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In advance of the upcoming Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, IndyCar.com editor Dave Lewandowski visited the AJ Foyt Racing shop in Waller, Texas in mid-September. That visit inspired several stories and a visual tour of the AJ Foyt Racing shop. To check it out, please click on this link: http://www.indycar.com/News/2013/09/9-29-A-visit-with-AJ-Foyt

A.J. Foyt Remembers George Bignotti

WALLER, Texas Sept. 27, 2013—Auto racing lost one of the all-time great chief mechanics today when George Bignotti passed away at his home in Las Vegas. He was 97.

“I’d say he was one of the greatest mechanics that was ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We had such a close relationship and even though I went on my merry way, we were still close up to his death,” said A.J. Foyt.

Bignotti, whose record shows 85 Indycar victories including seven Indianapolis 500 wins with five different drivers, including Foyt, Indy’s first four-time winner.   The other drivers who visited victory lane with Bignotti-tuned cars were Graham Hill (’66), Indy’s second four-time winner Al Unser (who won with Bignotti in ’70 and ’71), Gordon Johncock (’73) and Tom Sneva (’83).

Foyt signed with Bignotti’s Bowes Seal Fast team in 1960, posted his first of a record 67 victories, and went on to win the national championship that year.

“He was such a great mechanic and he had such fast race cars and I was just a snot-nosed kid coming up,” said Foyt, whose first turn at the wheel for Bignotti was in a midget before the Indy car season began. “I drove at Ascot (Speedway in Gardena, Calif.) and drove midgets for him and we won a lot of races at Ascot. About everywhere I drove for him we won."

“Sometimes he would get mad at me when I’d drive the midget, he’d say, ‘You’re gonna kill yourself! Quit being so wild in that damn thing!’ Foyt recalled, laughing at the memory. In the past, Foyt credited Bignotti with teaching him to enjoy salads—quite a feat considering Foyt was (and is) a diehard meat-and-potatoes man.

AJ Foyt Racing Test Report: Auto Club Speedway

FONTANA, Calif. Sept. 24, 2013—Takuma Sato flew from Tokyo, Japan and A.J. Foyt flew from Houston, Texas and the two saw each other at Auto Club Speedway for the first time since early June.

For Foyt the return to racing action in the IZOD IndyCar Series was a welcome one following his recovery from hip replacement surgery July 1. “Today was pretty tiring but I had a great day and a lot of fun,” said 78-year-old Texan who jetted in Tuesday morning and headed home that evening.  “A lot of people came up to me and said ‘Nice to see you back.’ It’s different now though because I don’t play the role I used to play but it’s great to be back and be with the team again. I guess I missed it more than I thought I did.”

“It was good to see A.J. back at the track after such a long time away,” said Sato.

For Sato his 24-hour stay in the States was “productive.” In Tokyo since the beginning of the month, Sato made his whirlwind trip to California for the one-day test and returned to Tokyo on the red-eye because he is scheduled to race in the Super Formula Series in Sugo, Japan this weekend.

Welcome Walker Foyt O'Brien!

A hearty congratulations to Lucy and A.J.'s granddaughter Christy and her husband D.J. on the birth of their first child Walker Foyt O'Brien. He arrived at 9:16 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26th and checked in at 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 19 inches. Mother and son are doing great. We wish everyone in the Foyt and O'Brien families our best!

Preparation=performance runs in the Foyt family

By Dave Lewandowski

WALLER, Texas -- Larry Foyt doesn’t toss around “luck” – good or bad – with abandon.

“I’m one of those guys who doesn’t like to say luck a lot because I do believe you make your own luck with preparation,” the A.J. Foyt Racing team director says, “but there are some things that do fall out of your control.”

He’s referring to the spate of DNFs and corresponding lackluster results of the Honda-powered No. 14 ABC Supply car in the second half of the IZOD IndyCar Series season. In the past seven races, Takuma Sato has been sidelined four times by mechanical issues and twice by contact.

It’s perplexing and downright frustrating, Foyt acknowledges, following the promise heading into the 97th Indianapolis 500, when Sato led the driver championship standings bolstered by a victory at Long Beach and runner-up finish at Sao Paulo.