A. J. Foyt

(b. 1935)

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(1935– )

US motor racing driver, who has won more races and set more records in many different types of cars and events than any other driver.

Foyt was born in Houston Heights, Texas, and grew up in a racing environment. His father was a mechanic and Foyt soon became enthusiastic about racetracks and high-powered engines – he worked as a mechanic before becoming a driver. He raced an extraordinary variety of cars, including stocks, sports, sprints, and championship, and his reputation grew rapidly. 1960 was his first great year and first national championship; he won four of the next seven championships. He was winner of the US Auto Club Championship a record seven times and took championships on dirt tracks and in stock cars. Perhaps his most significant achievement was taking part in twenty-five Indianapolis 500 races and winning four of them. He also won the Daytona 500 and the Le Mans Twenty-Four Hour Race.

Foyt was involved in several accidents and suffered some appalling injuries, among which were a broken back, innumerable burns, and fractures. He was not popular in the racing fraternity because he was outspoken about good and bad drivers alike and about the cut-throat nature of the commercial side of the sport.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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