ABC Supply and AJ Foyt Racing Celebrate 10th Anniversary in 2015

WALLER, Texas March 13, 2015—This season AJ Foyt Racing will celebrate its 10th anniversary with sponsor ABC Supply Co. Inc. which signed as the primary sponsor for the team starting with the 2005 Indianapolis 500.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our tenth anniversary with Foyt Racing,” said Keith Rozolis, president and chief executive officer of ABC Supply Co., Inc. “Over the years, this program has brought thousands of our associates and customers together to celebrate and cheer for our car.  We now look forward to watching Takuma and Jack take our team to the next level.”

"What a wonderful milestone to achieve!” said Larry Foyt, who was recently named president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. “This program has grown more every year, and now with two ABC cars on track, I think this will be our most exciting year to date. From the support of the team, to their sponsorship of races, to the at-track activation, we must give a huge thank you to ABC Supply for their support of  A.J. Foyt Racing--and the sport of IndyCar Racing.”

“I’ve really enjoyed working with ABC because the company is more like family than a sponsor,” said A.J. Foyt. “If you have good days their happy, if you have bad days they understand. They’re always great people to work with. They know even when we are having a bad day that we’re giving it 110%, and I think they respect that about us, and I appreciate that. If you look back through my history, I’ve never had many sponsors and I’m awful proud of that and proud to be with ABC since 2005. We’ve done fairly decently for them, but that’s why we started a two-car team because we want to bring them some more wins.”

The “Celebrating 10 Years” logo appears on the company’s promotional materials including a retrospective wall calendar featuring racing images from the past 10 years, 2015 magnet and pocket racing schedules, and racing-themed banners used at branch locations and at hospitality events.

Celebrating will be double the fun this year as the team announced last October its expansion to two full-time entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series and that ABC Supply would sponsor both cars through 2016. With Takuma Sato continuing in the No. 14, Jack Hawksworth was named to drive the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda.

The company began leveraging the sponsorship in 2005, creating internal programs and inviting over 2,500 customers and employees to races. The program expanded with each passing year. In 2014, ABC Supply entertained 8,400 guests, bringing the 10-year total to nearly 70,000 guests!

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has 493 branches, over 7,700 employees, and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors.  ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle – take care of contractors better than any other distributor.  It remains an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed.

A.J. Foyt Update: A.J. Foyt continues to recover from his triple bypass surgery and subsequent complications at home in Houston. Foyt has been more active since his first return to the race shop in mid-January. “I’m doing a lot better; every day I’m doing a little bit more,” Foyt said. “I’m getting more of my strength back and I’m eating a better than I was when this first happened. I feel with all of the problems I had I’m looking pretty good.  I’ve been on my bulldozer a couple times. Nothing to brag about, I was very weak and very tired but I have done some stuff with it. I probably should keep that quiet because I’m not sure the doctor would enjoy hearing that.” Foyt, who has lost 50 lbs. over the winter, does not expect to make it to a race before May as his current treatment keeps him tied to Houston, but he hasn’t ruled out a day trip. “I may sneak out to a test where I can come and go in the same day. But that’s a call I’ll make based on how I feel that day. I think the new cars look pretty nice. The engineers are going to have their hands full with all of the trick stuff they came up with on the new aero kit. I’m anxious to hear the feedback from testing.”

New title for Larry Foyt: Larry Foyt was named President of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. last month, a title that makes his role official with the organization since his father became seriously ill in 2012 and again in 2014. "I really enjoy the business side of racing,” said Foyt, who is fully aware of the responsibility his position entails. “I think all of my past experience has helped me get to this point--whether it was at TCU as a student, or managing our stock car team while I competed in NASCAR. My time behind the wheel has helped me relate to the drivers and understand their needs as well.” Foyt joined the IndyCar team in the fall of 2006 as the Team Director; each year he has assumed an increasing amount of responsibility.

HAPPY 80TH A.J.!

WALLER, TX January 16—A.J. Foyt did not take his 80th birthday lying down!

Hashtag SuperTex has been living up to his rep as one tough Texan.  Despite an ongoing battle with post-op complications from his Nov. 12 heart operation and hand surgery Tuesday to remove a non-malignant tumor, he drove out to his race shop today to celebrate his birthday with his ABC Supply race team—which has almost doubled in size since his last visit in mid-December.

