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Conway Clips Wall to End his Day in Belle Isle Race 1, Ready for Sunday

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Mike Conway, Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

Conway Clips Wall to End his Day in Belle Isle Race 1, Ready for Sunday

Tom Blattler
Ed Carpenter Racing
May 31, 2014

Ed Carpenter RacingStrong effort early by Mike Conway ends with contact at Turn 12 wall.
May 31st 2014 - DETROIT, Mich. – Saturday’s first race in the Chevrolet Indy "Dual in Detroit” presented by Quicken Loans didn’t end the way it did for Mike Conway last year.

The driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet had dominated the 70-lap feature in 2013 and early he looked like a contender for Saturday’s main event. After qualifying fourth, Conway pressured James Hinchcliffe in the first 14 laps Saturday before clipping the turn 12 wall and ending his day.

It was an unfortunate turn for Conway, this year’s Long Beach winner, after he was second fastest in Friday practice and contended for the pole position Saturday morning. At the start of Saturday’s race, Conway was the only driver in the lead pack to run the harder "black” tires rather than the softer "reds.”

Despite a slicker track surface today in the race, Conway continued to close the gap on Hinchcliffe in an effort to gain the third position behind Helio Castroneves and Jack Hawksworth. But, in his effort to make a move on Hinchcliffe, Conway’s mount slid wide and into the concrete barrier on the outside of turn 12. Conway finished 21st Saturday in a race won by Will Power in the Penske Chevrolet-powered machine.

"It is a tough deal,” said Conway in the ECR paddock area. "I was saving fuel like we wanted early in the race. I was on the black tires and the three in front of me were on reds. I wanted to pressure them into a mistake. I could see James was sliding and caught it a couple of times. I felt I could pressure him into a mistake. I got into turn 12 a little late and the car couldn't turn. I clipped the outside wall pretty hard. The boys worked hard to fix and get us back out. We wanted to check out the car before Sunday's qualifying. I feel bad for the Fuzzys team. I was trying too hard there."

Team owner Ed Carpenter felt Conway was in the proper position for his team’s strategy Saturday and says the ECR squad will be set for Sunday’s contest.

"We were pressuring Hinch like we wanted to and getting our fuel number too,” said Carpenter. "We looked good on our strategy with the black Firestones. Mike was pushing hard too. But he tried a little too hard in turn 12 and the car didn’t turn. It’s tough because we felt we had a car to challenge for the win. Now, we’ll have to repair the car and get ready for Sunday’s main event.”

The Ed Carpenter Racing team will now make the proper repairs to the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for Sunday morning qualifying as well as the second race in the "Dual in Detroit.” Sunday’s 70-lap main event is scheduled for a 3:45 p.m. EDT start. The "Dual in Detroit” will be televised at 3:30 p.m. on ABC-TV.

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