Foyt Honored By Ford
American motorsports icon A.J. Foyt Jr. is the 28th recipient of the Spirit of Ford Award.
Foyt, 82, was presented Ford Motor Company’s highest auto racing-related honor for his lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry both on and off the world’s racetracks. Foyt joined an international list of honorees from all forms of racing and racing media.
“After 50 years, who would have thought that (Dan) Gurney and I would
be around to be honored?” Foyt joked. “It means an awful lot. It’s a
big honor for Ford to do this for us.”
Foyt was presented the award Thursday evening during the Road Racing Driver’s Club annual dinner in Long Beach, Calif., by Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford and a member of the company’s board of directors. The event was a prelude to Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series’ Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, America’s premier street race.
Foyt was present along with Gurney as part of an event commemorating the 50thanniversary of the duo’s victory at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans _ the first and only win in the French classic by an All-American team featuring All-American drivers.
“A.J. was one of my heroes in racing when I first followed the sport,” Ford said. “When looking back at his magnificent career, the question isn’t what did A.J. drive, but more what didn’t he drive and win in? His passion for driving and his commitment to the sport since his retirement have made him more than worthy for all the halls of fames he is part of.
“Many of his most significant victories _ including the ’67 Le Mans win _ came with Ford power, and it’s truly my honor to be able to present him with our Spirit of Ford Award.”
A native of Houston, Anthony Joseph Foyt Jr. is best known as the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. But “Super Tex’s” career spanned many forms of racing. He owns a record 67 wins and seven championships in Indy car racing. Foyt also was a seven-time winner in the NASCAR’s premier Cup Series. Foyt accumulated a total of 172 victories and 14 championships during his career.
Foyt also is the only driver in history to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona.
Foyt remains involved in the sport as founder/owner of the two-car A.J. Foyt Racing team that competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series…with Chevrolet turbocharged V-6 power.
Spirit of Ford Award Winners
Bill Stroppe, 1988
Bob Glidden, 1989
Chris Economaki, 1990
Richard Petty, 1992
Bob Bondurant, 1993
Mario Andretti and Sir Jackie Stewart, 1994
Bud Moore, 1995
Parnelli Jones, 1996
Jim Clark, 1997
Phil Hill, Sir Stirling Moss, Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., 1998
Junie Donlavey Jr., Glen Wood, Leonard Wood and Dan Gurney, 1999
Denise McCluggage and Bill Elliott, 2000
Carroll Shelby and Wally Parks, 2001
Ned Jarrett, 2003
Mose Nowland, 2005
Jack Roush, 2006
John Force, 2010
Kevin Kennedy, 2011
A.J. Foyt Jr., 2017No Comment