A.J. Foyt Waves Green at Rolex 24;
ABC Supply Team Tests Updated Honda Aero Kit at Sebring

A.J. Foyt returned to action this past weekend to wave the green flag at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Jan. 30. It was his first time back at a race track since Iowa Speedway in July. Foyt, 81, was the honorary starter for the sports car race which he won in 1983 and 1985.

“It was a lot of fun being back at Daytona and seeing some old friends,” said Foyt, who was visibly impressed with the first-of-its-kind motorsports stadium. “Joie [Chitwood president of DIS] and his staff have done an incredible job here. I think Mr. France and Bill, Jr. would be very proud of what Daytona has become.”

Foyt then traveled to Sebring International Raceway Monday morning to see his ABC Supply Racing Hondas take to the track for the first time equipped with the updated Honda aero kit package.

Veteran driver Takuma Sato was pleased with the drivability of the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda.

“It was nice to be back in the car after a long off-season,” said Sato. “There was a lot to cover at our first test and generally the day went well despite losing some track time due to an electrical issue. It was particularly interesting since it was our first time testing the new Honda aero kit. It shows very positive signs and I was very comfortable with it. Also I now work with Raul Prados as my race engineer; he was my assistant engineer in 2013 and 2014, and the day with him went really well. We have a lot to learn with the 2016 spec car but the team made good progress. They did great preparation over the winter so I feel very positive about the rest of the pre-season tests.”

Teammate Jack Hawksworth thought the test was productive on many levels.

"It felt great to be back in the car again after such a long break and the weather conditions were great which allowed us the opportunity to have a productive day,” said Hawksworth, who turns 25 on February 28th. “There has been a big restructuring in the team over the winter so it was also very useful to see how the new people and structure was going to work.

“We had a big list of test items to get through on the ABC Supply Hondas, and despite some early morning teething issues, we were able to try a lot of things on both cars, aerodynamically and mechanically,” he continued. “I think we made some decent progress and we now have a good foundation to build on heading into the next pre-season test. There's a lot of work to be done still across the board but it certainly feels like we are now heading in the right direction, and that is certainly exciting."

The test gave drivers the opportunity to work in a racing environment with Team Director George Klotz who joined the team last fall. The engineering staff was enlarged and personnel were moved around due to new hires. This year, Prados, who was chief engineer on Hawksworth’s car in 2015, moves to Sato’s car. Dan Hobbs, who worked most recently at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, joined the team in the off season and will be the chief engineer on Hawksworth’s car. Don Halliday returns for a fifth season but now in the role as Technical Director overseeing both engineers. Halliday was not at the test due to a family wedding.

"It was a good first test for the team,” said Team President Larry Foyt. “The engineers have worked very hard over the winter to come up with ideas to try to gain speed, and it was encouraging to see the results on track. Things are picking up quickly, and we will be almost non-stop right up to our first race in St. Petersburg. I'm excited to do more testing and see where we stack up compared to the competition."

In addition to two more private tests, and several shaker rig tests, the team will be at the Open Test at Phoenix International Raceway Feb. 26-27. The Verizon IndyCar Series kicks off their season with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 13.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY A.J.!!

HOUSTON January 16, 2016--A.J. Foyt turns 81 today.

"I never thought I would live this long. A lot of people never thought I would either."

As mesquite tough as the Texas land he grew up in, A.J. Foyt has suffered through death-defying accidents and overwhelming health problems the past 81 years. Take a look back at what he overcame to celebrate his birthday with his family, friends and many fans today.

Age 15 - Survived a boating accident in the Galveston Bay when a storm upended his boat, sadly only two of three teenagers survived.

Age 23 - First time he hit the wall in the Indy 500 when a water hose broke

Age 30 - His accident at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway saw him go end-over-end after his brakes failed. He was in critical condition with a bruised aorta, broken back and fractured heel.

Age 31 - He endured burns to his face, neck and hands when he hit the wall at Milwaukee during practice after a suspension failure.

Age 37 - He suffered burns to his back when his dirt car caught fire during a refueling stop. He broke his leg and ankle when he jumped from it and got run over by his own car.

