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.