IRL: A.J. Foyt Fine After Leg Surgery

FOYT UNDERGOES SURGERY ON LEFT LEG INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2000 - Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt underwent surgery Feb. 5 at Memorial Hospital in Houston to remove the surgical-steel hardware installed in his leg nearly 10...

FOYT UNDERGOES SURGERY ON LEFT LEG

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2000 - Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt underwent surgery Feb. 5 at Memorial Hospital in Houston to remove the surgical-steel hardware installed in his leg nearly 10 years ago after a serious racing accident.

Doctors removed a plate, two bars and more than 24 screws during the surgery. Foyt suffered a badly broken left leg in an accident during a CART event in 1990 at Elkhart Lake, Wis.

"It was some really big hardware," said Foyt, owner of a two-car team in the Northern Light Indy Racing Series. "They showed it to me, and it looked like something you'd find in an Indy car. One of the bars was 7 inches by 1 inch and was an eighth-inch thick.

"No wonder it got to hurting so much when a couple of the screws started backing out. The screws were 3½ inches long."

Foyt, 65, admitted that he should have had the surgery years ago, as doctors recommended. But he delayed the procedure.

"I knew I'd be on crutches for three to four months until the bone filled in," Foyt said. "Right now it looks like Swiss cheese with all the holes from the screws. I have to be really careful not to bang it."

Despite being on crutches, Foyt intends to be in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the next two weekends to coach rookie Mike Bliss, driver of Foyt's Conseco-sponsored Pontiac this year in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, in the Daytona 500. Foyt also will continue to oversee his Indy Racing team and the Harrah's G Force/Aurora/Firestone driven by Jeff Ward and the Rio G Force/Aurora/Firestone driven by Eliseo Salazar.

"My wife always said I had a few screws loose," Foyt said, "but she can't say that anymore."

-IRL/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eliseo Salazar , Jeff Ward , Mike Bliss , A.J. Foyt