NOTES & QUOTES: IRL TOYOTA INDY 300 A.J. Foyt IV: No. 14 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone * A.J. Foyt IV on season opener in Miami: "I'm excited to get back to racing again. We ended last year on a high note so I hope we can pick up where we...
NOTES & QUOTES: IRL TOYOTA INDY 300
A.J. Foyt IV: No. 14 Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
* A.J. Foyt IV on season opener in Miami: "I'm excited to get back to racing again. We ended last year on a high note so I hope we can pick up where we left off."
* The No. 14 features historic colors in the season opener. The chassis is pearl white which A.J. Foyt used en route to his first four Indy car championships in the early 60's. The sidepods are "Foyt Red," the warm poppy color that distinguished his cars from 1967 through 1987. Foyt used a combination of those same colors in 1998-99, the years that his driver Kenny Brack won the IRL IndyCar Series title and the 1999 Indianapolis 500. A.J. IV carried the poppy color on several of his championship winning go-karts as well as the F-2000 car in which he won the southwest regional title in 2000. "We don't have a primary sponsor yet," said team owner A.J. Foyt, "so we just figured we might as well paint the car in colors that have meaning to our team over the years."
* First road course test: Foyt IV tested his Indy Car on a road course for the first time on February 21st at Texas World Speedway. The team had not participated in the IRL open test at Homestead Miami Speedway because they didn't get the update kit in time. Said Foyt IV, "I have a lot to learn but I really enjoyed it. A lot of the other drivers have grown up doing road racing and they raced in CART so they're used to it. It's going to be a challenge for me on several levels. You have to be more precise in your shifts all while you're trying to drive hard into the corner and brake at the same time. I might want them to throw a fender on my car for the first road race or two, that and a steel nose."
* Texas State Bank has signed on as an associate sponsor of the team for the year. There will be a focus on the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in June with hospitality and show car appearances slated around the IndyCar Series' first night race of the season.
* Craftsman is again on board as an associate sponsor of the No. 14 car. This will mark the 15th straight year that A.J. Foyt has endorsed Craftsman Tools.
* Thrills and no spills...Through IRL IndyCar Series chaplain Bob Hill, A.J. IV was given a behind-the-scenes-tour of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston February 22nd. Foyt met several dignitaries including one of the astronauts scheduled for the next shuttle flight. Along with seeing the Space Station being monitored in Mission Control, A.J. IV received training on the shuttle simulator. All went well as he landed the shuttle on his first try. "They had someone right there instructing me on what to do--it was pretty cool. In fact the whole experience was really cool. I have a better appreciation of the whole space program."
* More Thrills...Foyt's appetite for thrills wasn't satiated though. Next week he will do a tandem sky-dive courtesy of T.J. Horn, the co-pilot of his grandfather's jet. A corporate jet pilot, Horn also flies planes for Skydive Houston and has arranged for A.J. IV to dive with a professional jumpmaster.
* In 2004, Foyt IV's best start was 6th (at Chicagoland Speedway) and his best finish was 10th at Texas Motor Speedway in October. He finished 18th in the standings.
* For more information, please check out our Web site: www.foytracing.com.