ENTERING ITS 14TH YEAR OF RACING WITH THE FOYT TEAM, THE COMPANY HAS BEEN A MODEL OF HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY LEVERAGE A SPONSORSHIP.
ABC Supply began its association with AJ Foyt Racing in 2005 after a meeting in the Foyt team’s headquarters with Ken Hendricks, the company’s co-founder along with wife Diane, and David Luck, the company president. The deal initially presented was to sponsor a car just for the Indianapolis 500, but after that meeting, Foyt had a three-year contract with a company that had never been involved in motorsports sponsorship.
Entering its 14th year of racing with the Foyt team, the company has been a model of how to successfully leverage a sponsorship. The company has entertained over 110,000 guests, many of whom had never seen an Indy car race. Now the longest continuous team sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar® Series, the company has used the platform to reinforce their image as the market leader in the wholesale exterior building materials industry.
The first race driver to pilot the No. 14 ABC Supply Racing car was A.J. Foyt IV, the legendary owner’s 19-year-old grandson who is the youngest driver to ever start the Indy 500. In the past, eight different drivers have piloted the No. 14 Honda-powered car with varying degrees of success. Darren Manning claimed a runner-up finish at Watkins Glen in 2008. Vitor Meira posted an inspiring third place finish in Brazil in 2010 in his first race since breaking his back in the 2009 Indy 500. Mike Conway claimed a third place finish in Toronto for the team, but it was Takuma Sato who claimed the team’s first win in over a decade with his victory in the prestigious Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2013. He followed that up with a stirring runner-up finish in the next race in Brazil.
In 2015, with the support of ABC Supply, the team expanded to two full-time entries as rising star Jack Hawksworth joined the team. Experiencing some growing pains in the first two years, Foyt’s ABC Supply team underwent several significant changes to strengthen it to become a consistent contender in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series.
Those changes include a switch from Honda to Chevrolet power and aero kits, plus a totally revamped No. 41 team. The team is now the No. 4 team and is based in Foyt’s Indianapolis race shop to take advantage of the experienced personnel available in that area.
Carlos Muñoz, the 25-year-old Colombian who twice has finished second in the Indianapolis 500 in four tries, was the driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet, while Conor Daly, also 25, who drove for Foyt in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 only, rejoined the team as the pilot of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
A disappointing season in 2017 prompted more changes. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan was hired to drive the No. 14 along with his longtime and very successful engineer Eric Cowdin, who will do double duty as the team’s technical director and Kanaan’s race engineer. Rookie Matheus “Matt” Leist, a 19-year-old Brazilian who won three races in the Indy Lights Series, will pilot the No. 4 Chevrolet. The crews also switched cars with the No. 14 operating out of the Indianapolis shop and the No. 4 out of the team’s headquarters in Waller, Texas.
The debut of the universal aero kit in 2018 helps to level the playing field in the Verizon IndyCar Series with all teams starting at square one in figuring out the cars’ optimal setups and drivers’ preferences. Confident in their ability to succeed in 2018, Foyt’s ABC Supply team is invigorated by the challenges that lie ahead of them.