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Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr.
Born January 16, 1935 (1935-01-16) (age 74)
Hometown Houston, Texas
Awards Only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (four times), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

International Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee (2000)

Named co-Driver of the Century by the Associated Press

Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)

Inducted in the first class in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (U.S.) (1990)

Inducted in the first class into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1989)

Inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame (1988)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics
128 races run over 30 years
Best cup position 40th - 1989 (Winston Cup)
First race 1963 Motor Trend 500 (Riverside)
Last race 1994 Brickyard 400 (Indianapolis)
First win 1964 Firecracker 400 (Daytona)
Last win 1972 Miller High Life 500 (Ontario)
Wins Top tens Poles
7 36 9
A. J. Foyt
Related to A. J. Foyt IV (grandson)
Larry Foyt (adopted son)
USAC & CART Championship Car series
Years active 1957-1993
Teams Dean Van Lines Special
Anstead-Thompson Racing
Gilmore Racing
A. J. Foyt Enterprises
Starts 369
Wins 67
Poles 53
Best finish 1st in 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1975, & 1979 (USAC)
Championship titles
1960
1960
1961
1963
1964
1967
1968
1972
1975
1975-76
1976-77
1978
1979
1979
USAC Sprint Car Series Champion
USAC National Champion
USAC National Champion
USAC National Champion
USAC National Champion
USAC National Champion
USAC Stock Car Champion
USAC Silver Crown Series Champion
USAC National Champion
IROC Champion
IROC Champion
USAC Stock Car Champion
USAC Gold Crown Champion
USAC Stock Car Champion

Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr., or as he is universally known as in motorsports circles, A. J. Foyt (born January 16, 1935, in Houston, Texas), is a retired American automobile racing driver. He raced in numerous genres of motorsports. His open wheel racing includes USAC Champ cars and midget cars. He raced stock cars in NASCAR and USAC. He won several major sports car racing events. He holds the all-time USAC career wins record with 159 victories,[1] and the all-time American championship racing career wins record with 67.[2]

He is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (which he won four times), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Foyt won the International Race of Champions all-star racing series in 1976 and 1977. Foyt's success has led to induction in numerous motorsports halls of fame.

Since his retirement from active racing, he has owned A. J. Foyt Enterprises, which has fielded teams in the CART, IRL, and NASCAR.

Contents

Early life

Foyt attended Pershing and Hamilton middle schools and Lamar and San Jacinto high schools,[3] but he dropped out to become a mechanic.[4]

Driving career

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Midget car career

He started his USAC career in a midget car at the 1956 Night before the 500 in Anderson, Indiana. His first midget car win was at a 100 lap event at Kansas City in 1957, and finished seventh in the season points standings.[1] He left midget cars after the 1957 season to drive in sprint cars and Championship Car. He did occasionally compete in midget car events. He won the 1960 and 1961 Turkey Night Grand Prix, the first two years that it was held at Ascot Park. He won the 1961 Hut Hundred after starting last, and finished seventh in National Midget points that year. He won the 1970 Astro Grand Prix, an event that he promoted in his hometown of Houston. He ended his career with 20 midget car feature wins.

Championship car career

The car Foyt drove to Indy victory in 1977.
Foyt racing in 1984

In 1961, he became the first driver to successfully defend his points championship and win the Indianapolis 500 race. He raced in each season from 1957-1992, starting in 374 races and finishing in the top ten 201 times, with 67 victories. In 1958, Foyt raced in Italy in the Trophy of the Two Worlds on the banking at Monza.

Ford engines were widely expected to dominate the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Foyt hoped his Offenhauser engine would be able to keep up with the Fords. Foyt lapped the field to win the race. The race is known for a lap 2 crash that claimed the lives of Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs.

Also, in 1964 Foyt won a record 10 of 14 races enroute to his championship.

In 1966 at the Milwaukee, WI. August 200-mile (320 km) Championship Car race his rear engined Lotus pavement car was not at the track so Foyt unloaded the Offenhauser engined dirt track car he had won the 100-mile (160 km) race with at Springfield, Il. the previous day sprayed the mud off of the car, installed pavement tires and a set up for the one mile (1.6 km) oval. He received permission to take two extra warm up laps during qualifying as he had no time for practice and then qualified the car on the pole, led the race for 18 out of 200 laps but then had to stop for a new rear tire, and finished 2nd to Gordon Johncock driving a rear engined Gerhardt-Offy indy car.

