50 years of Foyt: (First of a series)
In recognition of A.J. Foyt's 50th anniversary season in Indy car racing, we'll look at some of the highlights of the past 50 years.
. Foyt Fact: On April 8, 1979, Foyt wins the USAC Indy car event at College Station, Texas in route to his seventh and final Indy car championship.
. Did you know?: A.J. Foyt's first season was his least lucrative season. He made only $2,171 in 1957.
. Foyt-Lore: Jeff Simmons, driver, No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone. "I used to read books about A.J. Foyt when I was younger, and he's still racing. I remember the way he used to manhandle a car and make it do what he wanted to do. Driving for him was a great honor. Without him, I wouldn't have the opportunity to drive in the IndyCar Series. I drove his Indy Pro Series car (in 2004), but he allowed me to drive his IndyCar Series car for Rookie Orientation. If that wouldn't have happened, I wouldn't have gotten a chance to drive for Mo Nunn in the 500 and I wouldn't be driving an IndyCar Series car now. He was the one who put me in a car and set me loose, and I will always be in his debt for that."
Foyt honored by Automotive Hall of Fame: Racing icons A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney are among the five people who will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame on Oct. 16 in New York.
Also elected were mechanical engineer Charles King (posthumously), renowned auto designer Sergio Pininfarina and former Toyota chairman Shoichiro Toyoda.
Foyt, who is celebrating his 50th year in Indy car racing, shared the spotlight with Gurney in 1967 when they partnered to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford GT-40. He is the only driver to have won the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The four-time Indianapolis 500 champion snagged 67 Indy car racing victories and seven national championships. Overall, he has won 12 national titles and 172 major races during his four-decade racing career.
A.J. Foyt Racing competes in the IndyCar Series with Darren Manning behind the wheel of the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Dallara/Honda/Firestone. The team, which won "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 1999 with driver Kenny Brack, has three cars (Nos. 14, 41, 50) entered in the 91st Indianapolis 500.
Gurney -- also known as a race car manufacturer, team owner and inventor - won 51 races in Formula 1, Indy cars, NASCAR Winston Cup, Trans-Am, Can-Am and sports car racing. He competed in nine 500-Mile Races, with top-five finishes in 1968 (second), '69 (second) and '70 (third). When he retired in 1970, Gurney had competed in 312 events in 20 countries with 51 different makes of cars.