IRL: Ray to drive for Foyt at Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001 - 1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray will return to the Indy Racing Northern Light Series at the Chevy 500 on Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway, driving an Infiniti-powered car owned by four-time ...

FORT WORTH, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001 - 1999 Indy Racing champion Greg Ray will return to the Indy Racing Northern Light Series at the Chevy 500 on Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway, driving an Infiniti-powered car owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

Ray, from Plano, Texas, will drive the No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Ray has missed the last two Northern Light Series events after being released by Team Menard in mid-August. This will be Ray's second stint with A.J. Foyt Racing. He drove for Foyt for two races in 1998 as a replacement for the injured Billy Boat.

"I wanted to explore some options for next year," Foyt said. "Greg Ray is a strong competitor, especially at Texas, and with it being our home track, it's a good opportunity to work together again.

"I also wanted to try the Nissan engine firsthand, and they agreed to let me. There won't be any decisions made about next year until this season is over."

This will be the first time Foyt has used an Infiniti in one of his cars since the engine entered the Indy Racing League in January 1997. Ray won the zMAX 500 on April 28 at Atlanta and four MBNA Poles this season in 10 starts with Team Menard.

"A.J. has been a mentor to me, and I have always enjoyed working with him," Ray said. "With our Texas heritage and competitive natures, this should make for a great race weekend."

Ray will be a teammate to full-time Foyt driver Eliseo Salazar, who drives the No. 14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Donnie Beechler, who has driven the No. 11 Foyt car since May, will attend the Chevy 500 at Foyt's request. Beechler has recorded six top-10 finishes in nine starts this season for Foyt.

"Donnie has done a great job for me this year," Foyt said. "I asked him to come down and be part of the team, which I know is a hard thing for a race driver to do, but he agreed to be there."

-IRNLS/IMS-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eliseo Salazar , Billy Boat , Donnie Beechler , A.J. Foyt