Auto Racing Legends: AJ Foyt

Auto Racing Legends: AJ Foyt

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  1. Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr., better known to the auto racing world as A.J. Foyt, raced in many divisions and types of race cars during his career. He is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Daytona, and 24 Hours of LeMans. One of three drivers to win the Indy 500 four times, Foyt also won the International Race of Champions (IROC) Series title in 1976 and 1977. He was named Co-Driver of the Century by the Associated Press along with Mario Andretti.

    Foyt started racing midget cars in 1956, moving up to sprint cars in 1958. His USAC Champ Car (IndyCar) career began with his first Indy 500 in 1958; he won his first 500 in 1961, followed with victories in 1964, 1967, and 1977.

    Foyt was also a successful stock car racer. He won his first race, the 1964 Firecracker 400 at Daytona, in just his tenth NASCAR start. Foyt earned seven NASCAR victories in 128 races, and also raced USAC stock cars, earning three championships in that division (168, 1978, and 1979).

    For his endeavors as a driver Foyt has been inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame (1988), the Motorsports Hall of Fame of American (1989), the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (1990), and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2000). He was also named to NASCAR’s list of the 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Since retiring as a driver, Foyt has been active as a car owner in both CART/IRL and NASCAR. Driver Scott Sharp won “Super Tex” an IRL championship in 1996, a feat matched by Kenny Brack in 1998; the following year, Brack won the Indy 500.

    Racing remains in the family, as grandsons Larry and A.J. IV have both competed in the IRL and NASCAR. Foyt is also the godfather of John Andretti (nephew of Mario), who races in the IRL and NASCAR, and formerly in the NHRA Drag Racing Series.

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