HAPPY 80TH A.J.!

WALLER, TX January 16—A.J. Foyt did not take his 80th birthday lying down!

Hashtag SuperTex has been living up to his rep as one tough Texan.  Despite an ongoing battle with post-op complications from his Nov. 12 heart operation and hand surgery Tuesday to remove a non-malignant tumor, he drove out to his race shop today to celebrate his birthday with his ABC Supply race team—which has almost doubled in size since his last visit in mid-December.

The team gathered round to sing Happy Birthday to him and he responded with “Y’all need to take some singing lessons!” (See video here)

It was apparent that he enjoyed the quiet celebration and the team appreciated the effort on his part and the opportunity to personally wish him a happy birthday.

Foyt has been receiving wonderful accolades all week long as the IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway PR staffs kicked it into high gear to make number 80 one of A.J.’s most memorable birthdays yet.

In addition to peppering social media with links to stories and creating the #SuperTex compilation of tweets from race drivers, race tracks and industry leaders here and abroad, the websites of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway featured special content saluting the motorsports icon.

Stories and photographic essays documenting Foyt’s incredible exploits have been appeared on the following websites of NBC Sports Network, ESPN, FoxSports, RoadandTrack, Racer, USAToday, IndyStar, and the Houston Chronicle (chron.com). The Verizon IndyCar app featured unique content as well.

Foyt spent most of the day receiving birthday wishes via his cell phone while his Houston household kept busy taking in gifts from all over including a bouquet of 25 roses from long-time friend Dan Gurney. Roger Penske was among those who called as well as former drivers Kenny Brack and George Snider (one of Foyt’s closest friends).

Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott also took time to call his fellow Texan, saying, “I’m so proud of you, so proud that you’re a Texan and proud of what you’ve done. You’re a hero for us here in Texas and we’re thankful that we have you.”

And when Foyt responded he would remain in Texas until he was gone, Abbot quipped, “That means you’re going to stay in heaven.”

Foyt agreed with him.

 

A.J. Foyt Recovers at Home as He Approaches Milestone Birthday

His ABC Supply Racing Team continues to build its no. 41 car staff

HOUSTON (Jan. 12, 2015)—For A.J. Foyt,  turning 80 this Friday may be one of his greatest accomplishments in a lifetime defined by record-setting milestones.

The only man to win the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of LeMans and the Daytona 500 continues to recover from serious complications sustained following his triple bypass heart surgery November 12, 2014.

Foyt was discharged from a Houston hospital December 2nd but was readmitted a week later. He spent an additional two weeks in the hospital to have several procedures performed related to post-operative complications. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“I’ve had a lot of accidents and have always recovered pretty fast,” said Foyt, who has battled back from multiple injuries throughout his illustrious career. “But this is altogether different from an accident because it’s a health problem. All during my career I never had any health problems so I don’t think I realized how lucky you are when you’re healthy. This last deal really caught me off guard and I think I’ve got it whipped now but it’s going to take time. My doctors told me it wasn’t something I’d recover from real quick. I didn’t want to accept that—and still don’t—but it’s taking me a lot longer than I thought. I’m not one of those guys that can just lay around and take it easy, but that’s exactly what I’ve got to do now. It’s driving me nuts.”

The Texan has been spending most of his time at his Houston home but is hoping to make a visit to his ABC Supply Racing team’s race shop soon—perhaps on January 16th to briefly celebrate his 80th. “I’m looking forward to being back with the guys—and I’m pretty sure my wife Lucy is looking forward to that too. She has been a real trooper through all of this.”

The team’s Waller headquarters-- located about 40 minutes northwest of Houston—is bustling as the team is in the midst of an expansion to two full-time entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season. Veteran driver Takuma Sato will be joined by Jack Hawksworth, the 23-year-old British driver who won the 2014 Tony Renna Rising Star Award in his rookie year of IndyCar competition.

“Larry and I talk every day to discuss the second team,” said Foyt of his youngest son. “I have to leave all of the hiring up to him but he’d ask my opinion and a few I said no to and a few yes. He analyzed it all and we agreed on everything. I think he’s done a great job, with it being the first time he’s had to put everything together. He stepped up to the plate big time. I felt like he could do it, but I didn’t know if he really wanted it, but he’s done a helluva job.”

Foyt Family Wines Releases Its Second Collectors Series Wine

Limited release wine’s label design features oil painting by artist Colin Carter

SONOMA, Calif. - Foyt Family Wines is releasing its second Collectors Series wine with a 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the Meadowcroft Estate Vineyard which lies in the esteemed Mt. Veeder region of the Napa Valley.  Bottled in 2014, this special wine honors the 50 year anniversary of A.J. Foyt’s second Indianapolis 500 victory in 1964.

In that Memorial Day race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Foyt started fifth, dominated the race and led 146 laps. He averaged 147.350 mph smashing the track record by over four miles per hour! When Foyt crossed the finish line, it would be the last time a front-engine roadster would ever lead a lap at the 'Brickyard.'

That year, Foyt won 10 of the 13 National Championship races, winning every race he finished to set an IndyCar record. His finest tribute came from 1963 Indy 500 Winner Parnelli Jones, who at the '64 Indy 500 victory dinner, introduced Foyt as "the greatest race car driver who ever lived."

The image used on the bottle, an original oil painting by British artist Colin Carter, captures the essence of this historic moment in the Foyt family’s legacy.

“Due to consumer demand, we decided to continue with our Collectors Series offerings utilizing an image of my dad on the bottle,” said Larry Foyt, co-founder of Foyt Family Wines. “With Colin’s amazing paintings that he created for my dad, we have three incredible Collectors Series wine labels already for our collection going forward.”

Created for the Foyt family by winemaker Tom Meadowcroft from his Estate Vineyard, the Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested at the end of September of 2011 and fermented for two weeks. The wine was aged in Alain Fouquet French Oak barrels for three years, which allowed for the massive fruit and tannin structure to mature into a complex and complete wine.

With only 40 cases produced, the Reserve release is limited to only 15 cases available to the public at this time.  Each bottle is wax dipped and packaged in a heat embossed Foyt Family Wines wooden box.  The wine, which retails for $106.00, will be sold exclusively via the Foyt Family Wines website (www.foytwines.com).

Foyt Family Wines was created by Larry Foyt and A. J. Foyt IV, the son and grandson, respectively, of the racing legend.  Both men joined the family business of racing.  Larry has run in NASCAR races as well as the Indy 500 and A.J. IV ran his first Indy 500 at the age of 19.  Joining forces with winemaker Tom Meadowcroft in 2009 to further pursue their passion for fine wines, Foyt Family Wines debuted with its release of No. 14 which was a 2006 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.