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A.J. Foyt IV Back In Cockpit At Texas

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, June 2 2009
The Foyts will be together at Texas. (IndyCar Series photo by Chris Jones)

The Foyts will be together at Texas. (IndyCar Series photo by Chris Jones)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Fort Worth, Texas – A.J. Foyt IV, who began his IndyCar Series career driving for his famous grandfather and namesake, will return to the cockpit of the ABC Supply-sponsored No. 14 Dallara/Honda for the Bombardier Learjet 550k night race at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.

Foyt IV, the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights champion in 2002 while driving for A.J. Foyt Enterprises, is working on a one-race deal at this point. Foyt IV is the second driver hired to replace Brazilian Vitor Meira, who suffered a lower back injury during the 93rd Indianapolis 500 on May 24.

Meira was replaced by Paul Tracy in the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 last Sunday at The Milwaukee Mile. Tracy finished 17th in a 20-car field, six laps down to winner Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Meira is not expected to be cleared to race until late September.

Foyt IV returned to the ABC Supply team for the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he qualified on the second day and started 19th. He finished 16th in what was his 83rd career start and first of the 2009 season.

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to run another race,” said Foyt IV, 25. “I really like the track (TMS), and not just because it’s in Texas. It suits my style, it’s fast and the racing is close.  Hopefully we get the result we’re looking for.”

Foyt IV has made seven series starts on the high-banked, 1.5-mile quadoval, with a best qualifying effort of 11th and finish of 10th in 2004.

“Anthony has always run well at this track,” the elder Foyt said. “He hasn’t had the results but most of that was because of things that he couldn’t help – tires going flat or problems on pit stops. He likes the track, which is good, because a lot of drivers don’t care for it. Plus we’ve worked with him so we know what he likes, and he knows what he wants from these cars.”

Foyt IV passed his IndyCar rookie test at TMS on Oct. 31, 2002. “The track is pretty easy to run by yourself in practice and qualifying but it gets much tougher in the race,” said Foyt IV, who has yet to lead an IndyCar lap at TMS. “The racing is real close and the car doesn’t handle as well in the traffic but you’re still trying to run the same speed. It gets pretty tough, but I enjoy racing at Texas.”

Foyt IV spent the 2003-05 seasons driving for his grandfather, first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, before a brief run at a NASCAR career in 2006. Foyt IV competed for Vision Racing in 2007-08, recording a career-best third-place result at Kentucky Speedway in August 2007.

The Bombardier Learjet 550k is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., CDT,  Saturday, and will be televised by Versus.

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, June 2 2009
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