British IndyCar driver Mike Conway picked up a further twelve Championship points from Saturday’s doubleheader at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Saturday’s Firestone Twin 275s was the IndyCar Series’ first twin race since 1981 and saw Conway and his fellow drivers took part in a new-look race weekend format.
Qualifying for race one at the Texas oval took place on Friday and saw Conway line up his Hire Heroes Andretti Autosport car in P22.
The first of the two races was off at 7.45pm local time. Conway dropped back a couple of places at the start, but by lap two he was right on the pace and fighting his way steadily through the field. On lap 52 Conway made his first pit stop but unfortunately lost a lot time due to the air jet not working. The slow pit stop meant he rejoined the track at the back of the field.
Conway spent the remainder of the race battling his way back through the pack and climbed up to P24 before the checkered flag fell after 55 minutes of racing. With no cautions and an average speed of 206.693 mph, that was the second-fastest race in IndyCar history.
The grid position for race two was determined by a blind draw. Unfortunately luck wasn’t to be on Conway’s side and he drew a starting position of P26.
When the lights went green, Conway made a strong start and began storming his way through the field. By lap ten he was already up to P19 and continuing to close in on the back of the cars in front of him. By the first pit stop on lap 50 he had made up 14 places from the start and was running in P12.
Pit stop issues were unfortunately to strike again and saw Conway lose a lot of time during his first stop, which meant he dropped all the positions he had gained during the first part of the race and came out way down the field in P26.
This left Conway in the same position as he had been in the evening’s earlier race and the British driver spent the remainder of the race carving his way back through the field. Conway made steady progress but time wasn’t to be on his side and he finished the race in P17.
“Although the results don’t reflect it, we had two strong races; fighting our way through the fields. I must have made over forty overtaking maneuvers across the two races which showed I had good pace and a solid car. We had a car that was capable of a top 12 finish on both occasions but unfortunately the issues in the pit stops meant I finished further back;” commented Mike Conway.
“We would have of course liked to have come away with more Championship points but I am pleased with the performance of the car. It was also good to work with my new engineer for the first time this weekend and I’m hopeful that we will be able to build on this weekend’s performance when we go to Milwaukee in a week’s time;” continued Conway.