In the 1967 Indianapolis 500, Parnelli Jones' turbine car was expected to easily defeat the field of piston engines. Jones lapped the field, but his car expired with a few laps left in the race. Foyt had to weave through five wrecked cars down the final front stretch to win the race, a race that took two days to complete due to an initial first day rain delay.

In the 1977 Indianapolis 500, Foyt ran out of fuel, and had to make up around 32 seconds on Gordon Johncock. Foyt made up 1.5 to 2 seconds per lap by turning up his turbo boost, which risks destroying the engine. Johncock's own engine expired just as Foyt had closed to within eight seconds back after both drivers' final pit stops, and Foyt passed for the win.

He won at the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 4 times, in 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977. He was the first driver to do so. The feat has since been matched by Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991). Of his 67 career championship car race victories, twelve (12) were won at Trenton (NJ) Speedway. Foyt also won the indycar series 7 times a record that still stands today

Stock car career

USAC Stock Car

He was the champion in USAC's stock car in 1968, 1978, and 1979. He finished second in 1963 and 1969, and third in 1970.[5]

NASCAR

Foyt only needed 10 races to get his first NASCAR victory. Richard Petty dominated the 1964 Firecracker 400 until he went out with engine problems. Foyt swapped the lead with Bobby Isaac for the final 50 laps of the summer event at the Daytona International Speedway. Foyt passed Isaac on the final lap to win the race.

In 1965 AJ foyt qualified and ran in the front of the pack most of the day with Dan Gurney and Parnelli Jones in the 1965 Motor Trend 500 at riverside. Parnelli retired out of the race from mechanical issues leaving Gurney and Foyt to run 1st and 2nd most of the day. Late in the race Foyt spun around. His car refired, and he charged through the field in an attempt to regain lost positions. But with mere laps to go, AJ Foyt lost control of his #00 and carrened into a ditch in turn 5. He landed on his driver's side, and his car shot out of the ditch, fliping him over end-over-end once before coming to rest on his wheels. The track doctor at Riverside International Raceway race pronounced Foyt dead at the scene of the severe crash, but fellow driver Parnelli Jones revived him after seeing movement. Foyt suffered severe chest injuries, a broken back, and a fractured ankle. Footage of his flipping #00 Ford, owned by Holman Moody, is featured in the final scene of the movie Redline 7000.

Foyt ran out of gas near the end of the 1971 Daytona 500, and Petty passed him for the win. Foyt again had the car to beat in the 1972 Daytona 500, but this time succeeded in a dominating performance. Only three drivers led during the race.

Foyt won the 1971 and 1972 races at the Ontario Motor Speedway for Wood Brothers Racing. The track was shaped like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 1972 race was his last NASCAR win.

Career summary

  • Foyt drove in the Indianapolis 500 for 35 consecutive years, winning it four times (the first of only three to do so).
  • Foyt is the only driver to win the Indy 500 in both front and rear-engined cars, winning twice with both configurations.
  • Foyt is the only driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500 the same year (1967).
  • He is the only person to record victories in the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 stock car race, the 24 Hours of Daytona (twice, with co-driver Bob Wollek), the 24 Hours of Le Mans international sports car endurance race in Le Mans, France, as well as the 12 Hours of Sebring (his last major professional win, in 1985, with co-driver Bob Wollek). Foyt had never competed in European sports-car racing or driven at LeMans prior to his 1967 winning performance in a Ford GT40 co-driven by Dan Gurney. While being sprayed with champagne on the podium, he is reported to have asked "Do I win Rookie Of The Year?"
  • He also has 41 USAC Stock Car wins and 50 Sprint Car, Midget, and Dirt Champ Car wins.
  • He has won 12 total major driving championships in various categories.
  • His USAC wins tally is a record 138 (The late Rich Vogler is second with 132.)
  • Foyt won the 1976 and 1977 IROC championships.
  • Foyt won 7 NASCAR races, including the 1972 Daytona 500.
  • Foyt holds the closed course speed record driving the Oldsmobile Aerotech at an average speed of over 250 mph (400 km/h).
  • Despite having won more USAC sanctioned events than any other driver Foyt never won a CART sanctioned event.

Awards

Indianapolis 500 records

Foyt has numerous career records at the Indianapolis 500: the first of to date three drivers to win a record four times, the most consecutive and career starts (35), most races led (13), most times led during the career (39), and most competitive laps and miles during a career (4,909 laps, 12,272.5 miles).

