Archives for A.J. Foyt Racing PR

A.J. Foyt Hires Matheus Leist to drive the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet In the Verizon IndyCar Series

WALLER, Texas (Nov. 16, 2017) – Smart. Young. Fast.  Matheus Leist, the 19-year-old Brazilian, will drive A.J. Foyt’s No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series next year.

Foyt, who made the decision to hire the rookie to partner with veteran driver Tony Kanaan, said, “I wanted a fresh start for 2018. I think the combination of an experienced driver like Tony and a hungry young driver like Matt [Foyt’s nickname for Leist] will work. I watched him in the Indy Lights this year and he won at Indy [the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race]. I know he’s got a lot to learn but I think he’s going to learn very quick and I think he’ll be very good in the Indy cars.”

Matheus Leist will be joining A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018 after winning three races in the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire season. (Photo courtesy of A.J. Foyt Racing)

Leist, currently the youngest full-time driver in the series, will be paired with the series’ most experienced driver in Kanaan, who will enter his 21st season of IndyCar competition. The rookie will benefit immensely from having the 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion and fellow Brazilian as his teammate and he knows it.

“This is a special moment in my career and I’m so grateful for the things that are happening,” said Leist, who lives outside of Miami in Aventura, Fla. “Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that I’ll be driving for the legend A.J. Foyt. Having Tony Kanaan as my teammate is incredible because he’s been an idol for me since I was a child. Tony and I are from different generations but I can’t wait to be with him at the track and learn as much as I can from him. It will be a pleasure.”

With 17 victories to his credit, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion will be a valuable asset in both developing the teenage driver and moving the team’s ambitious race program forward.

“I’m happy to welcome Matheus as a teammate to Foyt and the ABC Racing family,” Kanaan said. “Matheus is an extremely talented driver with a bright future ahead of him. I’m looking forward to working together and help get AJ Foyt Racing to the next level.”

Leist ascends to America’s premier open wheel series after one year in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series where he won three races, two of which were sweeps. Leist won the pole position and the race at two of this country’s most historic tracks: Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Road America. His first major victory in America came in the Freedom 100 at Indy, more notable because it was his first experience in oval track racing. At Road America, he won the first race of the doubleheader. His third triumph came at Iowa Speedway. The three tracks epitomize the diversity of the open wheel series: superspeedway, road course, short oval. In four starts on the series’ two street courses (St. Petersburg and Toronto), his best finish is fifth. Like the ovals, it was his first experience on temporary circuits.

Leist’s mercuric rise to IndyCar was fueled by a championship performance in the British Formula 3 Series where he posted four victories and seven more podium finishes. The championship came down to the wire where Leist’s coolness under pressure served him well as he snatched the title from series leader Ricky Collard in the final race. It was after winning that title in 2016 that he decided to pursue a career in America.

“I’ve been racing for eleven years so far, and since I started in 2006, my brother and I always dreamed about getting into a top category,” Leist revealed. “I’m so thankful for the opportunities that I had so far and for the big moments that I lived. Every day I keep telling myself that I couldn’t have made a better decision than to come to the USA at the end of 2016. America is where things happen and where the good drivers have a proper place. The IndyCar Series is one of the best categories in the world and has the most important race in the world. The championship is amazing with its combination of road courses, street courses and ovals. It’s a series where all the teams are capable of doing a great job. I’ve dreamed about racing in this series and I can’t wait for this dream to come true.”

 Team President Larry Foyt spoke about the changes in the team’s program, saying, “We had to make some tough decisions but we made them with a focus on strengthening the overall program. We are positioning ourselves to be contenders next season. The added testing and development we are undergoing, combined with the new aero kit for all of the competition should help our overall competitiveness and consistency. We think Matheus is going to be a really good fit with Tony Kanaan because Matheus has a lot of talent and he is going to learn a lot from Tony.”

Matheus Leist, Larry Foyt, and Tony Kanaan at the announcement for the 2018 A.J. Foyt Racing line-up. (Photo courtesy of A.J. Foyt Racing)

Kanaan will be running a manufacturer’s test of the new universal aero kit next month at Sebring International Raceway while Leist is scheduled to test the new car in early January at Sebring. Both Kanaan and Leist will test together there at the end of January. The Verizon IndyCar Series will kick off its season with the Firestone Grand Prix at St. Petersburg, Fla. March 11.

