Archives for A.J. Foyt Racing PR

Practice Report: “Fast Friday”

“Fast Friday” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the day when IndyCar teams and drivers focus solely on qualifying setups so the cars are trimmed aerodynamically to slip through the air clean and fast. However, with minimal downforce, the cars are also more sensitive to changes in the track conditions such as wind. One driver felt the brunt of those conditions today.

James Davison escaped serious injury when his car spun and made contact with the Turn 2 SAFER barrier this afternoon. The car was heavily damaged while Davison emerged from the car limping. He sustained a bruised left knee, was treated at the infield medical center and released. He has been cleared to drive tomorrow.

The Foyt/Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi team is working late tonight to repair (or replace) the car’s left side suspension, front and rear wings, gearbox and undertray. The team may be getting extra time courtesy of Mother Nature because the prediction is for rain throughout the day tomorrow.

Davison dismissed mechanical failures as the cause, saying, “No, I don’t think so.”

Speaking to reporters outside the care center, he explained, “The wind is blowing head-on at the exit of Turn 2. I think that at the wrong time we got too much front grip which resulted in losing it at the end there. I banged my knee up a bit, and was limping a bit when I got into the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team truck. I was really hurting for five or ten minutes, but it has calmed down now. I am cleared to drive. From here, we have to assess the damage and hope that it isn’t too significant which could cost us speed tomorrow. I believe that we are quick enough to make it into the field with the car that we had prior to the crash. Hopefully, we have something similar to qualify with tomorrow.”

When asked if he felt anything [strange] before the spin, he replied, “Absolutely nothing, then I was backwards. It was definitely new experience for me, especially here at Indy and while driving on ovals in general. I guess I’ve become one of the drivers who has smacked the wall at Indianapolis. So, I’ve joined the club today. Obviously, not ideal, but we had to try some things today. We’re 32nd quickest, right on the bubble. We’re not going to go faster standing there looking at it. No regrets there. I’ve been having a fantastic time with this AJ Foyt-Byrd-Belardi-Hollinger Racing team. We’ll regroup and see what we can pull out tomorrow and give it everything we’ve got.”

Foyt’s ABC Supply Chevrolets ran Fast Friday without incident. Both Tony Kanaan and Matheus “Matt” Leist emerged satisfied with their cars.

Kanaan said, “It was a typical Fast Friday. We worked on the qualifying car, didn’t run a whole lot. We had five sets of Firestone tires so that means we only had 20 laps all day. We did five qualifying simulations. We’re getting ready for tomorrow, and we’ve got the information that we’ve got. We have to hope that it will be enough.”

Kanaan’s “no tow speed” of 227.996 mph ranked ninth on the speed chart while his teammate’s speed of 227.687 mph was 14th of the 35 cars on track today. In overall speed, Kanaan was seventh with his 229.740 mph clocking and Leist was eighth with a 229.500 mph lap speed. INDYCAR allows the engineers to increase the engine turbocharger boost which means the engines received a kicker of about 50 more horsepower today which will be used in qualifying. For the race, the engine manufacturers de-tune the engines for the race to increase reliability.

Leist continues to maintain a positive attitude as he checks off experiences in this season of firsts for the 19-year-old rookie.

“Fast Friday is done,” Leist said. “It was a pretty good day for us. The car has been feeling pretty fast since the beginning. I believe that we have a pretty solid set up for qualifying for the race. Looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day, for sure, but we have a great far. I’m excited to set fast laps and hopefully advance to the Fast 9 on Sunday.”

If the rain holds off tomorrow, teams will have an hour of practice (in split sessions) starting at 8 a.m. ET which will be streamed on WatchESPN. Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET and will also be streamed on WatchESPN. The final two hours –from 4 to 6p.m. ET—will be broadcast live on ABC-TV, weather permitting.

Practice Report: Indianapolis 500

May 17, 2018 INDIANAPOLIS —After three days of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the AJ Foyt Racing team is looking solid heading into the qualifying weekend for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Veteran Tony Kanaan is leading the team on the track and off in his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet. He posted the…

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Race Report: INDYCAR Grand Prix of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS May 12—High hopes in the first half of the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Indianapolis were dashed in the second half of the 85-lap race around the 2.439-mile road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The race started off well for the ABC Supply team as both Tony Kanaan and Matheus “Matt” Leist made great moves at the start, avoided several out of control cars, and picked up four and six spots respectively before the race was slowed by a full course yellow which ensued.

The race got underway in earnest on lap four and Kanaan, who started on scuffed red (alternate compound) tires was able to move as high as seventh before pitting on lap 21 for a set of new black (primary compound) tires. Leist who had pitted earlier on lap 16, went from the blacks to sticker red tires. The ABC Supply Chevrolets ‘liked’ the red tires more than the blacks so the team’s strategy was to use the blacks early (the first or second stint) and finish the race on the reds.

The strategy seemed to work as with just 30 laps and one more stop to go, Kanaan was in 12th and Leist was 16th and both were looking forward to running sticker reds in their final stint. A full course caution on lap 55 for Josef Newgarden’s spin after contact with Sebastien Bourdais, saw the entire field pit for fuel and tires…nearly all of which were red-rimmed.

