* Johnny Sauter working his way up NASCAR Busch Series standings * Mastering different sports: Rookie Gilliland recalls high school golf with teammate Tiger Woods DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 5, 2006) -- From Hockley, Texas to...
* Johnny Sauter working his way up NASCAR Busch Series standings
* Mastering different sports: Rookie Gilliland recalls high school golf with teammate Tiger Woods
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 5, 2006) -- From Hockley, Texas to Huntersville, N.C., a residential move hasn't been the only new opportunity for A.J. Foyt IV (No. 38 Great Clips Dodge) over the last year. Foyt also has made the switch from open-wheel racing in the Indy Racing League to the nation's No. 2 form of motorsports, the NASCAR Busch Series.
Both situations have required adaptation, but the 21-year-old Raybestos Rookie candidate is determined to make the most of them.
"The transition from IndyCars to stock cars has definitely been challenging because there are so many differences in the cars and how they handle," Foyt said.
"The NASCAR Busch Series competes at some of the same tracks as the IndyCars and even though I have some experience at those tracks, I pretty much have to start from scratch when I jump in a stock car at a place like Texas Motor Speedway. There is that much of a difference."
Foyt, the grandson of 1972 Daytona 500 winner and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, is a native of Texas, but made the decision to move from his hometown of Hockley to Huntersville, N.C. during the off-season.
"I recently moved to be closer to the team," he said. "I miss seeing my family and friends on a regular basis, but the NASCAR schedule isn't set up to really go home on weekends to see everybody, so you have to take what you can get. It'll be nice to have family and friends at Texas to support me."
Foyt's Akins Motorsports team is in 38th-place in the owner standings and will have to qualify on time for Saturday's O'Reilly 300. Foyt was forced to do the same two weeks ago at Bristol. Despite that obstacle, he remains upbeat.
"This race could be a turning point in our season," he said. "The Great Clips team won this race one year ago, so these guys know what needs to be done to run well at this race track."
Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Hellmann's/Ultimate Chargers Dodge) drove the No. 38 last year at Texas, and the team's success would seem to bode well for Foyt.
"As for me, I feel that after running in the NASCAR Busch Series race here last fall and having just that little bit of experience is going to be a big advantage," he said. "I'm going to know more going in and there will be less of a learning curve than when we unload and get out onto the track for practice.
"We're learning and improving every week and that's really our goal for the first half of the season -- to learn as much as we can so when we return to a track in the second half of the year, we will know what to expect and know what we need to do in order to have a good run."