Age 46 - His right arm was badly fractured when a tire failure sent his Indy car into the Armco barrier at Michigan.

Age 48 - He broke two vertebrae in his back after hitting the wall in his stock car at Daytona but won the Paul Revere 250 sports car race that night.

Age 55 - When his brakes failed at turn 1 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., he hit a dirt embankment, breaking his left knee and crushed his left heel, dislocating his left tibia and right heel and sustaining compartment syndrome in both feet. Came back eight months later to qualify second for the 1991 Indy 500.

Age 57 - Broke his left shoulder twice--first in qualifying for the Daytona 500 and then again while practicing for the Phoenix 200 Indycar race.

Age 69 - Suffered badly torn rotator cuff stepping off  his trackhoe excavator.

Age 70 - Survived attack of killer bees which led to systemic shock.

Age 71 - Underwent knee replacement for  his left leg

Age 72 - Escaped from drowning in his enclosed bulldozer when he overturned it into a lake on one of his ranches.

Age 77 - Contracted a nearly fatal staph infection after surgery to remove bone spurs around his artificial left knee.

Age 78 - Underwent back surgery in April, left hip replacement in July and a right knee replacement in December.

Age 79 - Underwent triple bypass surgery and nearly died after post-op complications.

Age 80 - Survived another serious bout of staph infection--this time in his right knee which needed to be replaced again.

So when we wish him Happy Birthday, we are really happy we can!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUPER TEX!!

 

Happy Holidays!

We at AJ Foyt Racing would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and warm wishes for the holidays. We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday wherever you may be spending it. We look forward to a great season and hope the new year is a happy and healthy one for you and your family!

AJ Foyt Racing Moves Forward with 2016 Plans

WALLER, Texas Dec. 16, 2015—A.J. Foyt and his son Larry have made changes to the ABC Supply Racing team but they aren’t in the cockpit. Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth will continue as drivers of the ABC Supply Racing Hondas in 2016.

The changes include hiring George Klotz to serve as Team Director, and making Don Halliday the Technical Director wherein he will oversee the race engineers.

Team President Larry Foyt sees the changes as “an important step to bringing some consistency to the team’s performance” after a season of growing pains in 2015 when the team expanded to two full-season entries for the first time since 2002.

“We’re happy to have both Takuma and Jack continuing with us next season because we know they have the talent to win races,” said Foyt. “Maintaining that continuity and building on what we started last season should show immediate benefits. This winter we are focusing on putting all the pieces in place to not only win, but to be a championship caliber team. The consistency of keeping our nucleus together while strengthening our weak points should give us some very competitive ABC cars in the upcoming season.”

Sato will be in his fourth year driving for Foyt, setting a new record as he becomes the longest tenured full-time driver (aside from A.J.) in the history of the team. Prior to Sato’s arrival, that distinction was shared by Billy Boat, A.J. Foyt IV, and Vitor Meira with three years each. The association is the longest for Sato with any one team in both IndyCar and Formula 1 competition.

“It is an absolute honor to be continuously driving for AJ Foyt Racing,” Sato said. “I just appreciate that A.J. and Larry have given me such a fantastic opportunity to drive for this team. I have had great memories with the team and am very happy to add many more! Once again, I send a big thank you to everyone who has supported me to make this happen.”

Commenting on the 2015 season, Sato added, “I think it was very good first year. We probably couldn’t optimize as a two-car team immediately, but we certainly learned a lot. It is something you can’t build in a day, but we have been working on it and I am excited at what will come as a result of that work. Jack and I get on very well, that combination is always a positive. It will help in many areas and I feel it will only make us stronger.”

Hawksworth, who enters his third year of Verizon IndyCar Series competition and second with Foyt’s team, is optimistic about the coming season.

"I'm looking forward to staying with the ABC Supply team for another season in 2016!” said the 24-year-old Yorkshireman who lives close to the Waller-based race shop during the season.  “We obviously can't take any satisfaction in our performance last season and we know there is a large amount of work to be done if we are going to compete regularly with the top teams next season. It's clear though that the team is already making steps and I'm excited about what George Klotz can bring to the table in 2016. It's far too early to make any predictions but I'm optimistic that if we can have a strong winter program then we'll certainly put ourselves in a stronger position than this past season."

