Jump to content


Photo

Was A.J. Foyt useless on road courses?


  • Please log in to reply
176 replies to this topic

#1 jeze

jeze
  • Member

  • 2,973 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:20

I have looked at some stats for Champ Car at Forix and found that in A.J. Foyt's last years as a driver, he'd often be five-six seconds a lap from the ultimate pace on road courses. I know that he was ageing but I still find it puzzling. The USAC National Championship rarely had any road-course races, so was he just unwilling to practice, or ultimately out of talent when it cames to more than just go on and off the gas (at dirt ovals like Milwaukee and Springfield). Given that he won four Indys, you'd expect him to be an allrounder, but mahybe he wasn't?

Advertisement

#2 Peter Leversedge

Peter Leversedge
  • Member

  • 616 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:33

AJ won Le Mans 24hrs with Dan Gurney
Would one do that if one was "useless at road courses"
I know that Dan Gurney was great on road courses but to win at Le Man I would think that both drivers would have to be on the pace

Edited by Peter Leversedge, 04 January 2010 - 21:36.


#3 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 5,642 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:36

I believe that he also won a NASCAR race at Riverside in his earlier days. B²

#4 Risil

Risil
  • Administrator

  • 28,127 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:47

Foyt had hella personal and professional problems in the 1980s. He himself admitted his mind wasn't fully on the game for a long time after his father died. The Le Mans win in 1967 is interesting -- Dan and A.J. came from such diverse racing backgrounds and cultures that it's amazing they could hail from the same country. Let alone cultivate equally strong 'All-American' personae.

#5 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,082 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:51

And at Silverstone when the USAC cars crossed the Atlantic. Two Daytona 24hrs and a Sebring 12 hrs at the age of 50 or so. Most definitely not "useless" on road courses, not really interested would be a truer description.

#6 jm70

jm70
  • Member

  • 142 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:52

Look for the story about AJ in the 935, at night, in the rain, at the Daytona 24 hrs.

#7 longhorn

longhorn
  • Member

  • 173 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 04 January 2010 - 21:53

I'm sure that Foyt even did a double stint during the night at Le Mans 1967 as Gurney had overslept and was nowhere to be seen when Foyt pitted for a changeover..

#8 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,741 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:02

Foyt was far from useless on road courses. LeMans, Sebring, two Daytona 24 Hrs., Silverstone USAC Indy Cars, Nassau Trophy race 1963, Daytona Challenge race 1964 were all notable wins. One cannot rate Foyt on his road course ability by looking at his later years. In his prime he was one great all around race driver, no matter what the formula.

Foyt's problem is that in his later years he was unwilling to admit that his skills were eroding. He remained in the game as a driver a good ten or so years too long, unwilling to face the march of time. Sadly, in his last several years he was an embarrassment as a driver, much like Richard Petty, who also did not know when to pull the plug.

Tom

#9 jeze

jeze
  • Member

  • 2,973 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:07

OK, I just wondered, since I couldn't find any single-seater results proving he was great, but let's say that he was at a decent international standard when at his peak, while not at the top level among the US drivers (Andretti, Gurney)? Maybe that would be a fair description.

#10 Bill Becketts

Bill Becketts
  • Member

  • 344 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:15

I'm sure that Foyt even did a double stint during the night at Le Mans 1967 as Gurney had overslept and was nowhere to be seen when Foyt pitted for a changeover..


I may be wrong, but didn't Dan Gurney do the VAST percentage of the driving in '67 at Le Mans and there was a Daytona 24 Hour race where Bob Wollek and AJ were teamed up (As enemies!?) and won but, again, AJ was the celebrity passenger................. :)

All said, AJ Foyt is an International legend. A man amongst boys, and very few were harder or more focused.

I may have on a European pair of Spectacles on but, against Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney or Phil Hill, AJ did not "Travel as well"



#11 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,741 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:21

OK, I just wondered, since I couldn't find any single-seater results proving he was great, but let's say that he was at a decent international standard when at his peak, while not at the top level among the US drivers (Andretti, Gurney)? Maybe that would be a fair description.

Oh boy, Jeze, you must really want to start an argument!

