A.J. Trivia

Indy Cars (A.J. as a driver)

Biggest payday: earned $252, 278 when he won Indy for the fourth time.

Smallest payday: earned $71.25. He finished 24th in Indianapolis Raceway Park 150 Indy car race. Started 13th and dropped out after 5 laps

Most lucrative season: earned $578,744

Least lucrative season: 1957 -- earned $2,171.

Most victories at paved track: 12 at Trenton (NJ) Speedway

Most victories at dirt track: 6 at Indiana State Fairgrounds

Most starts at same track: 45 at Milwaukee

First victory: 100 mile race at DuQuoin, Il. on September 5, 1960. Started 4th in Bowes Seal Fast No.5, beat Tony Bettenhausen Sr. (the  original) to win  $5,165 in only A.J.'s 34th start.

First lap led: Milwaukee 100 on June 5, 1960. Led laps 78-81. Started 4th in Bowes Seal Fast No.5. finished second. Earned $4,228 in his 30th start.

Clean Sweeps (win pole and race): 22

Final Indy car race: 1992 Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Started 23rd (fastest second day qualifier) and finished ninth with 195 laps. Earned $189,883 in his 35th consecutive Indy 500

All Classes

Total Major Victories: 172
Indy car 67
USAC stock car 41
USAC sprint car 28
USAC midget 20
Sports car 7
USAC Dirt Car 2
Total Championships: 14
Indy car 7
USAC stock car 3
USAC Dirt car 1
USAC sprint car  (eastern division) 1

As solely an owner, A.J. has seven official IndyCar victories including the 1999 Indianapolis 500 (or 8 if, like A.J., you count Texas 1997), and five Infiniti Pro Series victories including the inaugural Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has won two IndyCar titles and one Infiniti Pro Series title.

As a driver, A.J.’s career record in USAC victories is 158. He is the only dirver to have won 20 or more races in USAC’s four divisions: IndyCars, stock cars, sprint cars and midgets.

He is the only driver to have won the Indianapolis 500 in both a front-engine roadster and a rear engine monocoque.

A.J. won his third, fourth and fifth Indy 500s in orange and white cars numbered 14.

A.J. Foyt’s first race car that he owned was a modified ’38 Ford No.41. He won his first ever race in 1941 against Doc Cossey in an exhibition race at the Houston Speed Bowl. He drove the No.8 midget that his daddy built for him

"The number 14"

To honor one of motorsports greatest drivers, in 1991, both USAC and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) reserved the number 14 exclusively for A.J. Foyt as long as he remains active in Indy car racing as either a driver or owner. Upon his retirement from the sport, the number 14 will be permanently retired.

Foyt selected the number 14 to run in 1967 following a disappointing 1966 season when he placed 13th in the standings and didn't win one race. Along with winning the 1967 Indianapolis 500, Foyt won the championship, earning the number 1 which he carried in 1968. He did not return to using the number 14 until 1973, again following a rough season in 1972 when injuries put himout of action for three months. Foyt never relinquished the number again despite winning two more Indy car titles.

Asked why he chose the number 14, A.J. Foyt said it had a good heritage having been campaigned in the past by the likes of Wilbur Shaw, Tony Bettenhausen and Bill Vukovich Sr.  Foyt's fondness for the number may have stemmed too from the first time he ran a number 14 Indy car at Sacramento, California in October, 1962. Having switched rides with Bobby Marshman, Foyt won the event in the Thompson-Rotary 14 which began a 10-year association with Sheraton-Thompson.

"Coyote Red"

The color scheme on A.J. Foyt's cars in the early to mid-1960's--pearlescent white with red, blue and gold leaf trim--was abandoned by Foyt after a dismal season in 1966 in which he went winless for the first time in his Indy car career since he started winning in 1960. In 1967, Foyt switched to a simple paint scheme and to the distinct orange color, which he calls Coyote Red. Officially it is "warm poppy red" and was first used by Ford on its 1965 Ford Mustangs.

Foyt won his first race using the Coyote Red No. 14--the Indianapolis 500--and went on to score four more victories that year. The Ford Mark IV sports car which Foyt co-drove with Dan Gurney to victory in the 24 Hours of LeMans of LeMans was also orange in hue.

The injuries:

  • A.J.'s first really serious injury came in the NASCAR stock car race at Riverside, California on January 17, 1965 when he flipped the #00 down the embankment to avoid crashing Junior Johnson and Marvin Panch. He'd turned 30 the day before. He broke his back, fractured his heel and sustained a damaged aorta.
  • A.J.'s next injury came the following year when he was burned in practice for the June race at Milwaukee's Wisconsin State Fair Park one mile paved oval in 1966. His Lola broke a spindle and hit the wall entering turn one and burst into flames. He sustained burns on his hands, face and neck.
  • A.J. suffered burns and broke his leg and ankle the day after the Indianapolis 500 in 1972 at a dirt car race at DuQuoin, Ill. His car caught fire during a pitstop, started rolling and Foyt jumped out of  his moving car only to be run over by it.
  • He fractured his right arm severely in a crash at the 1981 Michigan 500. He spent the remaining summer and fall painting fence at his 1,500 acre ranch as therapy to restore the muscle in his arm.
  • He broke two vertebrae in his back during practice for the 1983 NASCAR Firecracker 400 when he hit the wall. But he did run the Paul Revere 250 sports car race that night and won it.
  • He broke his left knee, dislocated his left tibia, crushed his left heel, dislocated his right heel and suffered compartment syndrome to both feet in an Indy car race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on September 23rd. Foyt plowed through a dirt embankment when his brakes failed at Road America's turn one at the end of the four-mile road course's longest straightaway.
  • He broke his left shoulder twice: first in a crash while qualifying for the 1992 Daytona 500. He broke the same shoulder when he crashed in practice for the Phoenix Indy 200 in April.
  • Since retiring from driving cars, Foyt has had several medical emergencies related to operating his bull dozer. He was bit by a brown recluse spider on his neck while working the bulldozer at his ranch in Del Rio in the late 90s. He tore his rotator cuff on his right arm while stepping off a trac-hoe in October 2004 which required surgery to repair it. In August, 2005, he was attacked by a swarm of killer bees that nearly killed him when he went into systemic shock. Over 200 stingers were lodged in his head alone. In June, 2006, he underwent knee replacement surgery for his left leg. In 2007, he nearly drowned in his bulldozer when the lake’s banking gave way and the bulldozer (with Foyt inside its protective cage) went upside down into the lake. Foyt’s latest battle in January, 2012 potentially was his most serious. He contracted a staph infection in his artificial knee after surgery to remove bone spurs.