Motegi: AJ Foyt Racing preview

Ryan Hunter-Reay: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone * Ryan Hunter-Reay on Twin Ring Motegi: "I'm really looking forward to getting back to Japan--I had a good time there last year. It was my first time to Motegi. It's a fun track because...

Ryan Hunter-Reay: ABC Supply No. 14 Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* Ryan Hunter-Reay on Twin Ring Motegi: "I'm really looking forward to getting back to Japan--I had a good time there last year. It was my first time to Motegi. It's a fun track because it's like no other track we go to. It's a big superspeedway-like corner on one side and a short track corner on the other and it's just fun racing there. You definitely have to drive on the tighter end of the track [as opposed to flat-footing it] so it sets up for some passes. It's not dead easy in traffic. For a race car, we need a car where the front's working really well and the rear is staying under us over the bumps in turn two. The Japanese fans are very passionate about the race. They are also very nice and welcoming. We fly a long way to race there and they're very appreciative so it's definitely well-worth making the trip."

* Larry Foyt will be the race strategist in Japan. With his father opting to stay home, young Foyt will be calling the shots this weekend. However, it won't be the first time since A.J. didn't stay at the track last year when the race was postponed to the following day due to torrential rain. In that event, Darren Manning started 12th and finished eighth.

* A.J. Foyt and Vitor Meira will be watching from home this weekend: Both A.J. Foyt and Vitor Meira will be watching the Indy Japan 300 from the comfort of their homes this weekend, marking the first time that both men will miss the event since they began attending. Foyt's first race was in 2003 and Meira's was in 2004. Foyt decided to follow his doctor's advice and not make the trip after suffering an infection in his leg last month from which he has not completely recovered. The 14-plus hour flight from Houston to Narita could make him susceptible to thrombosis so despite his desire to go, he is listening to his doctor. "I wanted to go to Japan and felt like I needed to go but my doctor didn't think it was a good idea because of the possibility of blood clots from the long flight," he said. If you think A.J. has gone soft by following his doctor's orders, don't worry. Foyt also said, "My leg is still pretty swollen and they want me to go into the hospital to get it treated and keep it elevated but I won't do that. I'd go crazy lying around in there for 4 to 5 days! Besides, I have too much to do."

* Vitor Meira to test at Indy: Meira will return to the cockpit of the No. 14 ABC Supply car when the Foyt team tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway September 30th. The test will be Meira's first time back behind the wheel of an Indy car since he broke his back when he and Raphael Matos crashed in the Indianapolis 500 in May. "We're not going for any track records, I just want to give him some seat time so he can adjust to being back in a race car after being out for so long," said Foyt. Foyt also indicated that Meira will not be competing in the final race of the season. Foyt said, "I don't have the people to put together the proper effort for both Ryan and Vitor. When I made the deal with Ryan, I had told him he'd have a ride for the rest of the season because I didn't really know if Vitor would be ready. And even though Vitor has been cleared to drive, the more I thought about it, I don't think having his first race back being at Miami is the best thing for Vitor. There's a lot of risk and not that much to be gained. We want to get a good start on 2010 with Vitor and do more testing over the winter so I think it's in all of our interests to have him focus on next year."

* Past performance in Japan: In his only start at the track, Hunter-Reay started 10th and finished seventh last year. The Foyt team's best finish came last year when Manning finished eighth and their best start was ninth in 2006 with Felipe Giaffone.

-credit: ajfr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Felipe Giaffone , Larry Foyt , Ryan Hunter-Reay , A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira