A.J. Foyt on racing highs and lows
A.J. Foyt is always willing to share his opinion. He doesn’t mince words.
A self-made millionaire, the Houston native dropped out of high school and became the most successful American race car driver and arguably the greatest race car driver ever.
Racing runs in the family. His father, Anthony Joseph Foyt, Sr. was an auto mechanic and a race car driver himself.
Foyt first qualified for the Indy 500 in 1958 and he’s been to every Indy 500 since as a racer or a team owner.
According to his website, Foyt has honors that are unmatched by other race car drivers:
- First 4-time winner of the Indianapolis 500: 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977
- Only driver to win Indy 500, Daytona 500 (’72) and 24 Hours of Le Mans (’67)
- Holds record 67 Indy Car wins and 7 Indy Car championships as a driver
- Voted “Driver of the Century”
Foyt cheated death too many times to count experiencing his share of broken bones, burns and abrasions including those from a lion that got loose at one of his races.
But AJ says the worst pain he experienced did not happen at the track, but on his farm when he was attacked by killer bees.
“It looked like I had a fight with the wrong end of the baseball bat – I lost,” he told Dave.
On May 15, 1993, then 58-year-old Foyt drove his final victory lap after becoming the first driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 four times.
Even though he works in an unstable profession Foyt is a very stable man – married to his wife Lucy since 1955, raising two sons and a daughter.
When he’s not at the track, Foyt is in the Houston area running A.J. Floyt Racing and working on his ranch in Hockley.
Foyt was recently inducted into the Houston Sports Hall Fame. The other 2019 inductees also include H-Town sports legends like heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, Masters champion Jackie Burke Jr. and former Houston Oilers quarterback great Dan Pastorini.