Klotz, 54, who had worked as a mechanic for the Foyt team in 1990-1991, returned to the team in October to serve as its Team Director. His responsibilities will be to oversee the operation of both cars, and introduce systems which will streamline operations and improve efficiency.

“I think they are so close to breaking out, and I think that is the feeling throughout the paddock,” said Klotz. “All of the elements are there, we just need to get everything aligned and I think I can help Larry with that. He’s done a great job to get the team to this point and I’m excited by the possibilities and the guys seem excited too.

Larry Foyt Gets Married!

HOCKLEY, Texas (Nov. 9, 2015) – One of INDYCAR’s most eligible bachelors has tied the knot! Larry Foyt and Kelly Curran, both of Houston, were married this past Saturday afternoon at Houston Oaks Country Club in Hockley.

The 38-year-old President of AJ Foyt Racing met the beautiful Curran, a 2007 graduate of UCLA’s theater arts program, at the 2012 IndyCar race in Fontana, Calif. The bride’s brother D. Michael Curran officiated the ceremony in the open air Pavilion.

Curran was escorted down the aisle by her father Michael F. Curran, a Houston businessman. The bride wore an ivory silk and Alençon lace wedding gown designed by Ines Di Santo and customized by Carmen at Casa de Novia Bridal in Houston.

Teal Reamer was the Matron of Honor and A.J. Foyt IV was the Best Man. Foyt’s wife Casey Irsay Foyt was one of the attendants. The six bridesmaids wore gowns in varying shades of ecru while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos.

The candle-lit reception for 200 guests, including Takuma Sato who flew in from Tokyo to attend, was held in the Clubhouse, a rustic but elegant stone and wood beam building lavishly decorated with antiques from around the world.

The couple left for a week-long honeymoon at Hotel Le Toiny, a five-star resort in St. Barth’s in the French Caribbean.  They will reside in the Houston Oaks private golf club community in Hockley, northwest of Houston.

(Photos courtesy of Chris Bailey Photography)

INDYCAR's 2016 Schedule Features 100th Indy 500, Key Venues, Longer Span

•    Legendary 100th Running of Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for May 29

•    Three new events increase INDYCAR's presence at traditional venues (Phoenix and Road America) and in a new major Northeast metro market (Boston)

•    2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule expands by five weeks, starting earlier (St. Petersburg, March 13) and ending later (Sonoma, Sept. 18)

•    New schedule poised to continue momentum INDYCAR has experienced with 38 percent growth in TV ratings and viewership over the last two years

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 27, 2015) - INDYCAR announced the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule today, a 16-race season - anchored by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race - that spans five weeks longer than last season and features new events in Phoenix, Road America and Boston. INDYCAR has experienced a 38 percent growth in both television ratings and viewership over the past two years with longstanding TV partners ABC and NBCSN and the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season is poised to capitalize and build upon that momentum.

The most diverse schedule in motorsports features five races on oval tracks, five on permanent road courses and six on temporary street circuits.

"Overall, the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is another key step forward in INDYCAR's strategic vision," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We're confident that the momentum that INDYCAR has experienced in fan engagement over the past two seasons will continue as a result of the tireless efforts of our event promoters and our improved scheduling on ABC and NBCSN."

The schedule opens March 13 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Verizon IndyCar Series season has debuted in each of the past five seasons. The battle for the Astor Cup - the trophy presented annually to the series champion - concludes Sept. 18 at Sonoma Raceway, where the season came to a thrilling conclusion this year as Scott Dixon won the race to capture the championship on a tiebreaker.

The season includes the series' return to staple venues Phoenix International Raceway and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., plus the debut of an exciting new event on the streets of Boston.

ABC will broadcast five races in 2016, including the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that kicks off the season two weeks earlier than last year. ABC will blanket Month of May coverage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, broadcasting the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14, Indianapolis 500 qualifications May 21-22 and the eagerly anticipated 100th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

"The 2016 season is defined by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500," Miles continued. "The historic significance of our season is marked by this legendary event and the return of several storied venues such as Road America and Phoenix.  Half the venues on our schedule have hosted 25 or more INDYCAR races and further our rich heritage as the premier form of open wheel racing in the United States."

