Conway Steps Down and Cunningham Steps Up for IndyCar Season Finale

FONTANA, Calif. September 13, 2012—AJ Foyt Racing announced today that Wade Cunningham will replace Mike Conway in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda for the MAVTV 500 IndyCar race this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

The decision to hire Cunningham was reached after Conway asked to sit out this weekend’s event.

“I’m truly sorry for putting the team and our sponsors in a difficult position, but this is the hardest decision I have ever made in my racing career,” said Conway. “I’ve come to realize I’m not comfortable on the ovals and no longer wish to compete on them. I want to stress that I am not finished racing and to this end, I would love to continue with Foyt Racing, but that’s something we need to discuss in the future.”

After talking with Conway, Team Director Larry Foyt contacted Cunningham, who lives in Indianapolis, and asked him to drive this weekend. Cunningham had driven for the team in the No. 41 ECAT/ABC Supply Honda in the Indianapolis 500 this year. He arrives today to be fitted in the car.

“Fortunately, Wade was available to drive for us, and we’re looking forward to working with him again,” said Foyt, adding, “Mike’s been a great asset to our team, and I’m disappointed that we can’t finish out the season together. However, it took a lot of courage for Mike to come forward and we respect him highly for that and we certainly want to honor his decision.”

Cunningham will be making his fifth start in the IZOD IndyCar Series, having competed in three races in 2011 in addition to racing at Indy this year. However, it won’t be his first visit to the Southern California superspeedway. In 2005, he competed at the track in the Firestone Indy Lights Series where he started fifth and won the race, his first of eight victories in that series.

Practice gets underway Friday morning with qualifying for the 500-miler set for Friday afternoon. Final practice will take place Friday evening. The IndyCar Series season finale will be broadcast live Saturday night on the NBC Sports Network with coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Congratulations!!

We at AJ Foyt Racing would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Michelle and Rick Gleaslen on the birth of their twin daughters who were born Tuesday night at 9 p.m. Claire Marie arrived first at 8:59 p.m. weighing 4 lbs. 9 oz. and measuring 18 inches. She was quickly followed by Faith Mkenna who was born at 9:00 a.m. Faith measured  4 lbs. 11 oz.and measured 18 in. Both babies are doing well. Michelle is the race team's liaison for ABC Supply.

A. J. FOYT RACING TO ENTER AFRICAN-AMERICAN DRIVER CHASE AUSTIN IN THE 2013 INDIANAPOLIS 500

Starting Grid, Inc. and American Honda’s Motorsports Diversity Initiative Continues with Historic Effort

LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 4, 2012) - A. J. Foyt, in conjunction with Starting Grid, Inc. principal Chris Miles, announced today that 22-year-old Chase Austin will campaign an AJ Foyt Racing entry in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2013, through a partnership with American Honda Motor Company Inc.

Austin made history last year when he became the first African-American driver to compete in the Firestone Indy Lights series with Willy T. Ribbs Racing. In qualifying for next year’s race, Austin stands to become only the third African-American driver to ever compete in the 97-year history of the Indianapolis 500.

“My son Larry [Foyt] and I have watched Chase drive and we want to give him a chance,” said A.J. Foyt, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. “What I like about him is that he has driven all types of race cars with different horsepower in his career, and I believe that’s important when evaluating talent. He’s done a real good job in the Lights series, and I believe he can qualify for the Indy 500 with Honda on board.”

“Chris approached me about fielding a car for Chase and I talked it over with Dad and we agreed that it could turn into something pretty cool,” said Larry Foyt, Team Director of AJ Foyt Racing. “Chris has put together a marketing program which will reach a new generation of fans, and I think this opportunity will not only be good for Chase and our team, but also for INDYCAR.”

This historic attempt for Austin to compete in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 is the continuation of a three-year motorsports diversity initiative between Starting Grid, Inc. and American Honda. Miles, a New Albany, Indiana native, who founded Starting Grid, Inc. 18 years ago to facilitate equal opportunities for minority participation within all facets of the motorsports industry - looks forward to the association with AJ Foyt Racing.

AJ Foyt Racing Welcomes Another Boy!

Congratulations to Amanda and Brent Nedbalek (chief pilot of "AJ Air") on the birth of their first child, Greyson Wayne Nedbalek on Tuesday, July 17! Greyson was so anxious to get here he came four weeks early and weighed 5 lbs. 7 oz and was 19 in. long. Both mother and son are doing fine even though 'Dad' has to work this weekend. In addition to flying A.J. and team members to the races, Brent also works during the pit stops by pulling the airgun hose from the outside front wheel.

