Indy 500: AJ Foyt Racing race preview

Vitor Meira: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda/Firestone * Vitor Meira on the Race: "I think here patience pays a lot, not only because it is a very long race but it's a track that doesn't forgive a lot of mistakes. Once you have a ...

Vitor Meira: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* Vitor Meira on the Race: "I think here patience pays a lot, not only because it is a very long race but it's a track that doesn't forgive a lot of mistakes. Once you have a mistake, you're in trouble. The strategy is always, you go out, log some laps, make sure that you risk as few times as possible p to 50 laps to go, then you drop the hammer which is sort of everybody's strategy, but it's hard sometimes when you are in the race to keep your head thinking on the strategy. You always want to go, go, go. You see opportunity rising, you don't think twice many times, and sometimes it doesn't work. So you have to think twice for most of the race until the last 50 laps or till when it's time to go. I think this race is going to be no different. Finishing is very important here. If you finish with a solid car, you will finish top 10. The plan is to put ourselves in position to finish top 10; whatever comes, it will come."

A.J. Foyt IV: No. 41 ABC Supply/Foyt/Greer Dallara/Honda/Firestone

* A.J. Foyt IV on the race: "We want to run a good hard pace. We want to make the car really consistent where we can run hard every lap, stay on the lead lap and stay fighting for the lead until the end of the race and try to compete for the win." [Back at Foyt Racing] "It's been good, the team's come a long way. A.J.'s got a lot of miles here and he knows good days to run and when to keep it in the garage, so the month's gone pretty smooth. So hopefully we can have a smooth race also." [Working with your grandfather?] "Not too much has changed-- when things are going good, we continue to make small changes and when things are going bad he seems to make big changes. But all of the changes have been pretty good so far."

* Vitor Meira qualified Sunday, May 10th for his seventh straight Indianapolis 500. Meira will start 14th which is the same place that the No. 14 car started last year with Darren Manning driving. Meira posted a 4-lap average speed of 223.054mph after his initial run was disqualified due to technical violation with the car's rear track width. Meira said: "Being forced to go back out there was sort of good," said the two-time runner-up in the 500. "We were going to rethink our strategy and try some things anyway but what happened [the DQ] forced us to. There was only one option, and when you only have one option it's easy. The problem is when you have many options, you don't know what to do. It forced us to do some things, the car went back to basics and it worked. I really wanted to qualify yesterday, I really did, but I wanted to, today I needed to. So it's going to give us the whole week to think about the race and that's what's really important."

* A.J. Foyt IV qualified for his sixth Indianapolis 500. Foyt will start 19th after bumping his way back into the 22-car field in the closing minutes of second round qualifying last Sunday, May 10. He will start 19th on the inside of row seven. "This kind of felt just like last year on Bump Day," he said in his post-qualifying interview, referring to bumping his way back into the field to start 31st in a Vision Racing entry in 2008. "This is supposed to be a one week [engine] program and we're supposed to be saving this motor for the race so we really needed to get in today to keep on our regular schedule. I know A.J. wasn't gonna be happy if he had to cough up more money so we could run some more miles on the Honda engine. There was a lot of stress on me too so I'm glad we got that done and got it in there."

* Foyt Racing's Team Director Larry Foyt will host a Celebrity Bartending Challenge this Tuesday night at "6 Lounge and Restaurant" in downtown Indianapolis. Race drivers and local celebrities will participate in the charity fundraiser which will start at 8pm. General admission is $20 and VIP admission is $50. The proceeds will benefit Full Speed 2 a Cure and Healthy Child-Healthy World.

* A.J. Foyt's legendary career at Indy is being depicted in a window of Macy's flagship department store in New York City; it is part of the IZOD Indianapolis 500 display which also includes historic race cars from the Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum and other artifacts from significant moments in the Speedway's history. Meira and Foyt IV will be able to check it out in person when they travel to NYC as part of the Indy 500 media blitz; all 33 starting drivers will participate in the Herald Square photo op Monday, May 18th.

* A.J. Foyt will be participating in his 52nd straight Indy 500 this year. Foyt became the first driver to win the 500 four times with his victory in 1977. Other victories as a driver came in 1961, 1964 and 1967. He won it solely as a car owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack driving.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , A.J. Foyt IV , Kenny Brack , Larry Foyt , A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira