A.J. Foyt – Arguably The Greatest Ever

Charlotte, NC (January 16, 2009) – A.J. Foyt – arguably the greatest racing driver ever – celebrated his 74th birthday on January 16. Normally, we’d put this item in the Close Finishes Feature Photo section, but Foyt deserves top billing as far as we’re concerned.

We could write volumes about Foyt. Equally proficient in an Indy, Midget, Sprint, Champ, Stock and Road Race car, Foyt is the only driver to win the Indy 500 (four times), the Daytona 500 (1971), the 24 Hours of LeMans (1967) and the 12 Hours of Sebring (1985).

Foyt’s first major professional auto race was a 1956 United States Auto Club Midget event in Anderson, IN. The Houston, TX native made the first of 35 consecutive starts in the Indianapolis 500 in 1958 rolling off 12th and coming home 16th. Foyt would win the race in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977.

Foyt’s USAC record includes 41 Stock Car wins and 50 Midget, Sprint and Champ car victories.

Foyt made his NASCAR debut in 1963 starting and finishing second on the old road course at Riverside, CA behind the wheel of a Ray Nichels Pontiac. ‘Super Tex’ would eventually make 128 career NASCAR starts winning seven times including back-to-back victories in the Firecracker 400 (1964-1965) at Daytona and the previously mentioned 1971 Daytona 500.

Foyt’s final race came in the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Las Vegas in 1996. He started 32nd and finished 28th in the 40-truck field.

Thanks for the memories A.J. – and – Happy Birthday.

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