I don't wish to get into it, but let me just mention that Foyt is one of the two or three greatest US drivers of all time, along with Andretti and Gurney. I find it odd that I am defending Foyt, as he never has been one of my favorites, but one has to give the man his due: Over 60 Indy car wins, many USAC stock, sprint, and midget wins, the Daytona 500 as well as other nascar wins, Daytona 24, Sebring, Le Mans, Nassau, in sports cars, four Indy 500s, seven USAC Indy Car titles, and on and on. No single-seater results proving he was great? Not at the top level among US drivers? I don't think I can adequately respond to that. :well:

Tom

#12 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 4,779 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:22

"look what the cat dragged in..."

There's a definite tendency for stupid threads at the mo at TNF. "just go on and off the gas (at dirt ovals like Milwaukee and Springfield)", jeeeeeeeez............ here's an expert!

#13 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 9,082 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:27

Michael,
Aren't you being a little heavy handed? Jeze did say he was looking at statistics. And he has posted a profile saying he is 18 years old. So I think we should accept that he is seeking knowledge and put his intemperate languagedown to his youth and not being a native English speaker.

Edited by D-Type, 04 January 2010 - 22:28.


#14 longhorn

longhorn
  • Member

  • 173 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:37

According to DSJ's report on the 1967 Le Mans race, in July 1967 Motor Sport, Foyt "did more than his share of driving because someone forgot to wake Gurney at one pit stop."

Foyt had, of course, already won at Indy at the end of May that year, he and Gurney then won at Le Mans on June 10/11th and Gurney then went on to win at Spa in the Eagle on June 18th. A pretty successful three weeks for the American pair.

#15 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 4,779 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:37

Maybe, but I wasn't only refering to this thread. The "Rosenmeyer", various Hill/Schumi, Senna/Prost etc threads of the last few days are beginning to wear me thin. Maybe it's really the holiday season, and the kids have nothing to do... Did we go out and mess with oldies when we were young? I really do not recall... :drunk: :stoned:

#16 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 49,079 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:40

I may be wrong, but didn't Dan Gurney do the VAST percentage of the driving in '67 at Le Mans and there was a Daytona 24 Hour race where Bob Wollek and AJ were teamed up (As enemies!?) and won but, again, AJ was the celebrity passenger................. :)

The latter came in 1983, in Preston Henn's car, when Foyt was asked to drive for a couple of hours, on the basis that a win for Foyt would generate more publicity. He was right as the media were all over Foyt for winning. Wollek's ire was more at the media, as Foyt's driving was largely behind the pace car. A couple of years later they teamed up to win at Sebring on a more equitable distribution of driving.



#17 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:40

Re. Le Mans 67. Isn't there a quote somewhere that the winning car didn't really 'race' so much as cruise to victory? AJ was ready to nail it from the start but Dan was convinced the car would win easily so long as it wasn't mistreated. This meant talking AJ into running lap times way below what he was easily capable of and ignore the competition, entirely against his natural instincts. So this specific race doesn't do justice to either's speed but says a hell of a lot about the MkIV as a long-distance car and Dan's judgement.

#18 jeze

jeze
  • Member

  • 2,973 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 January 2010 - 22:46

Oh boy, Jeze, you must really want to start an argument!

I don't wish to get into it, but let me just mention that Foyt is one of the two or three greatest US drivers of all time, along with Andretti and Gurney. I find it odd that I am defending Foyt, as he never has been one of my favorites, but one has to give the man his due: Over 60 Indy car wins, many USAC stock, sprint, and midget wins, the Daytona 500 as well as other nascar wins, Daytona 24, Sebring, Le Mans, Nassau, in sports cars, four Indy 500s, seven USAC Indy Car titles, and on and on. No single-seater results proving he was great? Not at the top level among US drivers? I don't think I can adequately respond to that. :well:

Tom


I never questioned his incredible and marvellous ability at driving midget cars, stock cars, Champ Cars and sprint Cars around ovals. The point I raised is the fact that I was concerned about his ability on road courses, which to my mind is a must to be placed with the legends of all time. Now I know, and I can gratefully accept Foyt up there with Mario Andretti, even though I do believe that Foyt never would have beaten Mario had the USAC series been run to a 'CART-style' schedule. Thanks for giving me new information I can use in my statistical research :)

