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.
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.”
Main Street welcomes AJ Foyt Racing
SPEEDWAY, Ind. Oct. 9, 2014 — The Speedway Redevelopment Commission and AJ Foyt Racing signed agreements for purchase and renovation of the 45,000 square-foot building located at 1180 Main St., Speedway.
The new location will serve as an expansion of AJ Foyt Racing’s team offices in Waller, Texas. The team will begin renovations with a brick facade to the north side of the building and installation of windows on the south side.
As auto racing’s most inspiring champion, A.J. Foyt is the record winner of 67 IndyCar races, and seven national championships. He is also the only driver to win all three major motorsport races: the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds a rich part of my history and future,” said A.J. Foyt. “During the racing season, it makes sense for our team to operate close to the track where my name was made. I remember what Main Street looked like when I first came to Indy and the Commission has managed to modernize it but retain the area’s history too. We’re happy to be part of Speedway’s redevelopment.”
The Town of Speedway is pleased to welcome a corporation who shares their close identification with racing and innovation. This new addition to Main Street helps bring growth and economic development to Speedway’s already growing community.
“When Speedway began their redevelopment plans in 2005, one of the dreams was to bring racing legends like A.J. Foyt and his team back to Main Street – the racing capital of the world,” said Vince Noblet, Director of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission. “We’re primed to build upon our unique history and motorsports ancestry – both of which are an integral part of the rich fabric that makes Speedway a great place to live and work.”
“A.J. Foyt on Main Street further demonstrates that our community’s economic development is creating a place where a legend of the track would want to locate and this move is another step in our revitalization,” said Gary Raikes, President of the Speedway Town Council.
About Speedway Redevelopment Commission
The SRC consists of five volunteers appointed by the Speedway Town Council. Using input from the entire community, the commission is charged with developing a plan to revitalize a 700-acre area, including Speedway’s Main Street and the large area to the northwest termed Area 2. More information about the SRC is available at www.speedwayindiana.com.
Foyt Wine Down Party Kicks of IndyCar Weekend at Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. Aug. 22–The race weekend got off to a festive start as the 5th Annual Foyt Wine Down party was held last evening at Meadowcroft Tasting Room just minutes away from Sonoma Raceway. Friends of Foyt Family Wines along with the AJ Foyt Racing team sponsors and crew members, attended the affair which featured seven different Foyt wines including the No. 61 Pinot Noir, the No. 67 Chardonnay, and the Double Gold winning No. 77 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Guests of ABC Supply and Alfe Heat Treating met winemaker Tom Meadowcroft, racing drivers Takuma Sato and Martin Plowman along with A.J. Foyt. The guests were also able to sign up to become a member of Club Foyt and receive Foyt wine shipments throughout the year.
Topping off the night, Larry Foyt answered an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and was doused with ice water but not before he mentioned that Foyt Wines would donate $1,000 to ALSA.org. Foyt then nominated the band Chevelle, A.J. Foyt IV, and to everyone’s surprise, his dad A.J. Foyt. Check out Larry Foyt’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The jury’s still out as to whether the family patriarch will accept the challenge or simply donate money and avoid the ice water. Either way, ALSA.org will benefit.
Takuma Sato’s Indy 500 helmet raises over $30,000 for ‘With you Japan’
TOKYO June 23, 2014—How much is a helmet worth? In the ‘With you Japan’ online charity auction, Takuma Sato’s 2014 Indianapolis 500 special edition helmet garnered $15,675 when the bidding closed June 9. The helmet, worn by Sato in this year’s race, was signed by Sato and his team owner A.J. Foyt.
"I am very glad that I became the successful bidder for the auction of the Indy 500 Special Helmet. I appreciate this helmet is a symbol of Takuma and his team's wishes and challenging spirit. I am proud to own this helmet and will continue to support Takuma who keeps challenging even in difficult situations,” said the longtime supporter of Sato who lives in Japan. He asked to remain anonymous.
Also choosing to remain anonymous is the donor who matched the winning bid which brought the total donation to the charity to a whopping $31,350!
"I would like to thank everyone who participated in the charity auction,” said Sato. “It is great news that this auction raised a huge amount for "With you Japan”. A big congratulations to the successful bidder, and I really appreciate all donors who put in extra contributions. Japan is still struggling from the effects of the tsunami so with your help, we will continue to support children in a way to have some fun activities and encourage their dreams.”
The “With you Japan” program was founded by Sato in 2011 after the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami devastated the island country’s north eastern coast, killing over 15,000 people and leaving over 300,000 people homeless.
All proceeds raised through the program are provided to ‘With You Japan,’ a Charity started by Takuma Sato to provide hope and inspiration to the children of the affected area of Japan. ‘With You Japan’ hopes to provide inspiration to help thousands of these children as they move forward with their lives. Further information regarding ‘With You Japan’ can be found at withyoujapan.org.
A.J. Foyt on A.J. Watson's Passing
INDIANAPOLIS May 12, 2014--Master mechanic and race car designer and builder extraordinaire A.J. Watson passed away today at age 90. Foyt drove and won with Watson-designed and built roadsters in the 60s. Eleven of his 67 victories came in either Watson or Watson-Trevis roadsters, including his first two Indy 500s (1961 and 1964). Foyt drove Watson’s sprint car in 1960 winning the USAC Eastern Division Sprint Car championship title that year. Foyt continued to drive Watson’s sprint car off and on through 1968, winning his final race for Watson at Ascot in Gardena, Calif. in 1967.
A.J. Foyt: “I was very good friends with A.J. Watson and his wife Joyce. He picked me up to drive his sprint car years back. We worked right there at his house, took the 220 Offy out and built the Chevrolet. He was a pioneer. He came out against Kurtis and built the Watson roadster and I was lucky enough to win with it. In his day right here at the Indy 500, there was nobody that was going to beat the three W’s: Watson, Wilke and Ward.
“It’s hard to believe he’s gone. I’m just glad I was able to go see him on his 90th birthday [May 8]. We did talk about old times. He had a picture of me and him with his sprint car on the wall and I teased him, ‘A.J., were we ever that young?’ He said, ‘It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?’”
For Robin Miller's Tribute to Watson, click here: http://racer.com/latest-stories/item/103505-appreciation-a-j-watson-1924-2014.