IRL: Another Foyt at Indy

IRL: Another Foyt at Indy

They claimed it was only a test for Larry Foyt, the youngest son of four-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner A.J. Foyt during today's Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But the younger Foyt will attempt to qualify for...

They claimed it was only a test for Larry Foyt, the youngest son of four-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner A.J. Foyt during today's Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But the younger Foyt will attempt to qualify for the 88th Indy 500 on May 30th, hoping to make it a two-car A.J. Foyt Enterprises entry. Larry's nephew (and the elder Foyt's grandson) A.J. Foyt IV is in his second season in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series, driving the #14 Conseco Dallara/Toyota.

A.J. Foyt IV and uncle Larry.
Photo by Anne Proffit.
Larry Foyt turned a total of 59 laps this morning in the spare #14 car, relinquishing the seat this afternoon for Foyt's one-race Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Jeff Simmons. His fastest lap, Foyt's 47th was 42.8544 seconds (210.013mph) around the flat 2.5-mile oval. "It's the coolest day of my life," he crowed afterwards. "It was everything I thought it would be.

"This is such a special place," Larry Foyt said of the Brickyard circuit. "I've been coming here since I was born, and when I was growing up I used to wonder, 'Can I do it?' And today I got to do it. We ran 210 and I know I can go faster. We had a lot of downforce on the car because my dad just wanted me to get comfortable," Foyt explained.

Dad sure knows his way around this race track and was pleased with his son's performance. "I was happy. He could have gone faster but I didn't want him to push it. The idea," Super Tex said, "was to just get acclimated because it is so different from what he's been used to driving."

What 27-year-old Larry Foyt is used to driving is a 3800-pound stock car in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series. This is a huge difference for him. "I had to get the 'stock car line' out of me," he said. "You run quite a different line in the stock car than you do these cars. The stock car is much heavier and the engine is in front, so you drive it so much different. The Indy car feels really good out there," Foyt grinned.

The difference between the Cup and IRL cars is more than size and weight, or even inboard/outboard wheels. "I had never run a sequential shift or used the pit lane speed limiter. There's a lot of electronics that we don't have in the stock car.

"Today was ideal," Foyt related, "because there was no pressure, so I could take my time adapting. I know it'll get harder once we start trimming it out, but we're pretty happy with the way things went. I had a blast!"

Larry Foyt came to the Brickyard as a NASCAR rookie last year. In the Brickyard 400 he finished 32nd in the #14 Dodge. He's undertaken just a handful of NASCAR races this season with a best finish of 28th at the Daytona 500.

The younger Foyt did test an Indy car at Pikes Peak International Raceway and at Texas Motor Speedway about five years ago, passing his rookie test at that time, "but then I put him in the stock cars," his father related. "He never gave up his hope of driving in the Indy 500 though," and may finally get the chance.

The senior Foyt "never wanted any of my kids to race because it is such a tough sport, but when that's all they want to do, what can you say? Now I have two of them racing, but the way I feel about that is it's their life to live. I'm just glad I can help them out."

Larry Foyt will join A.J. Foyt IV in open testing for the 88th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, which has been rescheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, due to expected low temperatures and high winds on Tuesday.

Practice for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing begins May 9th and MBNA Pole Day is May 15th, ironically the same day that A.J. Foyt Jr. ended his illustrious career as an Indy car driver in 1993.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers A.J. Foyt IV , Larry Foyt , Jeff Simmons , A.J. Foyt Jr. , A.J. Foyt
Teams A.J. Foyt Enterprises