Kanaan’s stop was problematic and he went from 11th to 23rd (last), which plummeted spirits but fired up Kanaan who then put on a driving school. In 20 laps, he gained nine spots to finish 14th.

“We actually had a good race going but our pit stops were just not up to par,” Kanaan said afterward. “All that we gained on the track, we lost in the pits. We need to address that before the next race.”

Leist, who gained a spot on his pit stop (due to Kanaan’s misfortune), continued to gain, moving from 15th to 13th until he was hit. Leist lost four spots with the contact but he never lost his composure. He then found himself battling with his teammate who passed him after 10 laps. Leist was running 16th when he was called to the pits for a splash of fuel on the white flag lap. He placed 20th and his succinct comment summed up his disappointment with the circumstances.

 Leist takes on new reds in his final stop.

“Today was a tough race,” the 19-year-old said. “I had a difficult car, dealt with a few issues. Unfortunately, it was not our day again. Onto the next one.”

The next one is the big one—the Indianapolis 500 which will be run Sunday, May 27. The teams will be practicing this week in preparation for qualifying next weekend.

Will Power swept the card this weekend, winning the pole and the race for the third time in his career. Second through fifth were Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens, Sebastien Bourdais and Alexander Rossi.

Qualifying Report: INDYCAR Grand Prix of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – – Tony Kanaan led the ABC Supply team in qualifying today on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his No. 14 Chevrolet Dallara. Kanaan will start 12th while his young teammate Matheus “Matt” Leist will start 21st. Kanaan advanced out of the first round by placing fourth out of 12 drivers. However, the…

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 Decanting the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500

May 8, 2018

Indianapolis, Indiana – To race fans the world over and the city of Indianapolis in particular, May means a month of excitement which culminates on Memorial Day weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the largest spectator sporting event in the world — the Indianapolis 500.

Foyt Family Wines, which produces award-wining wines from Sonoma and Napa Valleys, is joining in the excitement by creating their third straight vintage to honor the crown jewel of the Verizon IndyCar Series, and according to A.J. Foyt, the most important race in the world.

“This year we wanted to produce a higher quality, small-lot offering,” said Chris Perry, Foyt Family Wines managing partner. “We used two barrels and produced a big Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. We hope this wine will mirror the intensity felt when the green flag drops on the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 and 33 cars roar into Turn 1.”

The bottle features the race’s logo over a printed shot of the Speedway’s famed Pagoda and the Yard of Bricks finish line which symbolizes when the track’s surface was entirely brick. Featuring a strong chrome color on the design, each bottle was hand dipped in metallic silver wax to help protect this age-worthy wine.

This year will mark the 60th anniversary of the first time that Foyt qualified for the world famous race in 1958. As the 500’s first four-time winner, Foyt, now 83, has become an icon of the event. “People know me from one race, the Indy 500, it’s what made me,” he says.

“With so much going on in our racing program today, this year’s event is very special to us and I want the best results for my dad,” said Larry Foyt, president of AJ Foyt Racing and co-founder of Foyt Family Wines along with A.J. Foyt IV. “I’m really pleased with the outcome of this wine and its unique packaging. Our winemakers Tom Meadowcroft and Petar Kirilov hit the mark in my book and continue to impress with their wine-making skills.”

A half mile from the Speedway and right next to the AJ Foyt Racing shop is the Foyt Wine Vault, a tasting room whose name derived from an actual bank vault in the building. Fans, collectors, wine lovers and oenologists who visit can take in the Indy 500 history while tasting over 10 Foyt Family Wines varietals. The Vault also features appetizers, sandwiches plus charcuterie and cheese boards.

Foyt IV, a former race car driver in both the INDYCAR and NASCAR Series, and now an Indianapolis-area resident, manages the daily operation of the Vault.

“We hope everyone comes out to see us and tastes this new wine over the next few weeks. We only produced two barrels this time so it’s going to go quick!” Foyt IV said.

Produced in standard sized bottles (750ml) and magnums (1.5L), the wine will be available exclusively at the Foyt Wine Vault tasting room or directly from the winery at

Open Test Report: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

 TSO NOTE: This was delayed due to a TSO technical issue – sorry!! April 30, 2018 INDIANAPOLIS—Tony Kanaan departed from a personal tradition here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but at the end of the day, he emerged at the top of the speed charts in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet as 21 veterans took…

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Race Report: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama resumed today under partly cloudy skies but before it was over the skies opened up and the race finished in rain.

The weather didn’t dampen Matheus “Matt” Leist’s spirits though as he finished 12th which is his best finish of the season under challenging conditions. His ABC Supply Chevrolet was the third highest Chevy-powered car to finish with the Team Penske Chevrolets of Josef Newgarden winning and Simon Pagenaud placing ninth.

“We made some great progress from where we started the weekend, so I’m pretty happy with that,” said the 19-year-old rookie. “The car was good with the reds [Firestone alternate tires] in the race so I think we had good pace. We were running with Pagenaud, and when Dixon came in front of me he was not that much faster which means we made some progress from practice. Unfortunately, in the rain the car wasn’t as good, we were struggling with understeer so I couldn’t push as I wanted. If we look at where we started and where we finished, it was a good weekend. I’m happy for the ABC Supply team and myself. Onto Indianapolis.”

