Busy Weekend For Foyt Racing
May 20, 2003 | 9:35 P.M. EST
"I've never missed the Indy 500 and I didn't see any reason why I couldn't go this year," said Foyt, who is in the midst of his rookie season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series driving for his father, racing legend A.J. Foyt. "We're very excited for A.J. and I know he'll do well. I'll watch about the first 30 laps or so and then fly down to Charlotte for the Winston Cup race."
Larry earned his IRL license after several test sessions with his father's IRL team in 1999 and doesn't rule out doing the Indy-Charlotte double sometime down the road.
"There is no question that I would like to compete in the Indy 500 some day," said Foyt. "But right now I'm entirely focused on turning our Winston Cup program around. It's been hard and we've struggled a bit, but I really feel like we're starting to make some gains. We're really looking forward to the second half of the season when we can apply what we learned in the first half."
On April 23, A.J.Foyt IV, the grandson of A.J. Foyt and the 2002 IRL Infiniti Pro Series champion, became the youngest driver to ever turn a competitive lap in an Indy-style car at the famed 2.5-mile speedway.
"I've been looking forward to racing at Indy for a long time," said Foyt IV. "I know everyone says this, but it really is a dream come true for me. I really like the track and I think we can run good here. I also know there are high expectations because of my name and what my grandfather did here. I just hope I can be half as successful as he was."
Successful may be an understatement. A.J. Foyt was the first driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, and in 1999, he won it again as a team owner with driver Kenny Brack. Over the course of his successful career, he has won 12 national titles and 172 major races, including a record 67 Indy car events. He also won the 1972 Daytona 500 and the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans, making him the only driver to have won the crown jewels of Indy car, NASCAR and international sports car racing.
"To have my kids racing in the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 on the same day is pretty special," said Foyt. "They are at the top of the racing world and that's where they want to be. They're in the early stages of their careers and they have a lot to learn but there's a lot of racing ahead for them and I'm glad for them. I'll be pulling for both of them Sunday."
As with any parent or grandparent, A.J. will have plenty to be concerned about this weekend.
"I worry about anyone who drives for me... that's just automatic."