Larry Foyt Is Set To Compete in Indianapolis 500 In Second Toyota-Powered Foyt Entry INDIANAPOLIS April 26, 2004 -- If all goes according to plan, there will be two Foyts competing in the Indianapolis 500-Mile race this year. Larry Foyt, son...
Larry Foyt Is Set To Compete in Indianapolis 500 In Second Toyota-Powered Foyt Entry
INDIANAPOLIS April 26, 2004 -- If all goes according to plan, there will be two Foyts competing in the Indianapolis 500-Mile race this year. Larry Foyt, son of A.J. Foyt, will attempt to compete in his first Indianapolis 500 driving for his father. It will be the first Indy car race for the 27-year-old college graduate who is currently driving for his father on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit.
A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of Indy's first four-time winner, finished 18th in his Indy 500 debut last year and is currently driving the No. 14 Conseco Dallara/Toyota in the IRL IndyCar Series.
Larry Foyt tested at the historic 2.5-mile track today during the IRL's Rookie Orientation Program. He ran a total of 59 laps and reached speeds over 210 mph.
"It's the coolest day of my life," Foyt said after stepping out of the team's back-up car, the No. 14T Conseco Dallara/Toyota. "It was everything I thought it would be. This is such a special place. 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.
"I had to get the 'stock car line' out of me," Foyt 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 the front so you drive it so much different. The Indy car feels really good out there. There were a lot of things that were new to me. I had never run a sequential shift or the pit lane speed limiter. There's a lot of electronics that we don't have in the stock car. Today was ideal because there was no pressure so I could take my time adapting. I know that it'll get harder once we start trimming it out but we're pretty happy with the way things went. I had a blast!"
He will join Foyt IV for the IRL IndyCar Series' Open Test at the Speedway this week. Originally set for Tuesday and Wednesday, the test has been rescheduled for Wednesday and Thursday to avoid the cold temperatures and strong winds predicted for tomorrow.
A.J. Foyt 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 of today was to just get acclimated because it is so different from what he's been used to driving. He had tested an Indy car at Colorado and Texas about five years ago and passed his rookie test but then I put him in the stock cars. He never gave up his hope of driving in the Indy 500 though.
"I 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 competed at the Speedway last year as a rookie in NASCAR's Brickyard 400 where he finished 32nd in the No. 14 Dodge. Foyt has competed in just a handful of NASCAR races this year with his best finish of 28th coming in his first Daytona 500 in February.
"It's incredible," Foyt said. "I have always said that Indy was the reason I wanted to drive race cars. Every time I go there I am reminded of that--the place just gives me chills. By far it will be the biggest thing I've done in my life. I am thrilled beyond words."
Practice for the Indy 500 begins Sunday, May 9th. Qualifications for the race start on Saturday, May 15th, the same day that A.J. Foyt closed out his illustrious career as an Indy car driver in 1993. The 88th Indy 500 will be televised live by ABC on Sunday, May 30th.