THE FOYTS AND THEIR FIGHTER
Walt Kuhn/LAT IMS archive
Larry Foyt (LEFT) started
three Indy 500s, in
2004-’06, while also driving
in NASCAR, but knew he
would never emulate A.J.’s
“Super Tex” was the first
driver ever to win the
“500” four times, with the
first coming in ’ 61 (BELOW).
FOYT FACES THE FIGHT
AJ FOYT RACING
• Using self-built Coyote chassis, in
1967 A.J. Foyt scores his third Indy
500 and fifth USAC Indy car title.
• In ’ 73, A.J. forms partnership with
Michigan businessman Jim Gilmore
and branches out into NASCAR.
• In 1981, A.J. scores his final win
as an owner/driver.
Takuma, you got heat after the Brazil race for what many of us perceived as blocking… AJF That wasn’t blocking. That was the media not knowing what the hell they’re talking about. If Taku goes in low, that’s his line. He went in close to the wall, but he did not then change his line and that other car [James Hinchcliffe’s] was not alongside him. He did not chop him. So I say Takuma is leading: the line he chooses to take is his damn prerogative. If
he let that other guy alongside and then
moved over on him, that’s a different story.
If he does what [Dario] Franchitti did to
him in Turn 1 at Indy last year, that’s
blocking. I told Taku that if he’s driving for
me and someone does what Franchitti did
to him, he doesn’t back off. My policy is,
don’t let someone just take you out – if
he’s gonna do that, take his ass with you!
TS (laughs) Yeah, in Sao Paulo the straight
isn’t straight and I aimed for that inside
wall. Hinchcliffe knew exactly where I was
going and I didn’t meander – I can show
you the steering traces! Then we got to
the braking zone and I left him one car’s
width. I know that from some camera
angles it looks like I tried to block him, but
I didn’t. I think the fans loved it and, yes, it
was close, but it was good, hard racing.
AJF I’m telling you, that was one of the
best damn road races I’ve ever seen.
Foyt’s Coyote-Ford delivered him his
fourth Indy 500 victory in ’ 77. He also
took third in the championship despite
starting only eight of the 14 races!
As his racing career
assumed less priority,
Larry became team
manager at AJ Foyt
Racing at the end of
’07 and team director
Is this a title-winning combination? Is
there enough talent here to win the title?
LF That’s the goal. We’re not giving up.
It’s probably optimistic, but the meat of
the season here will tell us if we’re
optimistic or realistic. Right here and now,
I’m saying that, yes, it’s possible, because
Takuma has shown he can do it and the
team has shown it can do the job.
TS I wasn’t dreaming that everything
would come together straight away, but I
did have expectations and I believed in
this team’s potential. I was hired to win
races, and after a couple of races this
year, I thought, “Yeah, we can do that.”
And the atmosphere was fantastic: the
boys had this huge expectation on their
shoulders as we all realized we could win,
but we were all still working together with
smiles on our faces – great team spirit.
Looking how tight the field is and at
how everything changes from the
championship point of view from race to
race, we’re still right in there, fighting hard
and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t
After joining CART, Foyt’s team used
Marches, then Lolas. In ’ 91, at the age
of 56, A.J. put his Lola-Chevy on Indy’s
front row, between Mario and Mears.
Kenny Brack won AJ Foyt Racing the
IRL title in 1998, and the Indy 500 in
’ 99. Brack is the yardstick by which
Foyt has judged all his drivers since.