Foyt Family Wines Launches Speedway Rosè

SPEEDWAY, Ind. October 14, 2015—Ask and you shall receive.

Foyt Family Wines is responding to consumer demand with the launch of Speedway Rosè, which is available for purchase only in the Foyt Wine Vault in Speedway, Ind. starting this month. To celebrate the introduction of this newest varietal, the Foyt Wine Vault is hosting a launch party Thursday, Oct. 22nd; it will be open to the public.

"I think it's interesting and fun on how this wine came about,” said A.J. Foyt IV, co-founder of Foyt Family Wines. “There were literally so many requests for a sweeter wine offering. Our response was our first vintage of the Foyt Rosè of Pinot Noir, produced from Pinot Noir grapes grown in Sonoma County. It’s important to us to have great customer service and this is one example of it: making a wine in the California Wine Country for our customers here in Speedway and naming it after their town."

Speedway Rosè is the first premium Foyt wine to be named after a place. However, in keeping with the tradition of using numbers to designate their wines, Foyt Family Wines officially lists this varietal’s inaugural release as No. 55 Rosè of Pinot Noir from Sonoma County. The number 55 refers to the year that A.J. Foyt viewed his first Indianapolis 500 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after years of listening to it on the radio with his father, Tony, in their Houston, Texas home.

The Vault also installed its first premium wine keg system featuring the No. 55 Speedway Rosè.  With commemorative matching bottles produced, local consumers can purchase these refillable wine bottles to take home and then bring them back for refilling. Like many craft breweries’ refillable growler programs, this new program reduces waste of glass, paper labels, and natural corks thereby making a positive impact on the environment.

A.J. spent every May in Speedway since that inaugural visit in 1955, so when the time came to open up the Foyt Wine Vault, the town’s proximity to the historic track made it an easy decision to locate there. Foyt Family Wines co-founders and Vault co-owners, Larry Foyt and A.J. Foyt IV have both competed in the Indianapolis 500 as well as INDYCAR and NASCAR. Foyt IV, an Indianapolis-area resident, handles the day-to-day operations of the Vault.

“We hope everyone comes out to help us celebrate on the 22nd,” Foyt IV said. “It will be our chance to honor this great community which has been welcoming the Foyt family since 1955!”

A.J. Foyt Undergoes Successful Knee Replacement Surgery;
Takuma Sato Enjoys Road America Test in Elkhart Lake

WALLER, TX Sept. 24, 2015— A.J. Foyt underwent surgery yesterday to implant an artificial knee in his right leg, replacing the antibiotic-infused cement spacer he received August 10th. It was the second phase of treatment for a staph infection which surfaced in his artificial knee in late July.

“My doctors said everything went perfectly, so I was relieved to hear that,” said Foyt. “My right leg was clear of the infection so the doctors were able to give me a new knee. They were really pleased with how everything went.” It is the second time that Foyt has been hospitalized with a staph infection, the first time occurred in January, 2012 in his left artificial knee. Foyt is expected to remain in the Houston hospital for several days.

While Foyt was awaiting his surgery, his race team was in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Tuesday as several teams tested at the beautiful 4-mile road course in the Wisconsin Dells area. Nine drivers from four other teams (Ganassi, Penske, Rahal Letterman Lanigan and CHF Racing) joined Sato in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to the historic track. The last year an IndyCar raced there was in 2007 under the Champ Car World Series sanctioning body.

Sato, who joined IndyCar in 2010, had never seen the circuit before this week but was impressed. Following are his thoughts on the experience.

On his impression of the track (before getting on it): “I had heard about how this is everyone’s favourite track and after seeing some past footage of it, I was very impressed and excited to get on it.”

On running it in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda Indy car: “Love it! The track is such a classic style - narrow and fast – and it’s an incredible feeling. So much fun! I feel it is a great fit for a powerful Indy car, and the cornering speed was very impressive plus it is surrounded by beautiful greens and woods. Great track!”