Someone suggested my English isn't up to scratch, but those have yet to hear me speaking. It's late evening here, so some difficulties with typing only :smoking:

Thanks//Jesper

#19 JtP1

JtP1
  • Member

  • 753 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 04 January 2010 - 23:02

AJ won Le Mans 24hrs with Dan Gurney
Would one do that if one was "useless at road courses"
I know that Dan Gurney was great on road courses but to win at Le Man I would think that both drivers would have to be on the pace


What is remarkable about the win, was that during practice the Gurney/Foyt attempts to set the car up had got so lost and the car so bad, that they decided to do a clutch job on it during the first stint, so they wouldn't have to drive it for 24 hours. The night before the race, the mechanics lifted the setup from iirc the MaClaren/ Amon car and used that. Since the car was now driveable, they stuck with it and got their result.

Advertisement

#20 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 49,079 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 04 January 2010 - 23:03

Re. Le Mans 67. Isn't there a quote somewhere that the winning car didn't really 'race' so much as cruise to victory? AJ was ready to nail it from the start but Dan was convinced the car would win easily so long as it wasn't mistreated. This meant talking AJ into running lap times way below what he was easily capable of and ignore the competition, entirely against his natural instincts. So this specific race doesn't do justice to either's speed but says a hell of a lot about the MkIV as a long-distance car and Dan's judgement.

And it also says a lot about the adjustability of a car that could cope with the six-foot-fifteen Gurney and the pocket Hercules AJ.

#21 Michael Ferner

Michael Ferner
  • Member

  • 4,779 posts
  • Joined: November 09

Posted 04 January 2010 - 23:25

I never questioned his incredible and marvellous ability at driving midget cars, stock cars, Champ Cars and sprint Cars around ovals. The point I raised is the fact that I was concerned about his ability on road courses, which to my mind is a must to be placed with the legends of all time. Now I know, and I can gratefully accept Foyt up there with Mario Andretti, even though I do believe that Foyt never would have beaten Mario had the USAC series been run to a 'CART-style' schedule. Thanks for giving me new information I can use in my statistical research :)

Someone suggested my English isn't up to scratch, but those have yet to hear me speaking. It's late evening here, so some difficulties with typing only :smoking:

Thanks//Jesper

Oh, you are doing statistical research! What would that be about? "How many stupid questions does it take to make old men angry?"? :clap:

#22 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 2,275 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 04 January 2010 - 23:29

Young whippersnappers doubting AJ's ability . This reminds me of a story told to me once , I'm not sure of the veracity , but why let truth get in the way of a good story ?

It was after AJ was up in years , semi-retired . He was grand marshall at a Midget Sprint race . The young hot-shot who had qualyfied on pole made some smart-eleck remark to AJ about being old and not able to "cut it" anymore . This miffed AJ to the point that he sought out an old friend who was a car owner and AJ borrowed a spare car in time to qualify towards the back of the field . Around the halfway point of the race , AJ caught and passed the young smart-eleck , who was leading , and went on to win . As AJ passed the kid , he gave him the old "one finger salute"

Photo of said event .

Posted Image
photographer unknown .

AJ would probably give this thread the same treatment .

#23 WDH74

WDH74
  • Member

  • 1,356 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 04 January 2010 - 23:57

Oh, you are doing statistical research! What would that be about? "How many stupid questions does it take to make old men angry?"? :clap:


I would think that using total wins wouldn't give an especially accurate picture of Foyt's abilities on a road course-he didn't run exclusively on them, nor did he make a huge effort to drive single seaters on them (as Gurney and Andretti did). Surely, a driver's uselessnes on a road course (or oval, or rally stage) is better defined by lap times (or elapsed times) rather than outright wins?

I think I'm derailing things a bit-I'm just a mite confused by the initial question, as well as what sort of "statistical research" would need this question to be answered (or would beg it in the first place).

-WDH

#24 Robin Fairservice

Robin Fairservice
  • Member

  • 599 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:56

I can remember that Foyt did not run the 1991 Vancouver Indy race because he had injured his legs in a September 1990 crash somewhere and didn't feel that he could manage the heavy braking for the race duration on a street circuit, according to the race program. Mike Groff substituted for him in the 1991 Toronto Indy.

