Born: January 16, 1935
Home: Houston, TX
Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr. was born January 16, 1935 in Houston, Texas. A.J. grew up around racing because his father owned race cars (midgets). Before A.J. entered elementary school, he already knew that his future was in racing.
From the beginning, Foyt was a winner. Known as “Super Tex” within racing circles, A.J. Foyt became an iconic figure in the world of motorsports. Versatility was one of his strengths. A legend in open wheel racing with 67 Indy Car victories, including four Indy 500 wins, seven Indy Car Championships, and a triumph in the prestigious 24 Hours of LeMans…Foyt has no driving equal.
Despite running a limited schedule in NASCAR’s premier events, Foyt made the most of his efforts. During the 1969 and 1970 NASCAR seasons, Foyt strapped himself into the distinctive white, blue and black Jack Bowsher Ford in seven races. At the 1970 season opening event at Riverside, Foyt put the #11 in victory lane, besting some of racing’s greatest drivers, including Richard Petty, Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney. In total, Foyt captured seven wins, including the 1972 Daytona 500 and 29 Top 5 finishes during his NASCAR career.
A.J. Foyt is the only race car driver in history to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of LeMans…four of the world’s most prestigious races. He was the first driver to win the Indy 500 four times.
While Foyt raced in NASCAR sparingly between 1963 and 1994, he started a total of 128 races and collected seven wins–Daytona (’64, ’65, ’72), Riverside (’70), Ontario (’71, ’72) and Atlanta (’71).
A.J.’s first really serious injury came in the NASCAR stock car race at Riverside, California on January 17th, 1965. He was driving the #00 1965 Galaxie built by the legendary Holman-Moody race team, featuring the then-unique and graphically creative design of the “#00 eyeballs.”
Foyt qualified and ran in front of the pack with Dan Gurney and Parnelli Jones most of the day in the Motor Trend 500. Parnelli had to pull out with mechanical troubles, leaving Gurney and Foyt to battle for the lead. Late in the race while dueling with Gurney, Foyt’s ’65 Holman-Moody #00 1965 Galaxie spun. His car refired and he charged back through the field in an attempt to regain his lost position.
After running extremely hard to catch leader Gurney, Foyt’s brakes failed entering Turn 9 at the end of Riverside’s mile long downhill back stretch. To avoid crashing into Junior Johnson and Marvin Panch, Foyt turned the car into the infield at more than 100 mph. The car tumbled violently end-over-end several times down an embankment. By the time the medics, along with fellow racer Parnelli Jones descended the 25 foot embankment and reached Foyt’s car, Foyt was not breathing. His skin was blue and the track doctor pronounced Foyt dead at the scene of the severe crash. However, fellow driver Parnelli Jones noticed a slight movement by A.J. and revived him while scooping the mud out of Foyt’s mouth. Foyt suffered a broken back, concussion, ripped breastbone, broken left heel, dislocated right foot and sustained a damaged aorta. Foyt was hospitalized for several months but made a miraculous recovery to drive, actually winning pole position in the 1965 Indianapolis 500 May race.
A.J. Foyt’s Career Summary
- Foyt is the only person to record victories in the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 stock car race, the 24 Hours of Daytona (with Dan Gurney), the 24 Hours of Le Mans international sports car endurance race and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
- Foyt drove in the Indianapolis 500 for 35 consecutive years winning it four times.
- Foyt has 41 USAC Stock Car wins and 50 Sprint Car, Midget and Dirt Champ Car wins.
- Foyt has won 12 total major driving championships in various race categories.
- Foyt has a record 138 USAC wins.
- Foyt won the 1976 and 1977 IROC championships.
- Foyt won a total of 7 NASCAR races, including the 1972 Daytona 500.