Four-Time Winner Foyt to Pace Indianapolis 500 Field
24 hours after Donald Trump backed out of driving the pace car for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has tabbed four-time 500 winner A.J. Foyt to drive the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible on Sunday, May 29.
Foyt has been part of over half of the 94 500s run previously, with this year's 500 marking the 54th straight 500 Foyt has participated in as a driver or owner. The 2011 edition of the 500 marks the 50th anniversary of Foyt's first win, which came in 1961. The Houston native collected victories in 1964, 1967 and 1977 behind the wheel and entered Victory Lane as an owner in 1999 following Kenny Brack's win.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus said in a release:
We're very happy to welcome A.J. Foyt as the driver of this beautiful Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Pace Car at the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500. A.J. is one of the greatest and most beloved drivers in the 100-year history of the race, a true icon. I'm one of the millions of Foyt fans worldwide who can't wait to see A.J. back where he belongs, out in front of the '500' and leading the field to the start.
Foyt, who was a sentimental choice even before the announcement of Trump in April, stated:
Since I won my first Indy 500 50 years ago, I had hoped to still be racing in it, but driving the Pace Car is the next best thing! Seriously, racing has always been very important in my life - it's been my life - and the Indianapolis 500 is the most important race in the world. I lived for that race. When I got hurt in race cars, I always made it back for Indy because it is that important. That's where people know me from - Indy. So being asked by my good friend Mari George to drive the Chevy Pace Car for the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500 - well, I couldn't have a bigger honor come from the Speedway and the Hulman-George family.
In addition to bringing the 33-car field to the green flag, Foyt will also be honored the day before the 500 during 'A.J. Foyt Day' at IMS on Saturday, May 28.