#25 JtP1

JtP1
  • Member

  • 753 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:00

And it also says a lot about the adjustability of a car that could cope with the six-foot-fifteen Gurney and the pocket Hercules AJ.


The Gurney/ Foyt car was the one with the lump on the roof above Gurney's head. It was a deliberate lump built into the car btw.

#26 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 522 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:34

Geez... This thread is a LOT more fun than I thought it would be...

Having been around when Gurney and AJ won at LeMans, I recall the story.
Gurney had been to 'urop many times and had driven long distances many times.
AJ, on the other hand came from the bull rings where the long distance races were 50, 100, 200 miles. (yeah, he had just won the 500 mile race but that was the longest distance he had ever run.
AJ 's DNA demanded that he show everyone he was the fastest, most bad assed driver on the track. Gurney was determined to slow Foyt down. Gurney had to get the confidence of AJ by continually running consistant quick but not fast laps. That way Foyt wouldn't try to out do Dan.
Gurney knew that if they were consistant and didn't abuse the car, it would last. If they abused it, it wouldn't.
They didn't, and it did!
It was an amazing story of the blending of two great American drivers, from totally different backgrounds, putting aside their egos, to produce a terrific win.

By the way, the only way Gurney was comfortable in the MK IV was when they put a "bubble" in the roof to accommodate his height. It's still there...

ZOOOM

#27 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 5,642 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:11

I can remember that Foyt did not run the 1991 Vancouver Indy race because he had injured his legs in a September 1990 crash somewhere and didn't feel that he could manage the heavy braking for the race duration on a street circuit, according to the race program. Mike Groff substituted for him in the 1991 Toronto Indy.


The crash was at Road America. The photo below illustrates the aftermath of the devastating crash caused by a broken brake pedal in the braking zone of the long main straight. Foyt went over the Armco and plowed through an earthen banking with frightening results. Long time CART Safety Team member and close acquaintance, Dave Hollander, is in the left-center of the photo with the beard attending to A.J. on the stretcher. I was working the blue flag station on the drivers right before turn 6 and the bridge with my good friend, Paul Panhorst. We were hearing absolutely nothing from CART control and feared the worst. The silence all around us was eerie. I was amazed A.J. recovered enough to ever get in a race car again. Another show of his well documented determination. Brian

Posted Image

#28 JacnGille

JacnGille
  • Member

  • 2,448 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:27

The crash was at Road America...


Wasn't this the crash where AJ said he hurt so bad that he asked the workers attending to him to hit him on the head with a big hammer to knock him out to get relief from the pain?


#29 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 5,642 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:38

Wasn't this the crash where AJ said he hurt so bad that he asked the workers attending to him to hit him on the head with a big hammer to knock him out to get relief from the pain?


I believe you are correct. I've got the Milwaukee papers reporting on the accident. Infection was a big problem because of all the dirt, grass, weeds, sediment, etc. that had gotten into the open wounds and fractures. If I remember correctly, as the wounds were healing, Foyt actually had some grass growing out of his feet and legs. He worked out with the (then) Houston Oilers NFL football team and trainers to get himself fit to be at Indianapolis to drive in the 1991 "500". A remarkable feat. Brian

#30 Lemnpiper

Lemnpiper
  • Member

  • 865 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:35

Michael,
Aren't you being a little heavy handed? Jeze did say he was looking at statistics. And he has posted a profile saying he is 18 years old. So I think we should accept that he is seeking knowledge and put his intemperate languagedown to his youth and not being a native English speaker.



Hi Guys

If i could give an 18 or 19 year old fan just starting out following racing some advice this is what it would be .

ALLWAYS take some cameras to any event you attend no matter how minor a race it would seem to be at the time.You never know what the future may bring that will have folks wishing you has pic from that event to share.

Carry along pen and paper cuz you never know when an autograph opportunity may happen .

Be respectful of the team members working on the cars , they are the "little folks " that often make the stars the stars they are .

Be respectful of your fellow fans no matter how rude they may be.

Allway remember have a good time when the times are good but remember bad news can happen at a moments notice.

