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Conway Has A Busy Winter Testing, Ready To Go Racing Now

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Mike Conway

Conway Has A Busy Winter Testing, Ready To Go Racing Now

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
March 11, 2014

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Mike Conway Mike ConwayMike Conway Mike ConwayMike Conway testing at Sebring recently in the ECR/Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy.
March 11th 2014 - INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mike Conway likes testing race cars, but the personable Brit is ready to go racing now in 2014.

The new driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet finished his 2013 racing campaign in sports cars late November and he was back in an IndyCar in December. Since then, the winner of the opening Chevrolet ‘Dual in Detroit” race last year, has been flying from Europe to USA and back again on many occasions for tests in IndyCars and sports cars.

But Conway knows he is set for the first green flag of the upcoming IndyCar Series in the Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Vodka machine on March 30 at St. Petersburg.

"To be honest, I have had a lot of testing this winter,” said Conway, who is currently testing in Europe for the Toyota sports car team. "I have another IndyCar test at Barber (Motorsports Park) and then we can go racing in St. Petersburg. I’m excited to get in the ECR/Fuzzy’s car and begin the season.”

As announced late last year, Conway will handle the controls of the No. 20 Chevy-powered car at the 12 road and streets courses in 2014 for ECR while team owner Ed Carpenter will drive the Fuzzy’s Vodka machine in the six oval races.

"I am very happy with how our ECR team’s testing has gone already this year,” Conway admitted. "I was able to get in two full days before Christmas and I’ve never had that chance with my career in IndyCar racing. Plus we have run at Sebring and Sonoma since then. And I look forward to going to Barber next week (March 17-18) for the final testing before the season opener.”

Conway understood there would be a learning curve with he and the ECR crew, but the two-time IndyCar Series race winner believes the recent test runs have helped blend the team, led by team manager Tim Broyles, lead engineer Matt Barnes and crew chief Bret Schmitt, with his driving style.

"We knew it would take some time to get everyone together and on the same page,” said Conway, who’ll open the first four 2014 races in the No. 20 machine (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Barber and the Indy Grand Prix). "I think we have continued to learn quite a bit already in the testing. A few days at Barber will help us for the season opener too. This series is extremely tough and the talent level is very high. So we need to be as prepared as possible when St. Pete comes. But I’m ready to go racing with this group.”

And team owner Ed Carpenter is excited to have Conway on board for 2014 too.

"We are very pleased with how Mike has worked with the team,” said Carpenter, the 2013 Indy 500 pole winner. "It is never easy for a new driver to come right in and get acclimated with a new crew. But we felt Mike has the experience and the talent to put ECR, Fuzzy’s and Chevrolet in a contending role immediately on the road and street circuits. He has won in IndyCar racing before and so has this team. I think we are heading for some good things in 2014.”

While Conway has been busy on the test tracks in the winter, Carpenter hasn’t exactly been sitting idle himself. The Butler University marketing graduate has been at the wheel of the Fuzzy’s Chevy for testing on the oval tracks as well as working ‘behind-the-scenes’ in the team owner role.

"I have been working out hard at St. Vincent Sports Performance as has the team this winter,” said Carpenter, the only team owner/driver in the IndyCar Series. "I feel I am in good shape for the 2014 season. It felt good to be back in the race car for the testing and we were pleased with our runs so far. I have been busy on many of the team’s organizational things in the winter too. Right now, we are trying to put together the best operation we can for ECR and our partners. We are excited for the start of the 2014 season.”

Conway’s 2014 first start for Ed Carpenter Racing will be at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 28-30. Carpenter’s first start is the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for May 25.

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