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Greetings from California.

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We hope this finds you safe and in good spirits. With everything happening in our world right now, we want to share an update from our community and industry.

On March 15, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a recommendation for winery tasting rooms to close immediately. Subsequently, on March 17 the Sonoma County government issued a “shelter in place” order directing all individuals living in the county to stay at their place of residence, with exception to those that may need to leave to provide or receive certain essential services, engage in certain essential activities and work for essential businesses and governmental services.

We at Foyt Family Wines are assigned “essential business” status, and therefore will remain open for as long as we can. While our tasting rooms are closed, the production side is still operational. We have opted for limited crews to manage any winemaking and viticulture duties. Our winery is quite spread out, so the remaining crew is able to work in a naturally distanced environment. Our selection of wine is still available online, and our logistics department is standing by to ship any and all orders for as long as UPS and other carriers continue to make wine deliveries.

Since we produce alcohol, we have access to 190 proof distilled grape spirits. We have been producing our own hand sanitizers getting them to those in need. The safety of all our customers, friends, families and every single American is at the forefront of our prayers and thoughts.

With the concerns of social distancing, stress of closed businesses and uncertainty of how long our lives will be affected by this pandemic, we remain open with the hope that our wine clubs and internet sales stay afloat. There is no doubt that these are unprecedented times, but our industry is no stranger to adversity. In 2017 we were able to overcome the devastating wine country fires and evacuations, and we know that we will all make it through this too.

To help provide some comfort and relief during this time, we are happy to offer 20% off all of wines in our online store. For those who like to buy in bulk we are also offering one cent shipping for orders of three bottles or more.

If you love wine, please do what you can to support the smaller boutique wineries that don’t have the massive budgets to weather this storm. There are so many to choose from and every online orders helps.  Of course, we hope you continue to enjoy our wines, but any support for our local winery community truly supports us as well.

Be Safe!

Extraordinary Times – A.J. Foyt Racing closes shops – employees keep paychecks

WALLER, Texas—Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

With the invasion of the Coronavirus or COVID-19, not only is our country navigating uncharted territory, but so is the rest of the world. Many people will face unprecedented hardship due to the drastic but necessary measures being taken to confront the spread of this insidious disease. As our government addresses ways to lessen those hardships, Americans are doing their part by following the directives to stay home and stay safe.

After consulting with his father, Larry Foyt communicated to the AJ Foyt Racing employees that their pay will not be interrupted despite temporarily closing the team’s race shop in Indianapolis and the team’s headquarters in Waller, Texas.

“Our biggest concern is for the health of our communities and our employees, so we are closing the race shops for the time being,” said Larry Foyt, president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. “I want to thank our partners and sponsors for their support and understanding during these extraordinary times. Many people will face some difficult challenges in the coming days. A.J. and I wish everyone the best, and we look forward to going racing again when the time is right.”

With people confined to their homes, or in the case of A.J. to his ranch where he can ride his bulldozer, we will work to provide interesting content on this website in the coming days. We look forward to hearing from race fans as to how they are spending their days and the positives gained from this experience which we can share. Please send your stories to info@ajfoytracing.com with the Subject line of Extraordinary Times. Please include a picture if you can and we will start publishing your stories on our website along with those from our race team.

Extraordinary times indeed.

Notes & Quotes: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

SOURCE: FOYT PR March 10, 2020 SÉBASTIEN BOURDAIS joined AJ Foyt Racing to run a limited schedule of four races this season, including the first three on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. Born in Le Mans, France and now a resident of St. Petersburg for nearly 15 years, he won his first of 34 pole positions in…

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ripKurrent Signs as Primary Sponsor of No. 4 Chevrolet for the Indianapolis 500

WALLER, Texas— AJ Foyt Racing has signed ripKurrent, an energy services company, as the primary sponsor of Charlie Kimball’s No. 4 Chevrolet for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Moreover, ripKurrent will have a season-long presence on the car as an associate marketing partner.

