Under caution on Lap 77 during the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opener at St. Petersburg, a flurry of cars flocked down pit road to get their pit service complete. Staying out on track, however, was Mike Conway, who had missed the radio communication to come in.
Despite this miscommunication and ensuing penalty for pitting on Lap 78 after passing the pace car, the team believes there were many positives to take away from the race.
“We made some big gains on the red Firestone tires and drove by many people. So that was very positive,” Conway said, having made his way up from 12th on the grid to third before the caution.
“I wasn’t hoping for a safety car there. I wanted to hold the gap when we went to the black tires. Then I didn’t hear a radio communication to come into the pits. I thought the safety car waved me by but they were waving (James) Hinchcliffe by instead. And that was it.”
Team owner Ed Carpenter, in his first race outside the cockpit, said the positives outweighed the disappointing 16th-place finish.
“In my mind, we made some major gains with Mike and the car throughout the weekend,” he said. “The building blocks are there for down the road.
“We made some mistakes on the pit stop and passing the pace car. There are some things we learned.”
Conway is looking forward to the next race at Long Beach on April 13, where he won in 2011. Conway will split the No. 20 car with Ed Carpenter during 2014, with Carpenter in the cockpit for the oval races.
Check out the following video to get a full highlights reel of last weekend’s action at St. Pete.
Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Mike Conway