...

Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda

* Darren Manning on racing at Mid-Ohio: "It's a pretty technical track. There aren't as many long straights as Watkins Glen and it's not as bumpy as the street circuit in St. Pete. There are a lot of corners leading into more corners so the car is always in a compromised state because of the number of low-to-mid-speed corners and relative lack of straights in between them. You can't isolate the turns as much as you can at a track like the Glen where there's a turn followed by a straight. But I think that plays into my hands because it is more challenging and I enjoy those types of tracks."

* Manning on continued momentum: "Having momentum going into Mid-Ohio is an invaluable advantage. Our team's morale is high and we have the confidence to know what is working and not get drastic nor desperate with our set-ups. That is the advantage that the Big 3 teams have right now; they are just fine-tuning because they've had set-ups that have worked over the last several years. We are getting to that point where we can carry over our set-ups from last year for a good baseline, improve them based on what we've learned at the Glen and St. Pete this season, and be even stronger at Mid-Ohio than we were last year."

* Manning Family Visit: Darren's mother Val and her sister will be making the trip to Mid-Ohio this weekend for a short visit (they return home next Wednesday from Indy). However, they will leave behind Darren's 18-year-old cousin Christian Richardson, who will be staying with Manning through the Chicagoland season finale. "He's from York, which is the capital of Yorkshire, but he's never been to the States before so it will be a good experience for him," said Manning. "It will be nice to have some of my family here and he can help me with those domestic things like mowing the lawn. It will be a good education for him on several levels."

* Nashville performance: Manning gave the team another strong performance despite the handicap of not having the airjack work on the final pitstop. Starting 18th, he gained four spots on the first lap and moved into the top 10 before halfway. The airjack problem arose while doing a pre-race check of pit equipment and the ABC crew created a temporary fix which held for the first two stops. Fortunately, the third and last stop was under yellow and he only lost one spot to Buddy Rice. Manning remained on the lead lap to finish ninth for his fourth top-10 finish of the season. He is currently 14th in the standings.

* Past Performances on road courses in 2008: Manning qualified 11th at St. Pete and was challenging for sixth when the paddle shift mechanism experienced problems, dropping him to 13th. Earlier this month at Watkins Glen, Manning posted his career best finish of second after starting eighth.

* Past performances at Mid-Ohio: Last year, Manning started eighth and finished sixth after running as high as third in the first stint. He was running in the top-five for most of the race, dropping to sixth on a restart snafu and then popping up to fourth before a dash into the pits for a splash of fuel dropped him to sixth with 10 laps to go. The Foyt team competed in eight CART events at Mid-Ohio in the years 1988-1995. The team's best start-14th--came in 1991 with Mike Groff, who dropped out with electrical problems. Robby Gordon gave the team its best finish-second--after starting 15th in 1993. Darren Manning finished eighth at Mid-Ohio in 2003 after starting 13th in the Walker Racing entry.

-credit: ajfr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Robby Gordon , Buddy Rice