“I am excited for ripKurrent to come on board for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis

  500 with AJ Foyt Racing,” Kimball said. “As a tech company that is disrupting the norms associated with commercial and industrial facility energy usage and finding efficiencies for those companies, there is no better place to showcase technology, speed and success than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!”

The ripKurrent logo will be on the nose of the No. 4 Chevrolet throughout the season and the car will feature a distinctive ripKurrent livery for the Indy 500. The company plans to entertain its guests throughout the month of May.

“We are very excited to be partnered with AJ Foyt Racing and Charlie Kimball for the 2020 season, and more specifically, the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500,” said Jade Culbertson, founder and president of ripKurrent, LLC.  “After attending many Indy 500s as a native Hoosier, it will be surreal to think we have an entry with a world class team in AJ Foyt Racing and driver Charlie Kimball in the race. They have the knowledge, experience and skill to put the car in victory circle.”

Based in Boca Raton, Florida, ripKurrent is expanding its involvement in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after having sponsored Kimball’s car at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway last August.

 “The NTT INDYCAR Series and the Indianapolis 500 provide ideal platforms for us to continue to grow the ripKurrent brand,” Culbertson explained.  “The pageantry, entertainment and hospitality experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is second to none and we’re excited to share that with our customers, business associates, family and friends throughout the month of May.  Speed, innovation, technology and efficiency are synonymous with INDYCAR and that aligns perfectly with our brand and energy services business at ripKurrent. We’re serious about reducing energy consumption for our clients, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint, a healthier planet and significant cost savings.”

The No. 4 Chevrolet, which is based in the team’s Waller, Texas race shop, will feature several different liveries over the course of the season as the team continues to sign marketing partners for its two-car operation.

“We welcome our new partner ripKurrent for the 2020 season,” said Larry Foyt, president of AJ Foyt Racing. “We are thrilled that they will be the primary sponsor of Charlie Kimball’s No. 4 car in the Indianapolis 500. The ripKurrent Chevrolet looks amazing, and I can’t wait to hear it at full song around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” 

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg the weekend of March 13 – 15. That same weekend Kimball’s teammate Sebastien Bourdais will pilot the No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet in the first of four races he plans to drive this season.

Champion Sebastien Bourdais and Rookie Dalton Kellett Set To Run Partial Seasons in the No. 14 Chevrolet in 2020

WALLER, Texas —Four-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais and Canadian rookie Dalton Kellett complete the driver roster for the No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who announced last week that this year will be his final season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, will drive the No. 14 in the five oval races, starting with the Indy 500 on May 24.

Joining AJ Foyt Racing for the first time is Bourdais, who will pilot the No. 14 in four

 races including the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. He will also compete at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., the streets of Long Beach, Calif., and the road course in Portland, Ore. Bourdais returns to Chevrolet power for the first time since the 2016 IndyCar season. Born in Le Mans, France nearly 12 years after Foyt’s triumph there in 1967, Bourdais now lives in St. Petersburg.

“I am such a lucky man,” Bourdais said. “Starting my IndyCar career driving for Paul Newman and Carl Haas, and now I get to drive for A.J. Foyt! I am both honored and thankful for the opportunity Larry and his team have provided me with. Staying in the NTT IndyCar series seemed like a long shot back in November. My teammates and I will be working very hard to deliver the results this organization deserves, and I can’t wait for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to come.”

Kellett will make his INDYCAR debut at the Circuit of the Americas race in Austin, Texas on April 26. He will also compete in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, the Indy 500, both races in Detroit, Elkhart Lake, Wis., Toronto, Lexington, Ohio (Mid-Ohio) and Monterey, Calif.

Kellett, 26, is a graduate of the Mazda Road to Indy driver development system. He competed in the US F-2000 Series, made a brief showing in the Pro Mazda Series and spent much of his time (four years) in the Indy Lights Series where he ranked seventh in the final two seasons. In addition to Indy Lights in 2019, Kellett made a foray into the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship where he claimed three class victories and one pole in the LMP2 division.

