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Foyt’s Knee Surgery Prevents Daytona Visit

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, January 27 2012

A.J. Foyt will miss this weekend's Rolex 24. (File photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A.J. Foyt, the Grand Marshall of the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, cancelled his appearance at the event due to illness. Foyt had complications from recent knee surgery, but is expected to make a full recovery.

“I am really sorry that I can’t be there this weekend,” said Foyt in a statement. “I was really looking forward to it because I thought it was a great honor to be asked to be the Grand Marshall of the 50th anniversary of that race.”

Foyt, who co-drove to victory at the Daytona enduro in 1983 aboard a Porsche 935 turbo and in 1985 aboard a Porsche 962, said those victories were “one of the great highlights of my career. I feel so bad that I let everyone down. I was also looking forward to seeing some of my old friends and the race cars that I drove in that race.

“It was going to be a really fun weekend for me,” he continued, “but I guess I’ll be watching the race from my hospital room.”

Foyt was notorious for leaving the hospital early following injurious accidents or not entering them at all during his racing career, but this time he decided to follow the doctors’ orders. “The doctors pulled rank on me,” he said. “I hate to admit it, but I think they’re right — this time.”

In his capacity as the Grand Marshall, Foyt said, “I’d like to wish everyone a safe race and I’ll be with you in spirit.”

Officials of the Daytona International Speedway made the announcement Friday afternoon. “We wish A.J. a speedy recovery and hope he’s back on his feet soon,” said Joie Chitwood III, the speedway’s president.

– Jonathan Ingram can be reached at jingram@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, January 27 2012
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