Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Conway Not Cutting It

Bad is an understatement. There are few words to describe how the first nine races have gone for Mike Conway and AJ Foyt Enterprises. Maybe more like direful. Although the team and driver combo have had some flashes of brilliance this season, they have trumped all of the good with a lot of negatives.

Watching the race at Iowa was the nail in the coffin. I mean, for goodness sake, Simona de Silvestro in the Lotus was passing Conway with ease. That is a new low. That's the equivalent of France winning a war, or Barrack Obama doing something good for the economy, or the Cleveland Browns winning a football game, it just never happens.

Like I said, they have had some good moments this season. Solid run at Barber (P7), Belle Isle (P9), and the first stint at Indy where he qualified in a less than ideal place, but ran great in the race....... Let me finish that, he ran great in the race until making a costly pit mistake, damaging the front wing, going back out, and crashing a lap later in a spectacular manner, taking points leader Will Power with him. Conway was pondering why the team sent him back out. But if you hadn't overcooked it into the pits, this predicament would have never happened (glad he walked away from that crash, happened right in front of us, scary stuff).

Spectacular crash at Indy quite literally right
in front of us, glad everyone was okay

So then the negatives. The aforementioned Indy run yielded a P29 result, St. Pete (P20), Long Beach {where he was the defending winner} (P22), Sao Paulo (P19) {Conway famous for clobbering Dario on the restart, causing Dario to spin}, Texas (P16), Milwaukee (P16), and his recent act of greatness of P20 at Iowa. Average finish: 17.5. That's shocking.

But let's do the math here. Long Beach was blamed on a mechanical issue, Sao Paulo was blamed on luck, Indy was a mix of everyone, Texas was blamed on a mechanical issue, Milwaukee was said to be rough because "I (Mike) couldn't pass ", and Iowa was yet another mechanical issue.  A lot of mechanical issues, fishy if you ask me. Now I am not blaming all of the short comings on Conway. Maybe the engineering staff aren't pulling their weight, but at some point, something has to change.

I mean, look who Mike's boss is. The legend, AJ Foyt. Charismatic, funny, outspoken, and a nice guy to be around. Foyt is also arguably one of the greatest drivers the world has ever seen. You compare him to Conway, an emotionless, quiet, a "his heart rate never goes above 60 beats per minute (sarcasm) and keeps to himself" kind of guy, it starts to become clear that theses two really only share one thing in common: they are race car drivers. I have met Mike, and he is a polite guy, but a little more fan interaction would be nice. I do not see this team driver combination lasting too much longer unless results start pouring in.


I know Mike has talent. We've seen some brilliant drives from him in the past. And I am not saying he "sucks", but at this point, his season can only be pinned as a failure. With five road courses coming up, can Conway turn his direful season around?

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

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