“I am honored to compete in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with AJ Foyt Racing,” Kellett said. “This opportunity is truly a dream come true for me, dating back to my days looking up to the drivers in INDYCAR back as a young go-karter. The pedigree and achievements of AJ Foyt Racing are historic in our sport, and I can’t wait to contribute to their ongoing success.

“This season, there will be plenty to learn including the exciting challenge of adapting to an all new car for me. Luckily, I am fortunate to be partnered with three series veterans in Kanaan, Kimball, and Bourdais. I’m looking forward to working with them and learning from their combined experience to grow as a driver. Thank you to the team and my partners for this opportunity. It will be an honor to represent K-Line Insulators USA at this level of the sport.”

Team President Larry Foyt believes that the multi-driver roster will help the team regain its footing in the highly competitive NTT INDYCAR SERIES this season. With Kanaan and Bourdais, who combined, have won 54 races and 49 poles, plus an eager young driver like Kellett, Foyt is working towards building his team for the future.

“There will be many familiar faces in the Foyt garages this season, but there will be some new faces as well,” Foyt said. “Coming off a season we were disappointed with, changes were inevitable. I believe adding a multi-time champion like Sebastien Bourdais to our team will help us as we regroup and work to regain a competitive position. Being able to retain Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan is another source of excitement and will serve to push our oval program to a place where we can fight for victories. Dalton Kellett is a young driver who is intelligent and motivated, and with the experience around him, we feel he has the potential to show great things. Altogether, the 14 car has an intriguing lineup, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”

Both Bourdais and Kellett, along with Charlie Kimball who will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet this season, will participate in the upcoming Open Test at the Circuit of the Americas February 11-12.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be held Sunday, March 15. The race will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

A.J. Foyt on the passing of John Andretti

A.J. Foyt on the passing of his godson John Andretti, who succumbed today after a lengthy battle with colon cancer:

“My deepest condolences to the whole Andretti family. This is a very sad day. I was John’s godfather and it seemed the older we got, the closer we got. He called me about a week and a half ago and he sounded tired but I didn’t think it would happen this quick. When Mario called me, it really caught me off guard. I thought John had more time. John was really a fighter and he fought this long and hard. There was no harder fighter than him. It’s a terrible shame. Whenever and wherever they have his service, I’ll be there.”

Andretti was the first to compete in both the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day May 29, 1994. At Indy, John drove for A.J. and finished 10th;  at Charlotte he placed 36th having to drop out after 220 laps with a broken crankshaft. It was the second straight year he finished 10th for Foyt at Indy, having driven for him in 1993, the year Foyt retired.

Tony Kanaan Announces 2020 Will Be His Final NTT INDYCAR Series Season

January 30, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Kanaan’s most emotional moment in his illustrious INDYCAR career came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2013 when he finally captured the prestigious but elusive Indianapolis 500 crown.

Today at the world-renowned motorsports facility with the Borg-Warner Trophy by his side, yet another emotional scene transpired for the ever-popular 45-year-old Brazilian entering his 23rd season of competition. Kanaan, an Indy 500 winner and 2004 series champion, announced that the upcoming 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will be his final as a primary driver.

Kanaan is set to compete in the five oval races of the NTT INDYCAR Series season driving the No. 14 Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing. He is scheduled to begin his final campaign  which will be called the “TK Last Lap,” with the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 24. Kanaan will then run Saturday night races at Texas Motor Speedway (June 6), Richmond Raceway (June 27), Iowa Speedway (July 18) and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Aug. 22) to close out his final season.

He did leave open the possibility of returning for a future Indianapolis 500, but not for another partial or full NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

“I look back at all these years racing in INDYCAR and the first thing that comes to my mind is how fortunate I’ve been to be in the top level of the sport for this long. I walked into this sport as a 23-year-old with lots of hopes and dreams and I can say, without a doubt, that I accomplished everything I wanted,” Kanaan said.

“I’m 45 now; I have fans, wins, podiums, records, a championship and an Indy 500. I feel and know I can still do this for a long time, but like everything else in life there is also a cycle in racing. For a long time, I’ve been asked when I would retire, and my answer was always the same: The day I wake up in the morning and feel like I can’t do this anymore, that’s when I’m going to retire.