Car owner

A. J. Foyt (right) and former driver Darren Manning (left) at the 2007 Indianapolis 500.

While an active driver, Foyt entered into a longtime partnership with Kalamazoo, Michigan businessman Jim Gilmore, and raced under the Gilmore-Foyt Racing name for many years.

After retiring as a driver, he continued his involvement in racing as a car owner of A. J. Foyt Enterprises in the CART series, then the Indy Racing League (IRL) and NASCAR.

Scott Sharp took a share of the 1996 Indy Racing League (IRL) title driving for Foyt while Kenny Bräck won the 1998 IRL title, also in a Foyt car. Bräck won the 1999 Indianapolis 500 in Foyt's car, putting Foyt in the winner's circle at Indy for the fifth time. The current driver for his IRL team, A. J. Foyt Enterprises, is Vitor Meira.

On June 7, 1997, Foyt (as an owner) was involved in an incident that helped shape the history of the Indy Racing League and added to his reputation as a man of little patience. One of his drivers, Billy Boat, had been declared the winner of the inaugural IRL race at Texas Motor Speedway that had been held that night, and his other driver, Davey Hamilton, had come in second. However, driver Arie Luyendyk disputed Boat's win, claiming that he was in the lead when a scoring error by USAC (who had scored all IRL races up until that time) gave Boat the checkered flag. When Luyendyk entered victory lane after the race to confront TMS general manager Eddie Gossage about the finish uttering obscenities, an irate Foyt approached the Dutch-born Luyendyk from behind and slapped and shoved him into tulips (ironically given Luyendyk's Dutch heritage). Luyendyk then requested a review of the race; a few days later, USAC reversed its position and declared Luyendyk the winner; Foyt kept the victory lane-awarded trophy. Following the controversy, the IRL relieved USAC of the scoring duties for its events.

Family

Foyt is the grandfather of A. J. Foyt IV. Foyt is the grandfather and adoptive father of Larry Foyt. He is also the godfather of driver John Andretti.

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1958 Kuzma/Brauner Offy 12th 16th
1959 Kuzma Offy 17th 10th
1960 Kurtis/Epperly Offy 16th 25th
1961 Trevis Offy 7th 1st
1962 Trevis Offy 5th 23rd
1963 Trevis Offy 8th 3rd
1964 Watson Offy 5th 1st
1965 Lotus 34 Ford 1st 15th
1966 Lotus 38 Ford 18th 26th
1967 Coyote Ford 4th 1st
1968 Coyote Ford 8th 20th
1969 Coyote/Kuzma Ford 1st 8th
1970 Coyote Ford 3rd 10th
1971 Coyote Ford 6th 3rd
1972 Coyote Foyt 17th 25th
1973 Coyote/Riley Foyt 23rd 25th
1974 Coyote Foyt 1st 15th
1975 Coyote Foyt 1st 3rd
1976 Coyote Foyt 5th 2nd
1977 Coyote Foyt 4th 1st
1978 Coyote Foyt 20th 7th
1979 Parnelli Cosworth 6th 2nd
1980 Parnelli Cosworth 12th 14th
1981 Coyote Cosworth 3rd 13th
1982 March 82C Cosworth 3rd 19th
1983 March 83C Cosworth 24th 31st
1984 March 84C Cosworth 12th 6th
1985 March 85C Cosworth 21st 28th
1986 March 86C Cosworth 21st 24th
1987 Lola Cosworth 4th 19th
1988 Lola Cosworth 22nd 26th
1989 Lola Cosworth 10th 5th
1990 Lola Chevrolet 8th 6th
1991 Lola Chevrolet 2nd 28th
1992 Lola Chevrolet 23rd 9th
1993 Lola Ford-Cosworth Retired