IT'S A BOY!

Congratulations to Casey and A.J. Foyt IV on the birth of their son Lockey James Foyt who was born at 1:21 p.m. on Monday, July 16 in Indianapolis. The baby weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and measured 20 in. Lockey (or maybe 'L.J'.?)  is the couple's second son with A.J. Foyt V born nearly two years ago on Sept. 18, 2010.

The baby is named after his grandfather Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, and A.J. IV's great-great-grandfather's brother Lockey Foyt. In the AJ Foyt Racing shop there hangs a sepia-colored photo of the Foyt Bros. Garage with a photo of A.J. Foyt's grandfather Tom Foyt and his two brothers, Willie and Lockey, standing in front of the garage in the early 1900s. The couple liked the name Lockey and decided to name their son after his great-great-great-great-uncle.

The baby is the fourth grandchild for Irsay and the sixth great grandchild for A.J. Foyt. His granddaughter (and A.J. IV's sister) Tonia Poe gave birth to a son -- Monte Joseph Poe - earlier this year.

Cunningham Participates in Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program

INDIANAPOLIS May 10, 2012—Wade Cunningham participated in the Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today in preparation for his bid to compete in the Indianapolis 500 later this month.

Driving the car Mike Conway piloted in the first four races of the year (although with a different Honda engine), Cunningham completed two phases of his rookie test. He will complete the final phase after the track opens for practice for all competitors on Saturday.

Tomorrow the ABC Supply team will finish up preparing two brand new Dallaras (which arrived Thursday) for Conway and Cunningham to drive starting Saturday. Per the rules, the team will have to switch the engine used today into Cunningham’s new car, the No. 41 ECat/ABC Supply car.

“It’s a proud day to be in an Indy car here with the history of IMS,” Cunningham said.  “In terms of getting through rookie orientation, we didn’t finish it but we’re able to do that on the regular days of running, so we can just slide it in with the regular guys and get those laps knocked out and get signed off. We’re going to get out of the backup car now and change the motor over to our primary car and get it prepared and roll out on Saturday.”

Cunningham, the Firestone Indy Lights only three-time winner of this track’s Freedom 100, compared the Lights car to the Indy Car, saying, “The speeds are a bit higher, you’re in the corners for a bit less time than I was used to in the past in the Lights car. The Indy car’s definitely more wind sensitive and maybe a little bit more line dependent than the Lights car just because of the high speed but it’s a race car and it gives similar feedback so you just have to trust your instincts, trust your gut and your hands.”

Foyt Family Wines Continues Growth with Upcoming Release of the 2010 No. 67 Chardonnay

SEBASTOPOL, Calif.  May 9, 2012--The month of May brings welcoming weather, beautiful flowers and plans for the upcoming summer.

For the Foyt family, May brings an event that all open wheel racing fans spend each year looking forward to: the annual running of the world’s most famous automobile race, the Indianapolis 500. Foyt family patriarch, A.J. Foyt Jr., labeled the King of Indy, is probably best known for his dominance of that race for decades, starting with his first Indy 500 win in 1961.

So how does this tough Texan, known for his prowess at Indy and on race tracks across America, find his name on bottles of fine wine? Foyt Family Wines was created by Larry Foyt and A.J. Foyt IV because of their passion for fine wine, but it quickly became a means of paying tribute to A.J. and his amazing career. Each wine offering has been labeled with a number significant in A.J.’s career, either a car number (No. 14 was the first) or a year in which he won an important race.

“My dad has done so many things for open wheel racing and ultimately the IndyCar Series, and with so many new drivers and younger fans coming into the sport, it’s important for us to pay respect and acknowledge what he has accomplished and what his name means to American motorsports, the Indy 500 and its fans,” Larry Foyt said.

The response to the brand has been tremendous not only because of A.J.’s success and popularity throughout his 60 years of racing, but also because of winemaker Tom Meadowcroft’s skill and Larry’s and A.J. IV’s palates. When a consumer tries a Foyt Family Wine, their reaction is usually along the lines of, “Wow, I’m impressed, this is not what I was expecting.”

And the Winner Is…

HOUSTON May 4, 2012--The votes are in and the race fans seemed to have had as hard a time as A.J. Foyt in deciding which A.J. Foyt Legends shirt they liked the most!