Leist started the race in 18th position and was running 10th when the call came to pit for rain tires. As different tire strategies came into play, some drivers stayed out longer before changing over and were able to gain track position.

“In retrospect, I probably could have left him out there another lap or so, but I wanted to play it conservatively,” said Larry Foyt afterwards. “When I saw Pagenaud and Newgarden pit, I thought we better come in too. It may have cost us a position or two but overall, I’m satisfied. I’m really pleased with the race Matt drove. We threw a lot of things at him this weekend and he handled it really well.”

Tony Kanaan was not as happy with his weekend which was fraught with problems. He never seemed to find the sweet spot in his car. Having to start last yesterday after his accident in qualifying, he quickly picked up five spots in the race and was able to capitalize on others mistakes to eventually climb to 14th. Then there was an electrical problem which took time to correct in the pits and he lost a lap.

When the race was resumed today, he started a lap down. In an unusual call, IndyCar issued a memo which allowed all cars to refuel before the start of the race. That call sealed Kanaan’s fate as there would be no opportunity for a wave around when the leaders pitted for fuel.

To compound matters, the team pitted him to top off his fuel after receiving written permission to do so. Apparently, Race Control never got the memo because they issued a drive-through penalty which Kanaan was forced to serve which only added to his frustration. Race officials are looking into the matter but the best the team can hope for at this point is an apology.

“There was not much to be done today starting the race one lap down, but we still got out there and gave it all we had,” Kanaan said after finishing 18th. “Our pit box system said that we were OK to pit before the green, so we came in before the flag but for some reason that I can’t explain we were penalized with a drive-through. After that we were two laps down so it was just a matter of bringing the car home in one piece. We had a very difficult weekend and I’m glad it’s over. Looking forward to Indianapolis.”

Following three-time Barber winner Newgarden across the line were: Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais.

The ABC Supply team will be testing at Indianapolis Monday through Wednesday. On Monday, Indy 500 veterans will take to the track while the rookies and those drivers taking refresher tests will drive on Tuesday. On Wednesday there is an engine manufacturer’s test that the team is participating in.

The next race is the Grand Prix of Indianapolis which will be broadcast live on ABC on Saturday, May 12 starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – Despite the beautiful weather at the picturesque Barber Motorsport Park, there were few smiles in the AJ Foyt Racing paddock after this afternoon’s qualifying session.

Both drivers struggled in yesterday’s practice sessions around the 2.3-mile road course so the team made some wholesale changes overnight with Tony Kanaan finding the car feeling a bit better in the morning warmup. Matheus “Matt” Leist said he was still having problems with a mid-corner understeer (“push” for oval track fans).

In qualifying, Leist was in the first group of Round 1 qualifying, but he was not able to advance out of that round. His time of 1 minute, 8.5516 seconds (120.785mph) landed him 21st on the 23-car grid.

“Tough qualifying for the team, for me, for Tony,” the 19-year-old said of his first IndyCar qualifying session in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet on a permanent road course. “We just didn’t have the speed today, this whole weekend. We’ve got a lot to talk about, debrief and see what we can do to improve the car for the road courses.”

Kanaan, in Group 2 of Round 1, had an even tougher time in his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet about halfway through his session. While exiting the pits on a new set of alternate compound (red) Firestone tires, his car spun and backed into the tire barrier. Kanaan was not injured in the accident but the car sustained damage to the rear wing and right rear suspension. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his two quickest laps per INDYCAR’s rules, and will start 23rd.

“Difficult weekend,” Kanaan said afterwards. “We’ve been trying a bunch of different things but it’s not working. And obviously it didn’t help with my mistake in qualifying. We’re struggling here but we have a whole night to think about it and hopefully we’ll come back stronger in the race and see what we can do.”

Defending race winner Josef Newgarden won the pole with a time of 1 minute, 7.4413 seconds (122.773mph). His teammate Will Power will start alongside him. Rounding out the Firestone Fast 6 are: Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon.

The race is scheduled to be broadcast live tomorrow on NBC Sports Network starting at 3 p.m. ET. However, the weather forecast is calling for rain all day, including thunderstorms and high winds. If the elements prevail and INDYCAR officials determine the conditions are too dangerous for the cars, teams, officials and fans, the race will be re-scheduled.

Notes & Quotes: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

April 18, 2018 Tony Kanaan is in his 21st year of Verizon IndyCar Series competition with 346 starts, 17 wins, 15 poles, 132 Top 5s and 218 Top 10s. Matheus “Matt” Leist (his last name rhymes with waist) is in his first year of IndyCar competition with three starts. He made the Firestone Fast 6…

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Qualifying Report: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

April 14, 2018 LONG BEACH, Calif. – Under warm sunny skies, qualifying for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach saw veteran Tony Kanaan make the cut into Round 2 as rookie Matheus “Matt” Leist was pipped by veteran Sebastien Bourdais in the final seconds of the first round. Kanaan posted a time of 1 minute, 7.3478…

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