Tony Kanaan Joins AJ Foyt Racing To Drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet

Tony Kanaan Joins AJ Foyt Racing To Drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet October 5, 2017 INDIANAPOLIS, IN– Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, of Miami, Fla., will join AJ Foyt Racing to drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series team officials announced today. The pairing of a modern legend…

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Race Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

    SONOMA, Calif. – The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season ended Sunday with Josef Newgarden winning the championship in his first year driving for Team Penske, and his teammate, the defending series champion Simon Pagenaud, claiming the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.   Driving the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet, Conor Daly finished 10th after starting 13th…

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Qualifying Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

    SONOMA, Calif.—For the final race of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series, Conor Daly just barely missed advancing to the next round in his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet, however, he did post his best start here at Sonoma Raceway. He will start 13th which also matches the best start for the ABC Supply team…

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Notes & Quotes: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

    A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team switched to Chevrolet this season with 25-year-old drivers Carlos Munoz (No. 14) and Conor Daly (No. 4). Munoz finished 10th and Daly 11th in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen.   Carlos Munoz on Sonoma Raceway: “Sonoma is really different from Watkins Glen. We’re arriving at a track…

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Race Report: INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen

    WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – It appears the many changes that AJ Foyt Racing undertook this season are starting to pay off. Since Mid-Ohio, either Conor Daly or Carlos Munoz has finished in the top 10, and that momentum continued at Watkins Glen International where Munoz finished 10th and Daly 11th. For Munoz, it was…

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Qualifying Report: INDYCAR GP at Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply Racing team continues to show improvement in its qualifying efforts even as their hearts are with the people of Houston and southeast Texas, which is suffering through its worst flooding in history.

The #Race4Houston campaign kicked off here with t-shirts being sold onsite at Watkins Glen International and online at indycar.com. The team, decked out in the campaign’s fundraising t-shirts, took a moment to pose with the Texas-based No. 14 which is carrying the #Race4Houston decal for the next two races (as is the No. 4). The net proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts will benefit the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund being administered through the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Direct donations can be made on the GHCF.org website.

Carlos Munoz advanced out of the first round of knockout qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen today. But he had to knock out his teammate Conor Daly to do it.

Munoz beat Daly by less than seven-thousandths of a second (.0067) in Group 2 of the first round of qualifying around the 3.37-mile, 11-turn circuit. Daly posted a lap time of 1 minute, 23.5089 seconds (145.278mph) while Munoz edged past him with his time of 1:23.5022 (145.29mph) in the final seconds of qualifying. In the second round of qualifying, Munoz posted his fastest time of 1 minute, 23.2959 seconds (145.649mph). He will start 11th on the inside of row 6 in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

“I pushed the car 100%, maybe lost one tenth because I had some bad shifting on my quickest lap and I think it cost me a position,” Munoz said. “When everything is so close, everything has to be perfect. I think it’s still a good day. We made some changes for qualifying and it helped a lot. I think tomorrow with all the rain, starting toward the front is better because of all the spray. We’ll see how it goes with the weather. When it’s raining, it’s a lottery race.”

Daly was hard on himself despite posting his second best qualifying run on a permanent road course in a Chevy this season. Daly will start 14th on the outside of row 7 in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

“It was very close with Carlos which is nice because we’re fighting to be in the top 12 which is good,” said Daly, who finished fourth in last year’s race here after starting 17th. “We just missed it a little bit. I might have just not recognized that we needed the car we had this morning, but we did three laps that were the same; it might have just been a tire pressure thing. Either way when you fight over a small gap like that, I probably could have done something different about it. It’s a shame. But Carlos is very good at qualifying so it’s good to have him as part of our team because it really pushes me to improve my performance in qualifying. We’ve always been better in the race so we’ll see what happens.”

Alexander Rossi won his first career Verizon P1 Award with a final lap of 1 minute, 22.4639 seconds (147.119mph) in the final seconds of Firestone Fast Six qualifying. Second through sixth were: Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Takuma Sato, Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves.

The race will be broadcast tomorrow afternoon on NBC Sports Network starting at 1 p.m. EDT

The AJ Foyt Racing and #Race4Houston initiative was launched this weekend (Photo – AJ Foyt Racing)

Notes & Quotes: INDYCAR GP at The Glen

Texas Floods: As of this writing, the homes of A.J. Foyt, his family and his crew have not been damaged by Hurricane Harvey with the exception of one crew member who did sustain some flooding. Both teams prepped the ABC Supply Chevrolets in the Foyt Racing facility in Speedway, Ind. this week which had been…

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Qualifying Report: Bommarito Automotive Group 500

MADISON, IL—For the first time this season both of the ABC Supply Chevrolets will be starting in the top half of the field for the Bommarito 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park tomorrow night. Carlos Munoz will start eighth after posting a two-lap qualifying average speed of 183.620mph on the 1.25-mile oval. “I’m very happy in…

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Notes & Quotes: Bommarito Automotive Group 500

    A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team switched to Chevrolet this season with 25-year-old drivers Carlos Munoz (No. 14) and Conor Daly (No. 4). Munoz finished 10th and Daly 14th in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono. Carlos Munoz on Gateway Motorsports Park: “After they repaved the track at Gateway my teammate Conor Daly ran there…

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