As of around 12 pm ET, the tally was:  Shirt 2 with 30% (210 votes) of the vote to win the design contest.  As for the other designs, Shirt 1 (all Coyote Red) and Shirt 4 (all Black) were running neck-and-neck throughout with Shirt 1 edging ahead with 27.7% (193) of the vote to Shirt 4’s 27.6% (192). Shirt 3 (Coyote Red bottom) was fourth with nearly 15% (102) of the vote.

Look for the winning design to be sold at IndyCar official stores at the tracks and online at Indycar.com and ajfoytracing.com later this month. Thanks to all who voted!

 

The Indianapolis Colts “Foyt Family Wines” Inaugural Golf Classic
Presented by BullWear® Is Set for May 22 at The Brickyard Crossing

Proceeds To Benefit The Healing Place

INDIANAPOLIS May 2, 2012 – Football, auto racing and golf? The inaugural Indianapolis Colts “Foyt Family Wines” Golf Classic presented by BullWear® offers sports fans a unique opportunity to fraternize with celebrity athletes while enjoying one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Foyt Family Wines owners Larry Foyt and A.J. Foyt IV will host the inaugural golf tournament at the Brickyard Crossing golf course on Tuesday, May 22nd. The Foyt Family, including 4-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt who will be making a special appearance, along with several IndyCar drivers and celebrity guests, will be helping to raise money for The Healing Place, one of the nation’s most effective long-term, social model recovery programs.

Public registration for this event is limited. Golfers interested in participating can register online at foytwines.com/foytgolf. Onsite registration for this exclusive golf scramble begins at 7 a.m. with the shotgun start kicking off at 8 a.m. A foursome for the outing is $1,300, which includes green fees and four tickets to the Foyt Family Wines “Wine Down” reception immediately following the scramble.  All (100%) of the proceeds from the event’s silent auction will also be donated to The Healing Place.

“I am very excited to have the Indianapolis Colts and BullWear’s support of the Foyt Family Wines Golf Classic during Indy 500 week. Seeing all of the support from these different entities coming together to help raise funds for The Healing Place is pretty cool. We hope to start a lasting tradition synonymous with the 500 mile race,” said Foyt IV.

Wade Cunningham Is Hired To Drive for AJ Foyt Racing at Indy

WALLER, TX April 18, 2012—IndyCar rookie Wade Cunningham will drive for A.J. Foyt in the No. 41 ECat/ABC Supply Dallara as the ABC Supply team prepares its two Honda-powered entries for next month’s Indianapolis 500. Alfe Heat Treating will be an associate sponsor on the No. 41 car for the second year in a row.

“Driving for A.J.? He’s a legend!” Cunningham answered when asked about driving for Indy’s first four-time winner. “A.J.’s from a different era but he’s raced front engine roadsters at the Speedway and ended with the turbo-charged CART Indy cars, so he’s had an amazing career, and his is a very storied team, so it’s quite an honor to drive for him.”

“I think Wade will do a great job for us at Indy and I think he’ll be a big asset to our team,” Foyt said. “I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

“Indy means more to me than anything else,” the 27-year-old revealed. “Winning at Indy in the Firestone Indy Lights Series is the only thing that kept my career on track so it’s important to me to go there and do well in IndyCar and prove that the results can translate.”

Foyt certainly hopes those results will translate because in five of Cunningham’s six starts in the Firestone Freedom 100, he won three times, and placed second and third! Incidentally, Foyt fielded the winning car for Ed Carpenter in the inaugural running of the race in 2003.

Mike Conway Is Third Fastest Among Honda Drivers; Eighth Overall

SEBRING, FL March 9, 2012—Mike Conway wrapped up his second day of testing in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda/Dallara at Sebring International Raceway Friday.

“We struggled all day to find speed,” Conway said. “We need to go quicker because 4 tenths is massive around here. We learned some things but we have more work to do. We just have to keep working at it.”

Conway’s disappointment in Friday’s sessions is indicative of his competitive fire. Despite being four-tenths of a second off Scott Dixon’s time of 51.79 seconds (the only sub-51 second time), Conway was fourth in the afternoon session. His 52.2243 was one ten-thousandth of a second behind Chevrolet's Rubens Barrichello’s 52.2242 seconds, and 2 tenths behind Dario Franchitti’s 52.0157 clocking.

The team lost much time in the quicker morning session dealing with several new car/new engine issues, however the issues were resolved. Additionally, they explored a different setup from Thursday but it did not produce the quicker times they were expecting. However, that segment of testing also helped them rule out certain approaches.