Indy 500 qualifying results

Year Att # Date Time Qual
Day
Car # Laps Qual
Time
Qual
Speed
Rank Start Comment
1967 22 05-13 22 1 14 2 PULLED OFF
1967 28 05-13 28 1 14 4 166.289 4 4  
1968 8 05-18 8 1 1 4 166.821 8 8  
1969 4 05-24 4 2 6 4 3:31.0600 170.568 1 1  
1970 5 05-16 5 1 7 4 170.004 3 3  
1971 2 05-15 2 1 9 4 3:26.5200 174.317 6 6  
1972 3 05-13 17:57 1 2 0 BLOWN ENGINE
1972 30 05-20 11:30 2 2 4 3:10.4800 188.996 5 16  
1973 25 05-12 14:27 1 14 3 WAVED OFF
1973 27 05-12 15:20 1 14 4 3:10.5500 188.927 32 23  
1974 8 05-11 11:05 1 14 4 3:07.8600 191.632 1 1  
1975 4 05-10 11:38 1 14 1 PULLED OFF
1975 19 05-10 16:10 1 14 4 3:05.5900 193.976 1 1  
1976 12 05-15 16:55 1 14 4 3:14.3200 185.261 10 5  
1977 1 05-14 11:02 1 14 4 3:06.0800 193.465 ATTEMPT WITHDRAWN BY USAC
1977 12 05-14 12:39 1 14 4 3:05.0300 194.563 5 4  
1978 14 05-20 12:47 1 14 0 PULLED OFF
1978 39 05-21 13:24 3 14 4 2:59.8900 200.122 3 21  
1979 33 05-13 16:32 1 14 4 3:09.8600 189.613 6 6  
1980 24 05-10 14:24 1 14 0  
1980 32 05-10 16:14 1 14 1 FLAGGED OFF; RAIN
1980 33 05-10 17:59 1 14 4 3:14.0700 185.500 16 12  
1981 2 05-09 15:49 1 14 4 3:03.6000 196.078 6 3  
1982 25 05-15 16:23 1 14 4 2:57.0500 203.332 3 3  
1983 30 05-21 14:59 2 14 4 3:00.4000 199.557 14 24  
1984 25 05-12 15:23 1 14 1 PULLED OFF
1984 39 05-12 17:39 1 4 4 2:56.5920 203.860 12 12  
1985 10 05-11 11:55 1 14 4 2:54.9420 205.782 27 21  
1986 36 05-11 12:09 2 14 4 2:48.8460 213.212 5 22  
1987 21 05-09 17:07 1 14 4 2:50.6690 210.935 4 4  
1988 4 05-14 1 14 0 PULLED OFF
1988 31 05-14 17:23 1 14 3 PULLED OFF
1988 47 05-21 14:35 3 41 4 2:51.6770 209.696 15 22  
1989 15 05-14 13:24 1 14 4 2:45.7950 217.136 12 10  
1990 24 05-19 11:32 1 14 4 2:43.3210 220.425 8 8  
1991 1 05-11 11:00 1 14 4 2:41.8390 222.443 6 2  
1992 23 05-09 17:57 1 14 3 PULLED OFF
1992 28 05-10 12:20 2 14 4 2:41.5810 222.798 16 23  

FIA World Championship career summary

The Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. A. J. Foyt participated in 3 World Championship races. He had no poles, wins, or podium finishes. He accumulated a total of 0 championship points.

References

  1. ^ a b Biography at the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame
  2. ^ ChampCarStats All-Time Records
  3. ^ HISD Connect - Alumni Houston Independent School District
  4. ^ Foyt, A. J. Microsoft Encarta. Archived 2009-10-31.
  5. ^ "USAC Stock Car Championship History", ultimateracinghistory.com, Retrieved September 7, 2007

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bobby Unser
IROC Champion
IROC III (1976), IROC IV (1977)
Succeeded by
Al Unser
Preceded by
Bruce McLaren
Chris Amon
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1967 with:
Dan Gurney
Succeeded by
Pedro Rodriguez
Lucien Bianchi
Preceded by
Jim Rathmann
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1961
Succeeded by
Rodger Ward
Preceded by
Parnelli Jones
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1964
Succeeded by
Jim Clark
Preceded by
Graham Hill
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1967
Succeeded by
Bobby Unser
Preceded by
Johnny Rutherford
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1977
Succeeded by
Al Unser
Preceded by
Richard Petty
Daytona 500 Winner
1972
Succeeded by
Richard Petty
Wood Brothers Racing
Sprint Cup drivers Bill Elliott (#21)
Owners Glen Wood | Wood Brothers
Notable former drivers Donnie Allison | Buddy Baker | Neil Bonnett | A. J. Foyt | Dale Jarrett |
David Pearson | Kyle Petty | Ricky Rudd | Elliott Sadler | Morgan Shepherd | Michael Waltrip | Cale Yarborough
Partnerships & Alliances Roush Fenway Racing

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