Foyt Joins Rookie Battle

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Add a new name to the 2003 Winston Cup Series rookie battle. Larry Foyt will move up to the top circuit to drive for fathe A.J.'s team with sponsorship from Harrah's Casino, which backed Foyt the last two seasons on the Busch Grand National Series.

Under the terms of the two-year sponsorship deal, Foyt will drive the No. 14 Harrah’s Dodge Intrepid for A.J. Foyt Racing, the team owned by the 25-year-old rookie’s father and racing legend. The younger Foyt will make his Winston Cup race debut Feb. 16 at the Daytona 500 – a race his father won in 1972.

“We’re thrilled to return the Foyt name to the ranks of NASCAR Winston Cup drivers and, in so doing, introduce the Harrah’s brand to the millions of enthusiastic racing fans who enjoy casino gaming,” said Gary Loveman, Harrah’s president and chief executive officer. “This sponsorship is the next step in a winning tradition that brings together two of the biggest names in racing and gaming: Foyt and Harrah’s.”

Harrah’s broke into professional motorsports in 1997, when it first served as a sponsor for one of the elder Foyt’s teams in the Indy Racing League (IRL). Harrah’s continued its Foyt-IRL relationship until 2001, when it became Larry Foyt’s title sponsor in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. Harrah’s also sponsored Larry Foyt’s car in the American Speed Association (ASA) in 2000 while continuing to serve as sponsor for A.J. Foyt Racing in the IRL.

“Going from running my own team in Busch to driving for my father in Winston Cup is a huge step for me,” said Larry Foyt. “There’s no question this year will be a challenge, but the lessons I learned last year will be a huge help, as will the continuing support of Harrah’s.”

Last year, Foyt qualified in the top-10 three times, with two starts in the top-five. His career best finish of eighth came at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring. In his rookie Busch season, his best start was fifth at Michigan and his best finish was 12th at Talladega.

“Larry has grown up around racing, and he knows it can be a tough business, especially at this level,” said A.J. Foyt. “He has all the skills he needs to succeed, and he’ll gain more experience with every race. He’s got a tremendous will to win, and I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people with his consistency.”

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