IndyCar Driver Review: Mike Conway

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With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

P23 despite making only seven starts, the quiet but talented Mike Conway…

2013 SEASON PREVIEW (Long Beach signing)

Mike Conway

  • Teams: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Dale Coyne Racing
  • 2012: 21st Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 4th
  • 2013: 23rd Place (7 Starts), 1 Win, 1 Pole, 2 Podiums, 2 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 78 Laps Led, 11.1 Avg. Start, 9.7 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: To some, Conway’s IndyCar reputation – fairly or unfairly – took a hit after he opted to withdraw from racing on ovals at Fontana last year. So it was great to see him turn up at Long Beach in a third Rahal Letterman Lanigan car, with a one-off crew, and promptly remind everyone what a silent ninja assassin he is on a street circuit. His Firestone Fast Six appearance didn’t come good in the race due to mechanical gremlins, but he’d made an impact. Dale Coyne rang him for Detroit, where Conway delivered a stunning but dominant drive in Race 1 for the win. He got picked up for the other doubleheader weekends and finished second to Dixon in points in those six races (263 to 180). The “super sub of the year.”

Estrada says: Conway’s run of street course cameos in 2013 had a few star turns along the way. From popping off a Firestone Fast Six run at Long Beach to his tremendous double-podium weekend in Detroit, the quiet Englishman made his share of noise. But let’s not forget the doubleheader in Toronto. He earned a pair of seventh-place finishes, but he came from 20th on the grid in Race 1 and then even further back in 23rd for Race 2 – that’s 29 positions gained on one of the wilder street courses on the calendar. Is it any wonder that Ed Carpenter’s bringing him on as the road racer for his No. 20 car next season?

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.