Never be afraid to ask a question no matter if it seems dumb. Becoming educated can help you enjoy the sport even more . Older fans realize newbies cant have the expertise the older fans among us have.

Heed the advice of your elders,having been there allready they can offer tips they wish they had had back when they were 18 or 19.

Jeze have fun , i wish i was 18 to have another shot at what you will get to see but i had my chance and i am still having fun and hope to do so for a couple more decades.



Paul



#31 taran

taran
  • Member

  • 3,100 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:29

I don't think this thread was meant to belittle Foyt's undoubted results but rather question his road racing skills....

I can vaguely recall that Gurney drove as slow as possible at Le Mans to not upset the painfully slow Foyt with faster lap times and get him to want to "race" Gurney and crash the car.



#32 F1Fanatic.co.uk

F1Fanatic.co.uk
  • Member

  • 1,725 posts
  • Joined: May 05

Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:43

Foyt went over the Armco and plowed through an earthen banking with frightening results.

The details of his injuries make pretty gruesome reading in Steve Olvey's "Rapid Response".

Edited by F1Fanatic.co.uk, 05 January 2010 - 09:43.


#33 alansart

alansart
  • Member

  • 4,370 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:02



From about 5 minutes into the video. An incredible recovery from serious injuries.

I saw him at Silverstone for the Indy race. Looked pretty good to me.

#34 jeze

jeze
  • Member

  • 2,973 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:49

Hi Guys

If i could give an 18 or 19 year old fan just starting out following racing some advice this is what it would be .

ALLWAYS take some cameras to any event you attend no matter how minor a race it would seem to be at the time.You never know what the future may bring that will have folks wishing you has pic from that event to share.

Carry along pen and paper cuz you never know when an autograph opportunity may happen .

Be respectful of the team members working on the cars , they are the "little folks " that often make the stars the stars they are .

Be respectful of your fellow fans no matter how rude they may be.

Allway remember have a good time when the times are good but remember bad news can happen at a moments notice.

Never be afraid to ask a question no matter if it seems dumb. Becoming educated can help you enjoy the sport even more . Older fans realize newbies cant have the expertise the older fans among us have.

Heed the advice of your elders,having been there allready they can offer tips they wish they had had back when they were 18 or 19.

Jeze have fun , i wish i was 18 to have another shot at what you will get to see but i had my chance and i am still having fun and hope to do so for a couple more decades.



Paul


Hi Paul! Since I'm brought up in Europe, I know tons of facts more about the Formula One history than the American dito. I guess my F1 expertise is no problem, but due to lack of documentation and previous lack of interest I haven't learned that much about what happened across the pond. I've been a diehard motorsport fan when I was seven, but it's not that easy getting knowledge about racing in the US and Australia when you're living in Sweden. I'm very up to date with what's happening these days, though, and in thirty years time I'd probably react the same as some have done here, if somebody suggested that say Castroneves only could drive in circles :smoking:

#35 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 9,013 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 05 January 2010 - 14:21

Gurney had been to 'urop many times and had driven long distances many times.
AJ, on the other hand came from the bull rings where the long distance races were 50, 100, 200 miles. (yeah, he had just won the 500 mile race but that was the longest distance he had ever run.


Many years ago, I was introduced to AJ. Only met him that once, fairly briefly. I doubt if I got more than 2 or 3 words in, but one thing I remember quite clearly, as far as AJ was concerned the name of the place was "Yurp", and I gathered he didn't like it all that much, not what he was used to at all.


#36 Risil

Risil
  • Administrator

  • 28,127 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 05 January 2010 - 15:27

I never questioned his incredible and marvellous ability at driving midget cars, stock cars, Champ Cars and sprint Cars around ovals. The point I raised is the fact that I was concerned about his ability on road courses, which to my mind is a must to be placed with the legends of all time. Now I know, and I can gratefully accept Foyt up there with Mario Andretti, even though I do believe that Foyt never would have beaten Mario had the USAC series been run to a 'CART-style' schedule. Thanks for giving me new information I can use in my statistical research :)


