AUGUST 21, 2019
Notes & Quotes: Bommarito Automotive Group 500
Steve Gaddis joined AJ Foyt Racing earlier this year as a driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply Racing transporter. His previous racing experience came when he joined Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016 after a career as an over-the-road truck driver. We asked him a few questions…
Where were you born and raised?
SG: “Avon, Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis).”
How did you get involved in racing? Where did it start for you?
SG: “Scott Harner hired me in 2016 at Chip Ganassi. In February of 2019 he passed my name to George Klotz (Foyt Racing Team Director) and George hired me to work at the Indy shop.”
What is your job and what does it entail?
SG: “I’m one of the truck drivers out of the Indy-based shop. Make sure the truck is restocked between races, set up and break down the pits, keep the equipment clean during race weekends and I hold the stop board for the 14 car. “
What do you do on race day?
SG: “Get the pits ready for the race get as much of the trucks preloaded as we can. During the race hold the stop board and shoot water on the car after fueling.”
What did you do before joining the Foyt team?
SG: “I was logging and had been an over-the-road driver before 2016.”
Tell us something that may surprise people about you.
SG: “I’m a disabled veteran of foreign war.”
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
SG: “Making sure everything is loaded and getting it to the track safely.”
How do you prepare for a race?
SG: “Eat a good meal and get some rest.”
What’s your favorite track and why?
SG: “Indy! I think it is just all the history and prestige of it.”
Do you have a motto/favorite saying?
SG: “I have a few: That beer went down like a fat boy on a see-saw! Dawg going to do what dawg going to do. Why stand in the sun when you can set in the shade?”
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
SG: “My Grandfather. He instilled his work ethic in me as a young kid.”
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of racing?
SG: “I make Maple syrup. “
TONY KANAAN on Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway: “Looking forward to it (Gateway). It’s another oval and our two best results this year were at the ovals, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a place that I enjoy and hopefully we’ll do even better this weekend than we did last weekend.”
MATHEUS LEIST on Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway: “I’m looking forward to coming back to Gateway, it’s a nice track and I had a lot of fun there last year. It’s personally one of the tracks that I like, one of the short ovals that I like, so let’s see if we can have a great baseline car and work from there and try to give all our sponsors and ABC Supply a great result.”
Last Race: At Pocono Raceway, qualifying was cancelled and the field was set according to entrant points so Tony Kanaan started 19th and Matheus Leist started 20th. Kanaan finished eighth which is his best finish of the season to date and his third top-10 finish this year. Leist finished 14th; he was hampered by a pit stop made earlier than planned due to a vibration in the front wheel. The crew determined that losing a wheel weight was the culprit.
Past Performance at Gateway: Tony Kanaan’s best start is 3rd (1998 and 2003). His best finish of 2nd also came in 2003 with Andretti-Green Racing. Last year he started 15th and placed 13th. Matheus Leist is making his second start here in IndyCar. Last year he started 18th and finished 16th. The finishes don’t reflect how well they were running as both drivers were caught out by an untimely caution. The Foyt team’s best start is 8th (2017 with Carlos Munoz) and its best finish is 5th (2017 with Conor Daly).
ABC Supply is in its 15th season as primary sponsor of A.J. Foyt’s IndyCar team, making it the longest running team sponsor in the NTT IndyCar Series. The company was founded in 1982 by Ken and Diane Hendricks with just three stores. The company now has over 700 stores and topped $10.5 billion in sales in 2018. ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The company has leveraged its involvement by entertaining well over 110,000 associates and customers over the past 14 racing seasons. This weekend the company will entertain over 375 guests.
ABC Supply local account, Enterprise Contracting, Inc., located in Maryland Heights, Mo., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Tony Kanaan.
ABC Supply local account Lombardo Homes, based in Lake St. Louis, Mo., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest. The company name will be on the engine cover of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Matheus “Matt” Leist.
The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network on Saturday evening, Aug. 24, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. Qualifying will be broadcast Friday on NBC Sports Network from 6:00 – 7:30 PM ET. All of the practices will be available on NBC’s subscription-based service, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.