IndyCar »

Bucknum to replace Foyt at Infineon.

For the first time since he began competing in the IndyCar Series in 2003, someone other than A.J. Foyt IV will drive the #14 car owned by his grandfather AJ Foyt.

Jeff Bucknum, who earlier this season competed in two oval races for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, will replace Foyt in the #14 ABC Supply Co. Dallara-Chevrolet in the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway this weekend.

Foyt will return to the seat for the race at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway oval on September 11th.

"We didn't test with Anthony at Infineon at the IRL Open Test in April, and I decided it wouldn't be fair to run him since everyone else has tested there," team owner A.J. Foyt said. "It's a tricky course, especially running the (2.26-mile, 12-turn) long course. I think it'd be even harder for him than St. Pete where we struggled.

"Jeff Bucknum called last week offering to help Anthony out there. But I decided it would make more sense to put Jeff in the car. Jeff's familiar with the course, he's run there quite a bit in smaller cars and was an instructor there for a couple years. Also, he did a half-day in a Dreyer & Reinbold car at the test there in April and impressed them.

“I'm looking forward to having him drive for me this weekend. I knew his daddy (Ronnie Bucknum) way back when, and I never thought his son would be driving for me. It's a small world."

Foyt would have been Bucknum's teammate in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, but Foyt was seriously burned in an Indy-style practice the week before at Milwaukee. Dick Hutcherson was called to team with Bucknum and they finished third. Bucknum was the first Honda factory driver in Formula One and competed in three Indianapolis 500s. He died on April 25th 1992, the year before his son drove in his first amateur race at the then-Sears Point International Raceway (Infineon).

"I'm pretty excited to be driving the 14 car for A.J.," Bucknum said. "It feels like things have come full circle for my family because my dad and A.J. raced together in the '60s. When I told my mom that I was driving for A.J., I think it brought back so many memories of my dad that it brought a tear to her eye and became really special for her, too.

"As far as driving at Infineon, my first-ever racing experience was the Skip Barber School there. I've driven quite a few races at Infineon so I'm real familiar with the track. With my knowledge of the track and A.J.'s experience in setting up Indy cars, I think we'll be able to get a good balance on the car and ultimately have a good weekend."

A.J. Foyt IV said he broached the idea of a replacement driver about a month ago.

"At first he said no, but then I think he thought about it," said Foyt, 21. "He didn't say anything about it until we came home from Colorado (21st-place finish in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway). I'm actually relieved because it would have been hard to be competitive, I've never even seen the track. I'll learn a lot by watching and hearing the feedback between Jeff and the crew."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jeff Bucknum, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2005.
A.J. Foyt IV, AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Toyota, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2005.
Sage Karam walks pit lane prior to his qualification attempt for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Justin Wilson flashes across the start/finish line during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson greets the fans during pre-race festivities for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his second place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates on the podium with Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates with the Andretti Autosport team in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates in victory circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay arrives in Victory Lane after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay takes the chequered flag to win the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson straps on his helmet prior to the systems check for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay is congratulated in Victory Lane after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.