The CART-style schedule was a weird USAC/F5000 mashup -- it combined some of the big-car ovals and bullrings with the Grand Old Road Courses and silly street circuits that IMSA and Trans-Am drove a lot on. CART shared a lot of meetings with the Trans-Am series, especially at temporary courses like Cleveland and Denver, and one year even took on Ralph Sanchez's jewel-in-the-crown IMSA Grand Prix of Miami. If you make the assumption that the USAC circuits like Milwaukee, Nazareth and Indianapolis mark one tradition, and circuits like Road America, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca characterise a separate Can-Am-F5000-IMSA-ALMS line of succession... Well, the CART series becomes philosophically very important... :stoned: Certainly helps explain the bad blood between various Indycar factions in the 1990s, of which Foyt was a very vocal propagator.

#37 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,741 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 05 January 2010 - 15:32

I was amazed A.J. recovered enough to ever get in a race car again. Another show of his well documented determination. Brian

Not to mention the great skills of renowned surgeon Dr. Terry Trammel, who has a remarkable list of successful surgeries on drivers. His skill has restored many besides Foyt to the track, as opposed to years past when they would have just lopped the leg off.
Tom

#38 dretceterini

dretceterini
  • Member

  • 2,991 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 05 January 2010 - 19:22

I think a lot of people simply dislike AJ because he was rather curt, a hothead, and somewhat of a curmudgeon.

#39 tampaguy

tampaguy
  • Member

  • 43 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 05 January 2010 - 20:38

What a joke stupid comment about Mr Foyt ! Indy is a giant road course ! just ask any Indy type driver he or she will tell you, won it four times. Dirt track success ? Lot harder than asphault ! I saw him at Sebrong put a 962 in positions not even Holbert, Bell, Mass or any of the HOT Shot Euro drivers would even try. You just have to Love AJ if you are a real racer. :blush:

Advertisement

#40 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 9,600 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 05 January 2010 - 20:46

.... it's not that easy getting knowledge about racing in the US and Australia when you're living in Sweden. I'm very up to date with what's happening these days, though, and in thirty years time I'd probably react the same as some have done here, if somebody suggested that say Castroneves only could drive in circles :smoking:


Good for you Jesper! This is a great response. You will generally find a friendly welcome here. Castro-who?

DCN


#41 B Squared

B Squared
  • Member

  • 5,642 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 21:04

Not to mention the great skills of renowned surgeon Dr. Terry Trammel, who has a remarkable list of successful surgeries on drivers. His skill has restored many besides Foyt to the track, as opposed to years past when they would have just lopped the leg off.
Tom


Tom - Thank you for bringing up Dr. Trammel. He and Dr. Olvey are the best in their field, in my opinion. Dr. Trammel's pioneering break through in his re-attachment of both of Rick Mears' achilles tendons was the thing that saved Rick's feet after his 1984 Sanair crash. This is only one of the many, as you mentioned.

They helped to attend to me and my friend & co-worker, Bob Vannice when we were hit by the Randy Lanier debris at Michigan in 1986 that left me with a compression paralysis and many months of rehab. I went to spectate my first race, after the August 2nd incident, at Mid-Ohio the weekend of August 31st, then to Road America September 21st (delayed by rainout), then back to Michigan on the weekend of September 28th, again back to Road America on October 4th to finish the red flagged race. On each occasion one of the two would check me over to confirm that I was healing properly. I probably had no business traveling, but I couldn't stay away, I just felt that I had to be there.

I think I was wrong a couple of posts back about A.J. going over Armco. I don't even know for sure if there is Armco set back that far. The following image shows the divot through the earthen bank and Foyt's car beyond it. The gravel trap is barely seen in the lower right. Thanks, Brian

Posted Image


#42 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 9,863 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 05 January 2010 - 22:20

Check out the related You Tube of AJ racing a dirt car on a mile circuit against all the rear engine cars.
It looks so strange and high. Pole and 2nd in the race!

#43 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,741 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 05 January 2010 - 22:22

I think a lot of people simply dislike AJ because he was rather curt, a hothead, and somewhat of a curmudgeon.

Somewhat?

#44 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 522 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:17

Somewhat?


Right, Tom, I almost spit out my Jack Daniels when I read THAT one!

