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Conway quits ovals, skips Fontana finale

Conway's seat will be taken at short notice by New Zealand's Wade Cunningham, who last drove for the team in a second entry at this year's Indianapolis 500.

Cunningham won the Indy Lights race at Fontana in 2005, his championship-winning season and the last year that either Indy Lights or IndyCar ran at the Auto Club Speedway before this weekend.

"Fortunately, Wade was available to drive for us, and we're looking forward to working with him again,” said Larry Foyt.

Cunningham will get special track time on Thursday for IndyCar president of competition Beaux Barfield and technical director Kevin Blanch to observe and make sure he is race ready.

"It's in everyone's best interest that he gets comfortable on the oval," said Barfield. "We have unlimited time today, so we'll watch him closely."




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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]
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Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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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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