IndyCar »

Conway hopes first win just the start

Mike Conway talks about his stunning win at Long Beach, his return from serious injury, and his plans for the upcoming races at Brazil and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Mike Conway became the IZOD IndyCar's first maiden winner of a race in almost three years when he emerged victorious from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, marking a triumphant return from serious injury at last year's Indianapolis 500.

This week's win places him firmly among the top drivers in IndyCar and means he's unquestionably "arrived" in US open-wheel racing. As well as being fifth in the current championship points standings, he's enjoying the attention and the publicity that his win has got him.

"When I landed on Tuesday morning back in the UK, that's when everything was being put in the papers after the race," he said on a teleconference on Wednesday, having flown home after the Long Beach win to spend Easter in England with his family. "Some great coverage in the big national papers here. It's been really good. Been busy all day doing phone interviews, got some TV stuff lined up. It's been great. Lots of coverage."

Conway says he still finds it hard to understand or explain why his pace at that crucial final restart was so much better than everyone else around him. "I probably don't have a real answer for you.

"[The] car just felt good. Once I got past [Ryan Briscoe], I knew we had the pace to pull away. I don't know, just head down and just pushed for kind of a good eight to ten laps," he said. "I was surprised to see how quickly I pulled away initially, two or three seconds in two or three laps ... I really did focus on the restarts, keeping the tires warm. The last thing you want to do is pick up all the debris, marbles on the track. The warmer you can get the tires, the better. It just makes the restarts better. Maybe that was just enough to really make some good moves."

The win is still sinking in. "It was awesome when I was on the podium to look down and see all the winning names imprinted on the floor, seeing Mario and Michael [Andretti] on there, Al Unser, Jr. These are the guys I get to see every race weekend. It's great that my name will be on there now and be part of a great race. Got some serious history to it!"

Conway was happy to admit that having the experience of the Andrettis at Long Beach had definitely helped him with his performance. "Michael being a very experienced driver, Mario also who was at St. Pete, Marco, the great history between the three of them. Yeah, I mean, it's great to learn from them guys.

"I didn't actually ask him before Long Beach coming into it because I knew that the car would be good there because Ryan was quick the year before," he said. "Michael lets us sort of get on with our own kind of thing. When he feels that we need some direction or some help, he always gives us his point of view. That's always very helpful."

Both the driver and the team were hopeful that the new pairing would prove mutually successful, but Conway was frank in admitting that "I think [hoping for a win] three races in would have been maybe a bit much."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Photo by Dan Helrigel - IndyCar Media - The winner of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Andretti Autosports` Mike Conway.
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
#GetWellSoonHinch on scoring pylon at IMS -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Marco Andretti and Sage Karam at IMS (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Walter Kuhn)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Jim Haines)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.