Two young drivers, Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly, have been hired to drive the No. 14 and No. 4 (not 41) ABC Supply Dallaras in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The No. 4 team will be based in A.J. Foyt’s Speedway, Indiana race shop.
One aspect that isn’t changing is the team’s red, white and blue colors because sponsor ABC Supply has renewed its contract with the Texas-based team for another two years. The 2017 season will be the 13th consecutive season that America’s largest wholesale distributor of roofing has sponsored AJ Foyt Racing, making ABC Supply the longest active primary sponsor among teams in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“As we celebrate our 35th anniversary at ABC Supply, we are very happy to be continuing our relationship with AJ Foyt Racing,” said Keith Rozolis, ABC Supply Co. Inc. president and chief executive officer. “They’ve been part of the ABC team since 2005, and our associates and customers look forward to watching Carlos and Conor compete and win in 2017.”
Hiring new drivers, adding to the team’s staff, setting up shop in Indiana and moving part of the team there has made Team President Larry Foyt and his Team Director George Klotz very busy these days.
“It’s been a busy off season, which to me is a great thing,” Foyt said. “There are many moving parts as we grow and continue to strengthen our weaknesses as a team. It’s wonderful to continue our relationship with ABC Supply and adding two young and fast drivers is exciting for our program. I can’t remember a time when the Verizon IndyCar Series has been this competitive from top to bottom, so we know we have to work around the clock this winter to meet our goals before the season starts. We’ve had a great deal of changes in a short amount of time, but the team is committed and the group as a whole is moving in the same direction. I’m looking for this positive momentum to translate to on-track results.”
Munoz will drive the flagship No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara. The 24-year-old Colombian, who has finished second in two of his four IndyCar starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ranked 10th in the final point standings this year. In 53 IndyCar starts, the Key Biscayne, Fla. resident has amassed one victory (Detroit), one pole (Texas), and 23 Top-10s (including seven podiums).
“I am really excited about this new chapter in my professional career,” Munoz said. “I’m looking forward to driving the No. 14 car, which has so much history, and working with Larry and his dad A.J., who is a legend in auto racing. One of my main goals is to be an Indy 500 champion and I know they want to win another one so hopefully we can do it together. It is a whole new package for AJ Foyt Racing in 2017 plus the team is adding some new personnel, and we will be pushing hard to be competitive every time out. I can’t wait to get started.”
Daly returns to the ABC Supply team to drive the No. 4 ABC Supply car. After making his IndyCar debut in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 driving for Foyt, the second-generation driver added 21 more races to his IndyCar resume driving for other teams. Daly’s father is Derek Daly who competed in Formula One and then the IndyCar Series for over a decade. As a rookie in his first full IndyCar season this year, the 24-year-old posted some impressive finishes, including second at Detroit and fourth at Watkins Glen (N.Y.). In 22 starts, he has six Top-10 finishes and has led 68 laps.
“I am thrilled to be reunited with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2017 Verizon Indycar Series season,” Daly said. “A.J. and Larry were the ones who gave me my first chance at not only getting in an IndyCar for a test at Sebring but also the greatest race in the world, the Indianapolis 500 in 2013. Now we get an opportunity to compete as a team for the full season and I couldn’t be happier. It will also be very special to me as an American to be in a red, white and blue ABC Supply machine. This will be a great opportunity for me to continue building my IndyCar career and I can’t thank A.J., Larry and ABC Supply Company enough for believing in a young American to deliver for them.”
The move to Indianapolis of the No. 4 team marks the first time that AJ Foyt Racing will base a team there after Foyt purchased the property on Main Street in October, 2014. Another first for the team is carrying the number 4 on a full-time entry in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The number 4 has significance for Foyt as he became the first four-time winner of the Indy 500, but it also holds significance for Daly, whose step-father (and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President) Doug Boles was a founding partner and co-owner of Panther Racing which fielded the No. 4 car. Boles served as chief operating officer from 1997 to 2006.
“I always grew up cheering on the number 4 no matter who was driving it. The number means a lot to my family and I can’t wait to wear it proudly,” Daly said when he learned of the number change to his car.
“Both of our drivers are very young and they’ve got their whole future ahead of them,” said team owner A.J. Foyt, who turns 82 in January. “I’m looking forward to being a part of that future.”
The future looks bright for the rising young stars and the venerable IndyCar team. Indeed, the times they are a changin’.
SOURCE: A.J. Foyt Racing