Who is A. J. Foyt?


A. J. Foyt (1935), American professional automobile racer, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977). A fierce competitor who drove all types of racing cars, from midgets, stock cars, and sports cars to the powerful Indy car races, he also won the Daytona 500 (1972) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1967).

Born Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr., in Houston, Texas, the son of a garage owner and midget car racer, he left high school to become a mechanic and start his racing career. He qualified for the prestigious Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 1958 and won it three years later. He also won seven United States Auto Club (USAC) championships, in 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1975, and 1979.

Although he won races in many different classifications, Foyt was best known for his Indianapolis 500 races. He set new speed records in the 1964 and 1967 races and took his fourth title in his 20th appearance, in 1977. He won fame for his longevity in a sport that favors younger men; although injured in several crashes, he continued his racing career until 1993, when he announced his retirement during qualifying trials for the Indianapolis 500.

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