Infiniti Pro Series champion Foyt IV passes IRL rookie test.
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2002 -- A.J. Foyt IV, the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series champion, passed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League rookie test Oct. 31 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Foyt, 18, clinched the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series championship by winning the season-ending BG Products 100 on Sept. 14 at TMS.
Texas native Foyt, grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, turned 64 laps on the 1.5-mile oval with an unofficial top speed of 215 mph to complete the test.
"My first couple of hot laps out there today, I realized just how fast I was going," Foyt said. "That was the biggest difference. But nothing really surprised me because I knew what the car was going to do and how it was going to handle. But it impressed me with just how fast it would go.
"Once I ran a few laps flat out, it wasn't really a problem doing it anymore."
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and fellow Texan Johnny Rutherford supervised the test. Rutherford is in charge of special projects for the IRL.
"I've watched him and helped him in the Infiniti Pro Series," Rutherford said. "He showed great aptitude then, and this test proved I was right. He has a lot of ability and is very cool. He goes out there and does the job with a great teacher in his granddad. A.J. stays on him pretty hard, but he is the kind of young man who listens.
"He will go a long way in this business."
A.J. Foyt was equally impressed with his grandson.
"He has a pretty good head on his shoulders," Foyt said. "So far, he has done everything we have told him. And, that is the thing with him, he listens really well."