“Unfortunately, there are other things one should take into consideration when planning the future, and probably the most important one is what are the options that are available. For 2020, my best option was to race the five ovals of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, the sport that gave me so much and that I will always love. I’m not done with racing, that’s for sure. I decided that this year I would step back a bit and enjoy these five races, have time for my family (wife Lauren, sons Leonardo, Max and Deco, and daughter Nina) and my fans, and also give back to the sponsors that always stood by me.”

Kanaan has amassed 17 wins, 15 pole positions and 78 podium finishes in his 377 career starts, which rank second all-time only to the 407 starts made by the legendary Mario Andretti. He also is the “Ironman” of the sport, holding the active record for most consecutive starts at 317 that began at Portland International Raceway in 2001.

His INDYCAR career began in 1998 with Tasman Motorsports after capturing the Indy Lights championship for the organization the previous year. He achieved success quickly at the top rung of the sport, winning CART Rookie-of-the-Year honors with Tasman that year. In his second season, he earned his first pole position at Long Beach in April and then his inaugural win at Michigan International Speedway in July.

One of his major career accomplishments came with Andretti Green Racing in 2004 when he captured the IRL IndyCar Series championship. He won three races, recorded top-five finishes in 15 of the 16 races and completed every lap on the season en route to the title. The most significant moment came in 2013 with KV Racing Technology when he won the Indy 500 in his 12th attempt. The average speed of the race – 187.433 mph – remains the fastest Indianapolis 500 in history, and the 68 lead changes also remains a standing record. Kanaan has made 18 Indy 500 starts, with a win, pole position (2005), eight top-five finishes and having led 361 laps.

As he wins the 2013 Indy 500, Tony Kanaan signals to his father, who passed when Tony was just 13 years old.

Kanaan has driven for seven teams in his career, beginning with Tasman Motorsports his rookie season. He followed with Forsythe Racing (1999 when Tasman was sold to Gerald Forsythe), Mo Nunn Racing (2000-02), Andretti Green Racing (2003-10), KV Racing Technology (2011-13), Chip Ganassi Racing (2014-17) and AJ Foyt Racing (2018-present).In addition to his INDYCAR accomplishments, he added two prestigious sports car championships to his resume. He won the LMP2 division of the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2007 and then captured the overall race victory of the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2015.

So, what does the future hold for Kanaan?

“For the future, who knows?” he said. “I’d love to still be involved with INDYCAR to some degree. I’ve also had offers to race in a number of different series, but that’s not my priority at the moment.”

Kanaan will be promoting the hashtag “TKLastLap” during the course of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, which opens Sunday, March 15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

For announcements and updates on Kanaan’s next steps, be sure to follow his social media channels – @tkanaan on Instagram and @tonykanaan on Twitter and Facebook.

Listen to Tony in his personal message about his final season:
Tony’s announcement video

Charlie Kimball and Novo Nordisk Join AJ Foyt Racing for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series Season

WALLER, Texas—Veteran IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball joins AJ Foyt Racing as the full-time driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet with backing from his long-time sponsor Novo Nordisk. The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season marks Kimball’s 10th consecutive season in IndyCar and his 12th season of partnership with the global healthcare company.   Kimball, who ran a…

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AJ Foyt Racing: 2019 Memories

December 31, 2019

HOUSTON —The 2019 season had some highlights for A.J. Foyt and the AJ Foyt Racing team which are chronicled in this video. A.J. was inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame, he placed a bronze brick– commemorating his four 500 victories in the Indy 500—in the Yard of Bricks at the Speedway, and he received the Pop Dreyer Legends Award. Tony Kanaan surpassed his boss’s total (369) of IndyCar starts this year and finished on the podium in the Bommarito Auto Group 500. Matheus Leist claimed a fourth place finish in the Indy Grand Prix.

