Foyt to leave IRL for NASCAR

UPDATE #2 IRL driver A.J. Foyt IV said he plans to meet with NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham this week with hopes of finalizing a deal to run in the Busch Series next season.

"I'll really pumped about it," said Foyt, who finished 12th in the Firestone Indy 400 on Sunday. "I'm trying to stay patient and wait for it to come together. If it gets worked out where I could run a full Busch schedule next year, I probably would just run over there. Ray still would let me run the Indy 500."

The 21-year-old Foyt, who goes by Anthony, has raced in the IRL the last three years for his legendary grandfather, A.J. Foyt Jr. Foyt Jr. didn't want to discuss Anthony's possible deal with Evernham Motorsports. "A.J.'s really not a part of this," Anthony said. "It's my deal, and he gave me the OK to pursue it."

Anthony said he hopes to drive a few Busch events this season, including the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5. Anthony may be racing against his uncle next season. Anthony said Larry Foyt, a TCU grad, is close to working out a full-time Busch sponsorship for 2006. Dallas Morning News

07/10/05 We are bumping this rumor up to 'strong.' Indy Racing League driver A.J. Foyt IV watched Saturday's Busch Series in Chicago race with Ray Evernham from the top of the No. 19 Nextel Cup hauler. Foyt, A.J.'s grandson, is testing for Evernham and will run the team's #6 Dodge in a couple of Busch Series races this year. Tampa Tribune 07/01/05 A.J. Foyt IV to NASCAR for Evernham? IndyCar Series [IRL] regular A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of A.J. Foyt, recently tested an ARCA car for Evernham Motorsports and might be in the team's plans for the future. "A.J. was very fast in the car, and we were very impressed with him," team owner Ray Evernham said. "He's probably going to run some Busch races for us later this year, and we'll do some further testing." The 21-year-old Foyt is in his third IndyCar season, but hasn't finished higher than ninth. "The kid's been struggling a little bit in the IRL," Evernham said. "He has a lot of people who believe in him. Who knows what's going to happen in the IRL shuffle? But he could be a guy who ends up in my driver-development program." [Editor's Note: Clearly Foyt is way over his head in the IRL so perhaps he can have better results in NASCAR.]

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