On its similarities to other tracks he’s run: “It is nothing like other tracks in the USA I’ve run, but in Europe I think perhaps it’s like a mixture of Imola in San Marino and old Hockenheim in Germany or the Brands Hatch GP course in the UK but with less elevation change.  The characteristics these tracks share with Road America are that they are exceptionally narrow and fast and have a long straight with dense forest. Drivers and fans love these kinds of tracks.”

On the most thrilling part of the track: “Both the Carousel and the Kink are unbelievably fast and thrilling. You need a good commitment for Turn 1 too.”

On the passing opportunities: “I think there are a few. T1, T5 and T12 are the most popular I imagine.”

On possibility of side-by-side racing there: “It’s narrow but you can. You need a good trust and commitment but T5 has a good space for it.”

On the bratwurst (considered best in America): “No I haven’t eaten one yet but I have to then!”

 

JACK “J.D.” HOUSBY

(January 10, 1935 – September 10, 2015)

DES MOINES Sept. 10, 2015--Our good friend Jack “J.D.” Housby passed away today after a valiant battle with cancer.

Housby has been a friend of A.J. Foyt’s for over five decades but it was in the last two decades that their paths crossed more frequently and their friendship deepened. At Indianapolis, Housby often accompanied Foyt on the golf cart as the two rode out to pit lane and back. And while Foyt would duck into the garage, Housby would hold court outside of it as friends from all walks of life would stop by to chat with him. After attending 65 straight Indy 500s, he made a lot of acquaintances.

As the largest Mack Truck dealer in Iowa, Housby was a successful businessman who had a passion for racing. A fixture at the Knoxville Nationals, he owned teams in NASCAR and sponsored teams on every level, including our IndyCar team. He was a friend to the legends in IndyCar and NASCAR, and everyone seemed to know – and respect – Gentleman Jack Housby.

In lieu of a funeral (Jack disliked funerals and didn’t want one), the Housby family put together a terrific video -- a celebration of Jack's life which can be viewed here.  It is hosted by his three sons Kelly (left), Kevin (center) and Michael.

Indy will be a bit sadder for us next year—especially when we see that empty golf cart sitting outside Garage A1--but we know Jack will be riding with us in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500!

Justin Wilson, 1978 - 2015

We at AJ Foyt Racing are deeply saddened to learn of Justin Wilson succumbing to his injuries. A true ambassador of racing, he was respected by his peers and admired by so many people here and abroad. Our hearts go out to his wife Julia, their two young daughters, and his brother Stefan and their parents. In memory of Justin, we are sending a donation to the fund set up for his children. We encourage you to do the same. Wilson Children's Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222. RIP Justin.

Cordyne, Inc. Signs as Associate Sponsor of ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing

WALLER, Texas June 5, 2015 — Starting with this weekend’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, Cordyne, Inc. is making its entrance into the world of motorsports sponsorship by signing as an associate sponsor of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda driven by Jack Hawksworth. The agreement extends through the 2016 season.

Based in Houston, Cordyne will be using its marketing partnership to entertain its clients as well as attract new clients as it seeks to expand its electrical manufacturing and distribution business throughout Texas and beyond the Lone Star State. Driver Jack Hawksworth will augment the insider racing experience in the off season with visits to the company’s headquarters. AJ Foyt Racing will host a luncheon at its shop as Cordyne’s associates and customers receive an insider’s tour.

"We are very excited and honored to be associated with AJ Foyt Racing and Jack Hawksworth,” said Ben Devine, who owns the company in partnership with Justin Morgan. “We believe that Jack is an up and coming superstar who is driving for a race team that is on the rise. Cordyne's culture and business values are very similar to AJ Foyt Racing and compliment what Larry Foyt is doing there. Sharing similar philosophies, we look forward to a mutually successful future together."

Morgan is equally enthusiastic about aligning with the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team and the entry into motorsports.

"Cordyne's roots and headquarters are in Texas and we are honored to be partnered with a Texas based team that has such a legendary history,” Morgan said. “We feel that with this partnership, we can promote Cordyne, Inc. by enhancing our brand with existing customers and extending it to potential customers as we expand beyond Texas. The affiliation with the Foyt team, and by extension IndyCar racing, is a great opportunity for us to help each other grow our organizations in our mutual efforts to achieve success."