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Conway quits ovals, skips Fontana finale

Mike Conway has told his team that he is no longer comfortable competing on the high speed ovals in the IndyCar Series, and will be replaced by Wade Cunningham at Fontana this weekend.
Mike Conway will miss the IZOD IndyCar Series finale this weekend at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana in California, after he informed his team AJ Foyt Racing that he was no longer comfortable competing on ovals.

“I've come to realize I'm not comfortable on the ovals and no longer wish to compete on them," said Conway on Thursday afternoon. “I'm truly sorry for putting the team and our sponsors in a difficult position, but this is the hardest decision I have ever made in my racing career."

The English driver was quick to point out that his decision to drop out of this weekend's race at the two-mile Fontana oval did not mean that he was quitting from racing.

"I want to stress that I am not finished racing," he said. "I would love to continue with Foyt Racing, but that's something we need to discuss in the future."

Conway apparently made the decision after struggling during test runs at Fontana, which saw him running around 20th position in the timesheets some 5mph off the leaders' times.

He suffered serious neck and back injuries as well as a broken leg in a horror accident in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 that sidelined him for the rest of that season, but he had bounced back and completed a full season with Andretti Autosports in 2011.

Conway had driven the AJ Foyt Racing car to three top ten finishes this year which included a podium finish in Toronto, and his efforts have won him solid support from the team. However, this year's Indy 500 ended in another scary crash that may have brought unhappy memories of two years ago back to the surface.

Larry Foyt, the team's general manager, said that they respected Conway for turning to them and expressing his unease with running on any further oval tracks, and that it was still possible that Conway could run future street and road courses with them next year.

"Mike's been a great asset to our team, and I'm disappointed that we can't finish out the season together," he said. "It took a lot of courage for Mike to come forward and we respect him highly for that and we certainly want to honour his decision.”




Related Pictures

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Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport, St. Petersburg, 2011
Wade Cunningham finally gets to make his IndyCar series debut for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Wade Cunningham in Mike Conway`s #14 car during rookie orientation for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 10 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams.LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Andretti Autosport driver Mike Conway. [Photo Credit: IndyCar Media]
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)

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Don - Unregistered

September 13, 2012 11:21 PM

Mike was lucky to survive his crash at Indy in 2010. He's had several scary moments. Wheldon was killed in the season finale last year, and in 1999 the budding superstar Greg Moore was killed at Fontana. You not only have to be skilled, you have to be brave to run at these speeds on the Super Speedways. Good luck Mike, and Godspeed to all in the Saturday night race.

Drietch - Unregistered

September 14, 2012 2:27 AM

I think most people don't realize how lucky this guy is to be alive. Many drivers died in far less tragic ovals accidents like DW's. I just find it weird that he went back to racing and raced ovals but only now has decided to call it a day. Maybe he recovered memories of the crash recently and now know himself God not IHS gave him a new chance!



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