Barber Motorsports Park to Host Mike Conway at Grand Prix in April
16 Apr, 2014
Long Beach Winner Mike Conway Rides IndyCar Momentum to Alabama
Perhaps no driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series is more excited than Mike Conway about Barber Motorsports Park being next up on the schedule. Because the 17 turns at BMP means Conway gets another turn behind the wheel when the circuit comes to the track April 25-27 for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will feature 11 races at Barber Motorsports Park the weekend of April 25-27, including four races in the Pirelli World ChallengeSeries. Legendary Joe Namath will kick-off Sunday’s festivities as the grand marshal for the Verizon IndyCar Series race. For more information or to purchase tickets visit barbermotorsports.com.
Conway was hired this season to drive the No. 20 Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing on road and street courses. Carpenter is an oval-racing specialist who sat on the pole for last year’s Indianapolis 500, while Conway excels on twists and turns. Carpenter decided he needed to change the makeup of his team after he posted top-five finishes last year on the ovals at Fort Worth, Iowa and Fontana, but failed to even crack the top-10 on any road courses (including a 22nd-place run at Barber).
“I want to be able to race as long as I can and do it well,” says Carpenter, an 11-year Verizon IndyCar Series veteran who formed his own team in 2012. “At the same time, the race team is something that I see as my future beyond driving, whenever that day comes. That’s kind of where the decision (to add Conway) came from, just to make sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to position the team well and be in a strong place to deliver for all our partners.”
Conway quickly made the move pay off by winning the second race of the season, on the street course at Long Beach. It was the third victory in Conway’s six-season Verizon IndyCar Series career, though this one was probably the biggest surprise. The British driver started 17th and overcame an early broken wing to remain in contention, and then got the lead when Scott Dixon had to stop for fuel only two laps from the finish.
“Somehow, I got it done,” Conway said after the race. “Just an awesome job by the team. You never know what’s going to happen, so you just have to push as hard as you can all the time. Second would have been good, but this is awesome.”
Conway, who has two top-10 finishes at Barber in three career starts, will arrive at BMP in second place in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. And while it isunlikely that Conway will be able to compete for the driver championship if he sits out the races on oval tracks, Ed Carpenter Racing could have a shot atwinning the owners title.
“I think Mike and I are both capable of winning in our respective disciplines or strong suits,” Carpenter says. “I feel really strongly about the capabilities of our team. I feel like we should be in the mix everywhere we go.”
About Barber Motorsports Park and ZOOM Motorsports: Barber Motorsports Park opened in the spring of 2003. Since its inception, ZOOM Motorsports, LLC has been the exclusive event promoter for the events at the Park. The 2.38-mile racing circuit is 45 feet wide, with 17 turns and elevation changes of more than 80 feet. The Barber Motorsports Park has been considered one of North America’s finest road courses for car and motorcycle racing, and has served as the venue for several international product launches. The Barber Motorsports Park also features the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. This 144,000 square-foot facility houses more than 1,000 vintage and modern motorcycles from 17 different nations and more than 125 manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.barbermotorsports.com.