|Sato last year in Foyt's ABC car|
This season AJ Foyt Racing will celebrate its 10th anniversary with sponsor ABC Supply Co. Inc. which signed as the primary sponsor for the team starting with the 2005 Indianapolis 500.
"We are thrilled to be celebrating our tenth anniversary with Foyt Racing," said Keith Rozolis, president and chief executive officer of ABC Supply Co., Inc. "Over the years, this program has brought thousands of our associates and customers together to celebrate and cheer for our car. We now look forward to watching Takuma and Jack take our team to the next level."
"What a wonderful milestone to achieve!" said Larry Foyt, who was recently named president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. "This program has grown more every year, and now with two ABC cars on track, I think this will be our most exciting year to date. From the support of the team, to their sponsorship of races, to the at-track activation, we must give a huge thank you to ABC Supply for their support of A.J. Foyt Racing–and the sport of IndyCar Racing."
"I've really enjoyed working with ABC because the company is more like family than a sponsor," said A.J. Foyt. "If you have good days their happy, if you have bad days they understand. They're always great people to work with. They know even when we are having a bad day that we're giving it 110%, and I think they respect that about us, and I appreciate that. If you look back through my history, I've never had many sponsors and I'm awful proud of that and proud to be with ABC since 2005. We've done fairly decently for them, but that's why we started a two-car team because we want to bring them some more wins."
The "Celebrating 10 Years" logo appears on the company's promotional materials including a retrospective wall calendar featuring racing images from the past 10 years, 2015 magnet and pocket racing schedules, and racing-themed banners used at branch locations and at hospitality events.
Celebrating will be double the fun this year as the team announced last October its expansion to two full-time entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series and that ABC Supply would sponsor both cars through 2016. With Takuma Sato continuing in the No. 14, Jack Hawksworth was named to drive the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda.
The company began leveraging the sponsorship in 2005, creating internal programs and inviting over 2,500 customers and employees to races. The program expanded with each passing year. In 2014, ABC Supply entertained 8,400 guests, bringing the 10-year total to nearly 70,000 guests!
Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company has 493 branches, over 7,700 employees, and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors. ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle – take care of contractors better than any other distributor. It remains an "employee-first" company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed.
- AJ. Foyt Update: A.J. Foyt continues to recover from his triple bypass surgery and subsequent complications at home in Houston. Foyt has been more active since his first return to the race shop in mid-January. "I'm doing a lot better; every day I'm doing a little bit more," Foyt said. "I'm getting more of my strength back and I'm eating a better than I was when this first happened. I feel with all of the problems I had I'm looking pretty good. I've been on my bulldozer a couple times. Nothing to brag about, I was very weak and very tired but I have done some stuff with it. I probably should keep that quiet because I'm not sure the doctor would enjoy hearing that." Foyt, who has lost 50 lbs. over the winter, does not expect to make it to a race before May as his current treatment keeps him tied to Houston, but he hasn't ruled out a day trip. "I may sneak out to a test where I can come and go in the same day. But that's a call I'll make based on how I feel that day. I think the new cars look pretty nice. The engineers are going to have their hands full with all of the trick stuff they came up with on the new aero kit. I'm anxious to hear the feedback from testing."
- New title for Larry Foyt: Larry Foyt was named President of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. last month, a title that makes his role official with the organization since his father became seriously ill in 2012 and again in 2014. "I really enjoy the business side of racing," said Foyt, who is fully aware of the responsibility his position entails. "I think all of my past experience has helped me get to this point–whether it was at TCU as a student, or managing our stock car team while I competed in NASCAR. My time behind the wheel has helped me relate to the drivers and understand their needs as well." Foyt joined the IndyCar team in the fall of 2006 as the Team Director; each year he has assumed an increasing amount of responsibility.
- Team prepares for first test with new aero kit: The ABC Supply Honda team is prepping for its first test with the new aero kit. The team will run a one day test at NOLA Motorsports Park outside of New Orleans on March 14, and then travel to Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham for the Verizon IndyCar Series two-day Promoter Test at the picturesque road course March 16-17.
- Mitch Davis joins the team: Over the winter, Larry Foyt hired veteran team manager Mitch Davis, whose resume includes stints with teams owned by Dale Coyne, Chip Ganassi, and Bobby Rahal. In addition to overseeing the preparation of the ABC Supply Hondas, Davis will be the race strategist on Jack Hawksworth's No. 41 car. Raul Prados will be the chief engineer, after serving as the performance engineer on the No. 14 car since 2012.
- Drive a Firestone Tour: The ABC Supply No. 14 Honda show car is part of the Drive a Firestone tour which will take the No. 14 to Firestone retail locations conducting promotions primarily in the West –with occasional trips to the Midwest and East–over the next eight months. The tour allows customers and race fans to see an Indy car up close and experience several interactive displays.