Hall of Fame
CLASS OF 2019
A.J. Foyt is arguably the greatest driver ever to wedge himself into a race car.
He’s also one of the sports’ all-time great characters and a legend – a blend of guts, talent, passion, downright orneriness, determination, and, yes, a little bit of obsession. No one would stand between ol’ A.J., as he refers to himself, and winning. And winning is what he did best.
A.J. Foyt and his presenter Joie Chitwood III at the 2019 Houston Sports Awards.
Foyt grew up in Houston, and his father Tony built him his first toy racing car – with a lawnmower engine - when he was five. In elementary school, he drove his dad’s car around the yard before running it into the house.
The son of a mechanic, he attended Lamar, San Jacinto, and St. Thomas high schools before becoming a mechanic and concentrating on racing. At 18, Foyt was cutting his racing teeth driving midget cars on the old track on South Main.
A.J. Foyt and Space City Home Network on-air talent Kevin Eschenfelder at the
2019 Houston Sports Hall of Fame Day.
A budding legend back then, Foyt went on to win at every level, on every type of track, and in every type of car and is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He drove at the Indy 500 for 35 consecutive years and won it four times.
Harris County - Houston Sports Authority CEO and Bill Worrell with A.J. Foyt at the annoucnement of his selction into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.
He drove on the edge and found the cracks. If he had 3 inches between his car and the wall on one side, he would punch it and fly right by. Foyt qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 in 1958, and his team was him and his dad – “It was a family affair,’’ he said. By 1961, Foyt was just 26 and already one of the best drivers on the track. That was also the year he won his first Indy 500.
Watch the introduction of A.J. Foyt at the 2019 Houston Sports Awards.
The man nicknamed "Super Tex" was the only driver to win Indy in both front and rear-engined cars; Foyt holds the USAC career wins record with 159 and the American championship racing career title with 67. He survived three significant crashes and barely escaped a fourth. After retiring as a driver, he remains active in racing through his ownership of A.J. Foyt Racing.
A.J. Foyt being fitted for his HOF jacket by Knot Standard.
A.J. Foyt and his plaque on Walk of Fame.
A.J. Foyt reenacting the victory celebrations from his Indy 500 wins while on stage at the 2019 Houston Sports Awards.