Foyt Recovering After Heart Surgery

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, November 13 2014

A.J. Foyt underwent bypass surgery on Wednesday. (File photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)


Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt Jr. underwent successful coronary bypass surgery Wednesday in Houston after being diagnosed with blockages on Monday.

Foyt, 79, was admitted into Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on Friday with intermittent chest pains but initial testing results were inconclusive. However, a cardiac catheterization procedure performed Monday revealed blockages in arteries where Foyt had several stents from past procedures, most recently in March 2010.

Triple bypass surgery was performed by renowned cardiothoracic surgeons O.H. “Bud” Frazier, MD, director of cardiovascular surgery research at Texas Heart Institute (THI) and chief of transplant service, St. Luke’s Medical Center and William Cohn, MD, director of minimally invasive surgical technology at THI. Both men trained under artificial heart pioneer Dr. Michael DeBakey while Dr. Frazier also worked with Dr. Denton Cooley, a former partner of DeBakey’s and founder of the Texas Heart Institute.

Foyt, whose A.J. Foyt Racing organization has been competing in various forms of motorsports since December 1965, is expected to remain hospitalized through Monday.

Foyt and son Larry, team director of A.J. Foyt Racing, recently announced the expansion of their Verizon IndyCar Series team from one car to two for the 2015-2016 seasons. Englishman Jack Hawksworth was named driver of the No. 41 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda whileTakuma Sato of Japan will handle the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda for the third consecutive year. In October, Foyt purchased a building in Speedway, Ind., which will be used by his race team as a Midwest base during the summer.

Foyt has had a number of stays in various Houston hospitals in recent years, most of which related to injuries stemming from his 1990 Indy car accident at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Last year he underwent back surgery and had his left hip and right knee replaced in separate surgeries. In 2012, Foyt battled back from a life-threatening staph infection after surgery to remove bone spurs in his artificial left knee, which had been replaced in 2006.

Foyt drove in the Indianapolis 500 for a record 35 consecutive Months of May and became the first four-time winner of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 1977. Foyt is the only driver to win the Indy 500 in both front and rear-engine cars, winning twice with both configurations.

Foyt retired as driver in May 1993 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a career spanning five decades. “Super Tex” still holds Indy car records for career victories (67), most national championships (seven) and single-season victories (10).  Foyt is the only driver to win the Indy 500, NASCAR’s Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Sebring 12-Hour sports car endurance events.

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, November 13 2014
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