However, the season also marked the departure of ABC Supply Co. as our full-time marketing partner after a 15 year run, and we thank them for their support. Fortunately, they will return for the Indy 500. And we lost some good friends. Our deepest sympathies to the families of Glen Wood, John Martin, Bill Simpson, Junior Johnson, and that of our longest-serving crew member, Cecil Taylor.

We look forward to 2020 but for now, a look back on 2019…

2nd Gen Drivers Gurney & Bucknum talk about working on Ford V Ferrari

2nd Gen Drivers Gurney & Bucknum talk about working on Ford V Ferrari

December 5, 2019

Second-generation race drivers Alex Gurney and Jeff Bucknum (pictured L and R above) were hired as stunt drivers for the film Ford V Ferrari. Alex also portrayed his father Dan Gurney who won the pole for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, which is the race the movie is focused on. Gurney’s car broke that year but he went on to win Le Mans the following year with teammate A.J. Foyt. Ironically, Foyt had co-driven with Bucknum’s father Ronnie in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1966 (placed 12th with brake issues).

Also pictured is Derek Hill (center). Hill, the son of 1961 Formula 1 champion Phil Hill, portrayed Graham Hill in the film (no relation) and was a stunt driver in the film as well.

Alex, the youngest of Gurney’s four sons, didn’t start racing until he was in college but he became a two-time Rolex Sports Car Series co-champion (2007, 2009) with Jon Fogarty driving for the Gainsco Bob Stallings team.  Bucknum, whose father Ronnie finished third at Le Mans in ‘66, won the 12 Hours of Sebring and fielded his own car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. Bucknum drove a partial schedule for Foyt in 2005 and 2006 scoring his best finish of 10th with the team at Sonoma Raceway in 2005.

We asked Alex and Jeff a few questions…

Q: How did it come about that you were tapped to do the stunt driving in the movie?

Alex: “I got a call one day from Rich Rutherford, an old racing friend who has been doing stunt work in all kinds of movies and commercials for many years. He told me that there was a part for the Dan Gurney character and that I should audition for the part of my dad since I look a lot like him. Rich put me in touch with the stunt coordinator Robert Nagle and things started to move from there. I went up to Fox Studios and read a few lines in the audition, a strange but exciting experience!  The whole idea was a nice fit since I would be able to do both the little bit of acting and all the stunt work required.”

Jeff: “I got a call from a good friend of mine named Rich Rutherford who is one of the top stunt drivers in Hollywood that I knew from my early years of racing at the Skip Barber Racing school. Rich was one of the instructors at Skip Barber Racing school back in the 90’s when I got my start in racing and then he went into the Hollywood industry doing movies and commercials as a stunt driver.  He called me and let me know about the movie and that the stunt coordinator (Robert Nagle) wanted to hire me to do the driving of my dad’s #5 GT40 car featured in the movie plus other cars in the movie.”

 Jeff Bucknum in a replica of the car that his dad drove to third place in the ’66 race.

Q: Have you ever worked on a movie set before? If yes, what is your favorite thing in making a movie. If not, what surprised you the most?

Alex: “I have never been involved in a movie before or even set foot on a movie set so it was all new to me. It was fascinating to observe how the sausage is made. As it was a big budget Hollywood production, there were so many people on set and so many necessary and important duties.  It was just interesting to see how everyone works together to create something of this magnitude. Most of the time it was like a fun vacation for me as I was working with a bunch of stunt drivers, many ex-race drivers, that I had known previously so it was a bit like hanging out with your buddies every day and being served nice meals. The most surprising aspect for me that I hadn’t realized before was how often you have to shoot the same scene over and over again from different angles, I thought there would be a better way to do it but apparently not!”

Jeff: “Actually I have never worked on a movie set this large. I had done a few small movie and commercial stunt driving jobs in the past but this was on a completely different level. I was extremely impressed on how much effort, time and money they put into rebuilding things like the Pit Lane / Garages to duplicate as close as possible the real thing as the 1966 race at Le Mans in France. I was also impressed on how well they took care of all the stunt drivers with our own dressing rooms and wardrobe. We even had people doing all of our hair and makeup which took a bit of getting used to.”

