A.J. Foyt Opening Day Presented By The Indianapolis Star

Four-Time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt of Houston, TX is being honored this year for his 50th year in Indy Car racing. Foyt who won another “500” as a car owner in 1999 with driver, Kenny Brack took center stage on Sunday, May 6th-opening day for the Brickyard.

One of the highlights of the day was a ceremonial lap by all five of Foyt’s winning cars. Longtime Foyt driver and friend, George “Ziggy” Snider drover the 1961 winner-the Offenhauser powered Trevis Bowes Seal Fast #1 roadster. Al Unser, Jr. who will be driving a second Foyt entry at this year’s “500” drove the Sheraton-Thompson Watson roadster that Foyt drove to victory in 1964. Foyt’s son, Larry drove the #14 1967 Coyote-Ford that his father drove to victory in 1967. A.J. Foyt IV drove the 1977 #14 Gilmore Racing Team Coyote-Foyt. That car was powered by a four-cam V-8 engine originally developed by the Ford Motor Company in 1960’s. Foyt purchased the division from Ford in 1971 when Ford withdrew from racing thus the name “Foyt”. Darren Manning current driver of the ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara-Honda drove the 1999 #14 Powerteam G-Force-Oldsmobile.

Foyt a fan favorite was interviewed at the start/finish line by legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway P.A. Announcer Tom Carnegie. Foyt initially was intimidated by the baritone Carnegie early in career. FOYT: “Tom, you couldn’t have said no nicer words. But let me tell you something, I was pretty damn scared of you, too. Indianapolis was my dream. It still is my dream. Ladies and gentleman, Tom can probably go back and tell you that when I first started, everyone thought I wouldn’t live to be 25. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not. These golden years aren’t what they say they’re supposed to be. I loved the silver years a lot better. So y’all remember that. A lot of people said, ‘You won Indy, why do you go to Terre Haute to race, why do you run the Hoosier Hundred?’ Those are the people who helped me get started, and those are the people I wanted to race for.”

Foyt has special feelings for the “Brickyard,” “We had some great years. My dream was, every time I got hurt real bad, my dream was to come back to Indianapolis. I’ll still be back here for quite a few years. The Georges and Hulmans were so great to me. When I first got here, I couldn’t even get a pit pass.”

Foyt Fact: Foyt abandoned his original paint scheme after 1966 when he went winless for the first time since 1960. In 1967, Foyt switched to a simple distinctive orange color, which he calls “Coyote Red.” Officially, the color is “warm poppy red.” Foyt who finished 13th in point standings after a injury-plagued ’66 season switched to his now familiar #14.

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