IRL: Fontana: Foyt Racing preview

Ed Carpenter: Futaba/Delphi No. 14 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone A.J. Foyt IV on California: "I tested at California in the beginning of the year and it went pretty good. Of course I have a lot more experience now than I did then. The track is big...

Ed Carpenter: Futaba/Delphi No. 14 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone

A.J. Foyt IV on California: "I tested at California in the beginning of the year and it went pretty good. Of course I have a lot more experience now than I did then. The track is big and banked so I think there will be a lot of good racing and there will be another good close finish like we had at the last race. California is similar to Michigan and we had a pretty good run going there until we had gearbox problems."

On the sidelines: A.J. IV went to his first ever NCAA Division I college football game last Saturday to see the University of Michigan Wolverines trounce Notre Dame's Fightin' Irish 34-zip. Foyt IV watched from the Wolverines' sidelines courtesy of ABC reporter Jack Arute, who in addition to reporting from the pits for IRL IndyCar events, works college football games for ABC. Among those players that Foyt met, most memorable was running back Chris Perry, who rushed for three touchdowns and caught John Navarre's pass for a fourth TD. "They had a huge crowd--over 111,000 people. I think it was the biggest college football game of the year," Foyt IV said. "I thought Notre Dame would have given Michigan more of a fight but I really enjoyed being there. It was pretty cool."

At Chicagoland, A.J. IV finished 17th after starting 21st. Hampered by the handling of the Conseco Dallara in the beginning of the race, Foyt IV worked with Team Conseco to make changes to the car which improved its handling. In the closing laps, Foyt IV was able to run lap times comparable to those of the leaders.

Ed Carpenter on California: "I haven't run at California Speedway but I was at the IRL race last year. It's a lot like Michigan just a little flatter and smoother. We had a pretty good run going at Michigan in the Futaba/Delphi car this year until we had some electronic problems with the motor on the restartsHe will be in the same carH. With just two races left, I'd like to get a couple more wins. Realistically, the championship is out of the picture but we can still finish second in the points which I'd really like to do since I was third last year."

Past performance for Foyt Racing at California Speedway: Last year Airton Dare started 20th and finished 13th while Eliseo Salazar started and finished 15th.

A.J.'s California Experience: Foyt won several races at the former Ontario Motor Speedway which has since been razed. He won the Ontario 500 Indy car race in 1975 and 1979 while taking the Ontario 200 in 1977. He won qualifying races there in 1974 and 1975. He won the USAC Stock Car 200 milers in 1977, 1978, and 1979.

The Toyota Indy 400 will be televised live Sunday at 3:30 pm Eastern on ABC.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eliseo Salazar , Airton Daré , A.J. Foyt IV , Ed Carpenter