ZOOOM


#45 Rob G

Rob G
  • Member

  • 11,268 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:24

I think a lot of people simply dislike AJ because he was rather curt, a hothead, and somewhat of a curmudgeon.

Was? :lol:

#46 Gerr

Gerr
  • Member

  • 687 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:25

What is remarkable about the win, was that during practice the Gurney/Foyt attempts to set the car up had got so lost and the car so bad, that they decided to do a clutch job on it during the first stint, so they wouldn't have to drive it for 24 hours. The night before the race, the mechanics lifted the setup from iirc the MaClaren/ Amon car and used that. Since the car was now driveable, they stuck with it and got their result.


IIRC, all the Ford MKIVs were set up with the data from McLaren's testing at the LeMans test weekend, April 8/9, 1967. During that saturday session, the fastest McLaren went was 205/206 mph. Sunday was rainy and Mclaren did only a few laps but at reduced speed.

At the Thursday/Friday practice before the 24, none of the MKIV could go full out because the windshields started cracking a blowing out at speed. On McLaren's car, the windshield was hastily reinforced with plexiglass and he was able to grab pole in the last half hour of qualifying. Foyt had only eight laps of practice. That's all, on a track he never seen before.
I doubt that there was very much, if any screwing around with set-ups on cars that couldn't acheive top speed.

New composition windshields were flown in a fitted to all the MKIVs just before the race.

McLaren was paired with Donohue, by the way.


#47 Gerr

Gerr
  • Member

  • 687 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 06 January 2010 - 05:48

Re. Le Mans 67. Isn't there a quote somewhere that the winning car didn't really 'race' so much as cruise to victory? AJ was ready to nail it from the start but Dan was convinced the car would win easily so long as it wasn't mistreated. This meant talking AJ into running lap times way below what he was easily capable of and ignore the competition, entirely against his natural instincts. So this specific race doesn't do justice to either's speed but says a hell of a lot about the MkIV as a long-distance car and Dan's judgement.

I don't know about the "quote". Bucknum led until the first pit stops then Foyt took the lead. He and Gurney led from then on. 22 plus hours. If they "cruised" I guess everyone else did too. They had a six or seven lap lead (that is racing, not cruising) when the roof started coming off their MKIV around the seventeen hour mark and had to be taped back on. Sure, then they backed off, because of the roof. They still won by several laps, got a new distance record, new class record, Index of Thermal Efficiency win, 10+ mph faster than the prior fastest winning car, etc.

If the MKIV had been a better long distance car and had not started coming apart, maybe Foyt and Gurney could have set even stronger records.
Too bad they had to "cruise".

#48 Giraffe

Giraffe
  • Member

  • 7,228 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:05

67 Indy Car victories, 53 poles, 4 Indy 500s, a Daytona 500, 3 USAC stock car championships, 2 Daytona 24 hours, 1 Sebring 12 hrs, 1 Le Mans 24 hours, 2 IROC titles, 2 USAC Dirt Track/Silver/Gold Crowns, & 1 USAC Sprint Car title say it all.
As the Nov/Dec issue of Vintage Motorsport illustrated, Mario Andretti is considered one of THE great all-rounders, and AJ matched if not surpassed him in most disciplines. Mario's success in F1 defines him, something that AJ never attempted.


#49 Risil

Risil
  • Administrator

  • 28,127 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:33

I think a lot of people simply dislike AJ because he was rather curt, a hothead, and somewhat of a curmudgeon.


I remember a Bob Varsha quote from some IMSA telecast... 'Oscar Larrauri, the only (living) man to have called A.J. Foyt an idiot.'

And then there was his 'animated discussion' with Arie Luyendyk during the early years of the IRL.

Edited by Risil, 06 January 2010 - 12:34.


#50 bigears

bigears
  • Member

  • 911 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 06 January 2010 - 13:11

I remember a Bob Varsha quote from some IMSA telecast... 'Oscar Larrauri, the only (living) man to have called A.J. Foyt an idiot.'

And then there was his 'animated discussion' with Arie Luyendyk during the early years of the IRL.


There is a video somewhere in YouTube. I think AJ Foyt was driving a black Porsche 962 and tried to take out Laurrari in revenge but failed and caused more damage on his car! (I think..!)