Alex Gurney poses on the extraordinary pit lane set created for the movie.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome—or the hardest thing for you with regard to the filming?

Alex: “The heat during filming in Willow Springs was serious, over 100 degrees every day, but the extras had it much worse than the drivers did. We always had cool suits in the car so it was fairly cushy for us. Our stunt coordinator Robert Nagle was a true pro and he always made sure to take care of his drivers.

“There were some scenes in Georgia where we hit some respectable speeds on a highway in Statesboro in the rain and fog, a few dangerous moments but not too bad.  There were several nights where we filmed from sun down to sun up.”

Jeff: “The biggest thing I had to learn was realizing every day was not going to be the same. Most of our days were 10 to 15 hour days on location. The hard part was some days we would do almost NO driving at all while they were trying to get other filming done with some of the acting stuff and other days we were in cars for almost 15 hours straight with very few breaks. You just never knew what each day was going to be like until the day unfolded.”

 The group of stunt drivers who worked on the movie. Bucknum is third from right, Gurney is sixth from right.

Q: Was it bittersweet portraying your dad?

Alex: “It was. Showing up every day and putting on a near exact replica of a race suit with my dad’s name on it was a strange but special experience. In any way that I could, I tried to make sure that my dad was portrayed accurately. I had hoped there would be a little mention about him being on the pole in ’66 and leading much of the race but not to be.”

Jeff: “I was actually hired to do just the driving stuff in my dad’s #5 GT40. Before I was hired onto the movie, the director had already hired Tanner Foust to do the acting parts of my dad Ronnie Bucknum. Tanner was really awesome during the whole movie shoot because he kept trying to get me to do the acting parts of my dad which were only a couple lines in the movie which never made it in the movie anyway.  During the whole movie shoot, Tanner and I had a fun joke going on where I called him ‘Dad’ and he called me ‘Son’ which we still do whenever we talk or text each other.”

Q: After working on the movie, did you get a feel or sense for that era?

Alex: “I feel I had a sense for the era going in but there were moments that really hit home and brought us all back. I was massively impressed by the Le Mans pit lane set built in Agua Dulce and filming the start sequence was an unforgettable experience.  As the drivers lined up for the running start on the opposite side of the start straight, with a view of Henry Ford II ceremoniously walking down the pit lane, with Christian Bale standing next to me as Ken Miles, I’m staring over at all the beautiful GT40s and Ferraris and Porsches, the big crowd, I’m crouched down in the pole position spot, ready to dart across and jump in the car, what a moment. I felt a sense for the era right there.”

Jeff: “They really did a great job of making everything look like and feel like you were really back in the 1960’s. As we would work on the movie set everyone had their hair and clothing just like the 60’s so it was funny to see people at the end of the day wearing their normal current clothes. I almost didn’t recognize people away from the movie set at restaurants or other places we would meet up.”

Q: Did you talk to your dad about the race in ’66? What stood out for him?

Alex: “I did talk to my dad about many of his races, more about ’67 than ’66 though. He was on the pole by 1.1 seconds over Ken Miles in ’66 and was heartbroken to have dropped out while leading in the 18th hour.”

Jeff: “To be honest, I don’t remember having many conversation with my dad about the 1966 race at Le Mans, but the few things I do remember is his telling about the start of the race as they had to run to the cars and jump in the cars and take off before they even had the seat belts on. He told me it wasn’t until he got on the Mulsanne Straight on the first lap that he would have a chance to put his belts on while he was doing 200 mph. He said he would drive the steering wheel with his knee while he used both hands to get his belts on. The other thing I was amazed about was how back then they did the whole 24-hour race with only 2 drivers. I had the privilege of racing the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 and we had three drivers.”

  Ronnie Bucknum exits his car after his shift at LeMans. His teammate was Dick Hutcherson, who competed in NASCAR as a driver before becoming a car builder. They finished third at LeMans.

Q: Did you go to Le Mans for any part of the movie?

Alex: “I did not go to Le Mans for any part of the movie.”

