The legendary A.J. Foyt just turned 76 years old. He remains as feisty and single minded as ever, and the sport remains enriched with him in it. He is fond of telling anyone who will listen that he would be a nobody without the Indianapolis 500, but those of us who are lucky enough to have seen all of his victories also know the Indianapolis 500 would be less without A.J. If the stars align correctly this May, A.J. will be the guy behind the wheel of the pace car at the start, 50 years after his first 500 win.
We should thank our lucky stars A.J. still remains interested enough to field a team. When I am 76 I hope to simply park my wrinkled behind under a palm tree on some sand and sip drinks that contain lots of rum and tropical fruit (except in May). We really do not have anyone close to A.J.’s personality in the sport unless you count Hoosier Tony Stewart, who got into a fistfight with an Australian track owner over the weekend over track conditions. The problem with Stewart is he sold out completely to NASCAR. Few of us, however, hold that against him. Besides, no one on earth will probably ever compete in 35 straight 500s much less love what the Indianapolis 500 stands for more than Mr. Foyt.
So, from the bottom of our hearts, happy birthday A.J., and MANY more.