The team gathered round to sing Happy Birthday to him and he responded with “Y’all need to take some singing lessons!” (See video here)

It was apparent that he enjoyed the quiet celebration and the team appreciated the effort on his part and the opportunity to personally wish him a happy birthday.

Foyt has been receiving wonderful accolades all week long as the IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway PR staffs kicked it into high gear to make number 80 one of A.J.’s most memorable birthdays yet.

In addition to peppering social media with links to stories and creating the #SuperTex compilation of tweets from race drivers, race tracks and industry leaders here and abroad, the websites of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway featured special content saluting the motorsports icon.

Stories and photographic essays documenting Foyt’s incredible exploits have been appeared on the following websites of NBC Sports Network, ESPN, FoxSports, RoadandTrack, Racer, USAToday, IndyStar, and the Houston Chronicle (chron.com). The Verizon IndyCar app featured unique content as well.

Foyt spent most of the day receiving birthday wishes via his cell phone while his Houston household kept busy taking in gifts from all over including a bouquet of 25 roses from long-time friend Dan Gurney. Roger Penske was among those who called as well as former drivers Kenny Brack and George Snider (one of Foyt’s closest friends).

Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott also took time to call his fellow Texan, saying, “I’m so proud of you, so proud that you’re a Texan and proud of what you’ve done. You’re a hero for us here in Texas and we’re thankful that we have you.”

And when Foyt responded he would remain in Texas until he was gone, Abbot quipped, “That means you’re going to stay in heaven.”

Foyt agreed with him.

 

A.J. Foyt Recovers at Home as He Approaches Milestone Birthday

His ABC Supply Racing Team continues to build its no. 41 car staff

HOUSTON (Jan. 12, 2015)—For A.J. Foyt,  turning 80 this Friday may be one of his greatest accomplishments in a lifetime defined by record-setting milestones.

The only man to win the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of LeMans and the Daytona 500 continues to recover from serious complications sustained following his triple bypass heart surgery November 12, 2014.

Foyt was discharged from a Houston hospital December 2nd but was readmitted a week later. He spent an additional two weeks in the hospital to have several procedures performed related to post-operative complications. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“I’ve had a lot of accidents and have always recovered pretty fast,” said Foyt, who has battled back from multiple injuries throughout his illustrious career. “But this is altogether different from an accident because it’s a health problem. All during my career I never had any health problems so I don’t think I realized how lucky you are when you’re healthy. This last deal really caught me off guard and I think I’ve got it whipped now but it’s going to take time. My doctors told me it wasn’t something I’d recover from real quick. I didn’t want to accept that—and still don’t—but it’s taking me a lot longer than I thought. I’m not one of those guys that can just lay around and take it easy, but that’s exactly what I’ve got to do now. It’s driving me nuts.”

The Texan has been spending most of his time at his Houston home but is hoping to make a visit to his ABC Supply Racing team’s race shop soon—perhaps on January 16th to briefly celebrate his 80th. “I’m looking forward to being back with the guys—and I’m pretty sure my wife Lucy is looking forward to that too. She has been a real trooper through all of this.”

The team’s Waller headquarters-- located about 40 minutes northwest of Houston—is bustling as the team is in the midst of an expansion to two full-time entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season. Veteran driver Takuma Sato will be joined by Jack Hawksworth, the 23-year-old British driver who won the 2014 Tony Renna Rising Star Award in his rookie year of IndyCar competition.

“Larry and I talk every day to discuss the second team,” said Foyt of his youngest son. “I have to leave all of the hiring up to him but he’d ask my opinion and a few I said no to and a few yes. He analyzed it all and we agreed on everything. I think he’s done a great job, with it being the first time he’s had to put everything together. He stepped up to the plate big time. I felt like he could do it, but I didn’t know if he really wanted it, but he’s done a helluva job.”

Foyt Family Wines Releases Its Second Collectors Series Wine

Limited release wine’s label design features oil painting by artist Colin Carter

SONOMA, Calif. - Foyt Family Wines is releasing its second Collectors Series wine with a 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the Meadowcroft Estate Vineyard which lies in the esteemed Mt. Veeder region of the Napa Valley.  Bottled in 2014, this special wine honors the 50 year anniversary of A.J. Foyt’s second Indianapolis 500 victory in 1964.

