Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda * Darren Manning on racing after a crash fest like Michigan: "You think about it, but Michigan is such an individual track--you can run four-wide there easily. It's just that when a gust of...
Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda
* Darren Manning on racing after a crash fest like Michigan: "You think about it, but Michigan is such an individual track--you can run four-wide there easily. It's just that when a gust of wind comes up or you hit the seams in the track, you move around and it affects everyone because you're running so close together. There's no escaping when you're running that close. And if you don't run close, you lose the draft and then you lose the race so you have to do it. A lot of teams besides ours made strides over the winter so what last year was a four-car leader pack turned into a 10-12 car leader pack. You can't do it forever--something'll happen."
* Manning on racing at Kentucky: "I think it will be different at Kentucky because we struggle to run side-by-side there so I don't think you'll see the big pack racing like there was at Michigan. I think our chances there are pretty good. We've made some gains in learning what's needed on the 1.5 mile tracks so I believe our starting point will be closer to what we need for the race. There's so little time on the race weekends to get the car right and learn what's going on. On the road courses, you can make 10 changes and I can tell in a lap whether or not it feels better, and if it feels better it's usually faster. On the ovals, you can't seem to feel the benefits as easily, sometimes it may feel better but it's slower. So we're still learning, but we're gaining."
* Manning attended the Kentucky Derby for the first time this year as a guest of his team owner A.J. Foyt, who has been a regular since the early 70s. Manning said, "I'd never been to even a Grand National race in England, so for my first horse race to be the Kentucky Derby (pronounced DAR-by) was quite special. A.J. looked after us. He has a lot of knowledge about it and he explained it all. Larry was there too. I drove down with Anthony who helped me on the betting. I didn't make any money, and I had to give him money as well! But I met my girlfriend Lauren (Feusner} that weekend so it's all good."
* Achelpohl Roofing is this weekend's winner of the ABC Supply Your Name Here Promotion for its customers. The company name will be put on the top of the sidepods of the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Wayne and Meredith Achelpohl will receive selected merchandise, race tickets, hospitality and garage passes, plus a Meet and Greet with A.J. Foyt and Darren Manning. The "Your Name Here" promotion selected winners by random drawing from a pool of entries sent in by ABC Supply customers earlier this year.
* Michigan performance: Manning started 18th and was credited with 15th after spinning and hitting the wall on lap 113. He was challenging for eighth position at the time of his accident. His was one of five cautions for crashes that slowed the rain-delayed Firestone 400; 12 out of the 20 starters took home wrecked equipment from that race. Manning: "Marco [Andretti] cut across the front of me and I had to put a lot of wheel lock into it and when the air hit it, it grabbed and snapped the back end around....it's a shame because we had a good car today. My car was definitely better on long runs. It seemed that everyone else's cars fell off after the new tires wore a little bit but my car didn't fall off as much. It was crazy out there."
* Past Performances on ovals in 2007: Manning's best start on an oval is 11th which is where he qualified at Kansas and Texas. His best finish is fifth place at Iowa; it's also his best finish of the season to date.
* Past performances for A.J. Foyt Racing at Kentucky Speedway: Foyt Racing's best start is second in 2000 with Eliseo Salazar driving and their best finish is fifth in 2001 with Donnie Beechler driving. A.J. Foyt IV posted his best finish for Foyt Racing at Kentucky when he finished ninth in 2005 after starting 12th.
* The Meijer Indy 300 will be televised live Saturday evening, August 11th starting at 6:30 pm ET on ESPN2.