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AJ Foyt on the mend after heart op

Having watched the race, the famously no-nonsense Foyt also had a typically forthright opinion on the subject of the controversial double-file restarts that have been the centre of much discussion since Sunday.

"I like them and the drivers better get used to them because I bet they are here to stay. The biggest accident happened at the start but starts are always double file so there was no excuse for that deal," he expounded. "I think having double file restarts will make the show better. After all, if the drivers do them enough, they will get better at it, right? For the fans I think it's great because it mixes it up more.

"I know that double-file is a double-edged sword because there will be times my team may suffer because of them, but anyone can restart in a single file. That doesn't take too much skill or brains. These drivers need to use their heads."

Foyt added that when he started out in motorsports, if you didn't use your head and respect your rivals then you were going to end up in hospital. Foyt started racing in midget cars in 1956 and over the course of his career became the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (four times), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona (twice), the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring, giving him a cross-formula success to rival that of his contemporary, Mario Andretti. He suffered serious leg and feet injuries in a crash in the 1990 CART race at Road America, only to rebound and qualify in second place in the 1991 Indianapolis 500, but his last attempt to race at Indy came two years later in 1993 when he failed to qualify, after which he retired aged 58 and concentrated on team ownership.

He had set up AJ Foyt Enterprises in 1973 fielding Ron Hutcherson in the NASCAR series, but more recently the team's attention has been in competing in the CART/IndyCar series with drivers including Meira, Al Unser Jr., Paul Tracy, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Darren Manning, as well as Foyt's grandson AJ Foyt IV.





Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 20-21 June 2009. Iowa Corn 250.  Iowa Speedway. Newton, Iowa USA. A.J. Foyt and Ryan Hunter-Rey.
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 takes the chequered flag to victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Sam Cobb/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his second successive victory in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his second successive victory in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on track during the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya navigates the Turns 11-12 chicane during the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Multi-car incident during the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 13 2016 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Takuma Sato poses for a photograph during the autograph session in the St. Petersburg Fan Village (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award for claiming the pole position for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award for claiming the pole position for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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arthur gruntfuttock - Unregistered

April 01, 2011 12:16 PM

What a man A.J.Foyt is. I cannot believe he was still racing with the top guys at that age. Tough as old boots and uncompromising which set him apart from the 'ordinary' guys running in racing. I think he probably raced the GT40 as well as anyone and that includes an illustrious list. Get well soon old fella!

Maxx - Unregistered

April 01, 2011 5:45 PM

Nothing is gonna kill that tough old bastard. He was almost crushed to death when he rolled a Caterpiller bulldozer into a lake a couple years ago. If AJ says double file restarts are good that's all anybody should need to hear. Even though it may cost him a car, or two. How refreshing it would be to see more drivers like him again. He'll drive anything anywhere and be competitive. He will also live wuth the rules that are writen. After the Indy race, most of the drivers were whining like babies about the new rules on restarts. You're supposed to be professionals, act like one.



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