In that Memorial Day race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Foyt started fifth, dominated the race and led 146 laps. He averaged 147.350 mph smashing the track record by over four miles per hour! When Foyt crossed the finish line, it would be the last time a front-engine roadster would ever lead a lap at the 'Brickyard.'

That year, Foyt won 10 of the 13 National Championship races, winning every race he finished to set an IndyCar record. His finest tribute came from 1963 Indy 500 Winner Parnelli Jones, who at the '64 Indy 500 victory dinner, introduced Foyt as "the greatest race car driver who ever lived."

The image used on the bottle, an original oil painting by British artist Colin Carter, captures the essence of this historic moment in the Foyt family’s legacy.

“Due to consumer demand, we decided to continue with our Collectors Series offerings utilizing an image of my dad on the bottle,” said Larry Foyt, co-founder of Foyt Family Wines. “With Colin’s amazing paintings that he created for my dad, we have three incredible Collectors Series wine labels already for our collection going forward.”

Created for the Foyt family by winemaker Tom Meadowcroft from his Estate Vineyard, the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested at the end of September of 2011 and fermented for two weeks. The wine was aged in Alain Fouquet French Oak barrels for three years, which allowed for the massive fruit and tannin structure to mature into a complex and complete wine.

With only 40 cases produced, the Reserve release is limited to only 15 cases available to the public at this time.  Each bottle is wax dipped and packaged in a heat embossed Foyt Family Wines wooden box.  The wine, which retails for $106.00, will be sold exclusively via the Foyt Family Wines website (www.foytwines.com).

Foyt Family Wines was created by Larry Foyt and A. J. Foyt IV, the son and grandson, respectively, of the racing legend.  Both men joined the family business of racing.  Larry has run in NASCAR races as well as the Indy 500 and A.J. IV ran his first Indy 500 at the age of 19.  Joining forces with winemaker Tom Meadowcroft in 2009 to further pursue their passion for fine wines, Foyt Family Wines debuted with its release of No. 14 which was a 2006 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

We at AJ Foyt Racing wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season! We appreciate the support you have shown us over the past season and all of the good wishes sent A.J.'s way this past month. We're looking forward to 2015 and a great season with A.J., Takuma Sato, Jack Hawksworth and our entire ABC Supply Racing team. See you at the races!

A.J. Foyt Released from Hospital, Recovering at Home

HOUSTON Dec. 4, 2014—A.J. Foyt was released from Baylor-St. Luke’s Medical Center Tuesday afternoon and is recovering at home from his Nov. 12 triple bypass heart surgery.

Although his heart surgery was successful, Foyt developed serious complications with his lungs. He was kept on a ventilator for eight days to allow his lungs to recover full functionality. Ten days in the Intensive Care Unit was followed by an additional 10 days in the hospital. The four-time Indianapolis 500 winner’s stay was his longest ever—a total of 25 days from when he was admitted Nov. 7 with chest pains.

“It’s been pretty rough but I guess I slept through the roughest part,” said Foyt, who will turn 80 in January. “I had some problems that most people don’t have after open heart surgery so I made my doctors work extra hard but they saved my life. We’ve turned a corner so everything’s pretty good. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m feeling better every day.”

Foyt is expected to make a full recovery but his doctors have explained to him that it may take longer than he is anticipating. For Foyt, that is called motivation.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We at AJ Foyt Racing are wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are feeling especially grateful this year and hope that everyone has the opportunity to spend this day with their loved ones.

A.J. Foyt Update

HOUSTON (Nov. 26)--A.J. Foyt, who underwent successful triple bypass surgery on his heart November 12, remains in a Houston hospital due to a post-operative complication which has been resolved.

“A.J.’s doing really well,” said Larry Foyt, the youngest son of the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and the Team Director of his father’s racing team. “I’d like to thank everyone who sent get well wishes—it means a lot to A.J. and our family. We’re not sure when he will be released because he needs to rest. He’s improving every day and we’re expecting a full recovery.”

AJ Foyt Racing Hosts Successful ABC Days at the Track in 2014

WALLER, Texas – Since 2008, AJ Foyt Racing has hosted a Day at the Track for its sponsor ABC Supply. This year two ABC Days at the Track were held at MSR Houston, a track located in Angleton, south of Houston.

This year’s events, which were held in mid-October and earlier this week, began with a dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grille, the original Houston restaurant that is one of just two Carrabba’s still owned by the family. Guests enjoyed a private dinner hosted by the Foyt family and were entertained with a wide variety of racing stories. Of course, there were bets among the rookie drivers as to who would come out on top the next day.