Jeff: “No we did not ever go to Le Mans for the movie. We did all of the filming in America. Fortunately, I had already raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans so I had a good idea of what the whole experience must have been like even back in the 1960’s.”

Q: Where did they film the racing scenes?

Alex: “I was in Georgia for almost a month. We filmed in three different locations there. We were at Road Atlanta and used that just for a few sections, mainly under the ‘Dunlop Bridge.’ We were also at a great little track in Savannah that used to have Indy Lights races in the ‘90s and is still kept up well. And we also used a tree-lined highway in Statesboro as a stand-in for the Mulsanne straight (and a few other corners like Arnage). That was amazing that the powers-that-be were able to somehow commandeer a whole highway. There were people that lived along the side of the highway, so we would have to shut down production when the bus would come through to pick up and drop off kids for school each day.”

Jeff: “We did the filming at a few different race tracks and a rural long stretch of road in Georgia that duplicated the Mulsanne Straight. We started off at Willow Springs Raceway in California, then we went to the Hutchinson Island Savannah Raceway. After that we went to Road Atlanta and then the rural six-mile road blocked off in Georgia. We finished filming at California Speedway and all of the pit lane straight away was filmed at a small private airport in the hills of Los Angeles.”

Alex shared the podium with his dad in 2008 when Dan was the Grand Marshal of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Q: Have you raced in the 24 Hours of LeMans?

Alex: “I never raced at Le Mans but I did do the 24 Hours of Daytona nine times. I was on the pole twice (2007 and 2014) and I finished 2nd in 2008 with Jimmie Johnson, Jimmy Vasser, and Jon Fogarty.”

 Jeff: “Yes I raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans one time (2003). Not only did I get to drive in the 24 Hours of Le Mans but I actually owned the race team that raced there (Team Bucknum Racing). I am one of the few owner-drivers that have raced at Le Mans. My co-drivers were Brian Willman and Chris McMurry who I raced with for five years in the American Le Mans race series in America.”

Q: Where did you watch the movie?

Alex: “I have seen the movie and was lucky enough to be able to take my wife to the premier up in L.A. and hang out with the big wigs. We also later rented a theater close to home on two different nights and had a great time, and invited a bunch of family, friends, and co-workers.”

Jeff: “I have seen the movie twice. I went to see the movie on Opening Night with my whole family and fiancée Tamara Baglin. The next night, Tamara and I went to a private screening of the movie that Alex Gurney and his family put together in southern California for all the stunt drivers and many famous racing drivers like Townsend Bell and Jimmy Vasser.”

The Gurney family rented a theater in Newport Beach to host a preview of the movie for family and friends. Here Dan (center) is pictured with his sons at Indy in 2015, the year Dan was honored with an exhibit at the IMS museum. His sons (L to R): Jim, Justin, Alex and Danny. Dan passed away in January, 2018 due to complications from the flu.

Q: Jeff, you drove A.J.’s No. 14 Indy car at select races in 2005-2006. What did you think of that experience?

Jeff: “I was telling my son Spencer Bucknum, who is just starting his racing career and plans to be a third generation racing driver in the Indy 500, how much it meant to me in my racing career to not only get a chance to race Indy cars but to drive the #14 AJ Foyt Racing Indy car. A.J. was always such a great team owner and mentor to me while I was racing for him. He is such a wealth of knowledge from all his years as a racing driver and being a team owner, that he knew all the right things to get the best out of me every time I got in the car. I can still hear his voice in my ear over the radio encouraging me to keep pushing and wanting me to never give up during a race. I think many times A.J. is misunderstood as being an angry person until you get to be in his racing camp and realize it’s his extreme passion for competing and being the best.  Of course there are things that might upset him from time to time but if you give him five minutes he will be back in the race trailer telling some sort of amazing, crazy and funny story that has happened to him in racing or just regular life. It was honestly a true honor to have driven for A.J. Foyt in his #14 Indy car before I retired from my racing career.”

 Bucknum drove the No. 14 at Milwaukee in 2006.

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