The next morning everyone met at the multi-motorsports facility, and Larry Foyt took them around the modified road circuit and instructed them about the characteristics of the car and the track. The drivers then suited up in ABC Supply crew uniforms and given their own helmets.

Each driver received specific instructions about the controls of the Dallara IndyCar which had been raced by Vitor Meira in 2010-2011. After five laps, the driver pitted, and the crew answered any questions—which was usually “How fast was my time?” The driver was then given another five laps to improve that time.

The groups of drivers were comprised of ABC’s customers and ABC associates. The competition among the drivers was fierce as there were more than a few spins as each driver tried to achieve the ultimate lap.

After a lunch catered by Molina’s Cantina—one of Houston’s best Mexican food restaurants and a favorite of A.J.’s—the group headed over to the go-kart track which is part of the motorsports club facility. There the drivers raced against each other as well as Larry Foyt.

A.J. Foyt Undergoes Successful Triple Bypass Surgery in Houston

HOUSTON Nov. 12, 2014—Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt underwent successful coronary bypass surgery today in Houston after being diagnosed with blockages on Monday.

Foyt, 79, had been admitted to the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on Friday with intermittent chest pains but initial testing results were inconclusive. However, a cardiac catheterization procedure performed Monday revealed blockages in arteries where Foyt had several stents from past procedures, most recently in March, 2010.

The triple bypass surgery was performed by renowned cardiothoracic surgeons O.H. “Bud” Frazier, MD,  Director of Cardiovascular Surgery Research at Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Chief of Transplant Service, St. Luke’s Medical Center and William Cohn, MD, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Technology at THI. Both men trained under artificial heart pioneer Dr. Michael DeBakey while Dr. Frazier also worked with Dr. Denton Cooley, a former partner of DeBakey’s and founder of the Texas Heart Institute.

Foyt is expected to remain in the hospital through Monday.

Foyt and his son Larry recently announced the expansion of their IndyCar team from one car to two for the 2015-2016 seasons. Jack Hawksworth was named as driver of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda; Takuma Sato will pilot the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda for the third straight year. In October, Foyt purchased a building in Speedway, Ind. which will be used by his race team as a Midwest base during the summer.

Foyt has had a number of stays in various Houston hospitals in recent years, most of which were related to injuries stemming from his 1990 Indy car accident at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Last year he underwent back surgery and had his left hip and right knee replaced in separate surgeries, and in 2012, he battled back from a life-threatening staph infection after surgery to remove bone spurs in his artificial left knee, which had been replaced in 2006.

Foyt, who was deemed to be one of the toughest race drivers ever during a career that spanned five decades, has proven to be just as tough in his non-driving ‘golden’ years.

AJ Foyt Racing Expands to a two-car team with sponsor ABC Supply and Honda power

WALLER, Texas (Oct. 29, 2014)—Off-season? What off season? Verizon IndyCar Series team owner A.J. Foyt and his son, Larry Foyt, have been busy since the 2014 season ended two months ago.

They have expanded the Verizon IndyCar Series team from one car to two, hired a rising star to drive while retaining the veteran driver who sparked life into the program. They made a deal with ABC Supply Co. Inc. to sponsor two cars for the next two years, and they bought another race shop in the shadow of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For the past 12 seasons, AJ Foyt Racing has been a single-car team, but that will change in 2015 with the hiring of 23-year-old driver Jack Hawksworth, the 2014 winner of INDYCAR’s Tony Renna Rising Star Award. Hawksworth, of Bradford, England, will join veteran Takuma Sato, who returns for his third season with the ABC Supply Racing team. Their Dallaras will be powered by Honda engines and incorporate the Honda aerodynamic bodywork kits.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary as primary sponsor of AJ Foyt Racing next year, ABC Supply agreed to sponsor the No. 41 car and also extended their contract through the 2016 season.

“With ABC’s 10th Anniversary with Foyt Racing in 2015, and the 100th running of the Indy 500 coming in 2016, this is the perfect time for us to add a second car to the ABC Supply Racing team,” said Keith Rozolis, President and CEO of ABC Supply Co. Inc. “We are excited to have Takuma Sato back driving the No. 14 car, and we look forward to watching Jack Hawksworth show us what he can do in the No. 41 car.”