Legendary American team boss and racer A.J. Foyt is recovering at home ahead of his 80th birthday on Friday after serious complications following heart surgery.
Foyt, who has played a role in almost every championship over his career, had triple heart bypass surgery on November 12th but at the beginning of December he was readmitted to hospital where he underwent surgery to have several post-op procedures performed.
“I’ve had a lot of accidents and have always recovered pretty fast,” said Foyt, who has battled back from multiple injuries throughout his illustrious career. “But this is altogether different from an accident because it’s a health problem. All during my career I never had any health problems so I don’t think I realized how lucky you are when you’re healthy.
“This last deal really caught me off guard and I think I’ve got it whipped now but it’s going to take time. My doctors told me it wasn’t something I’d recover from real quick. I didn’t want to accept that—and still don’t—but it’s taking me a lot longer than I thought. I’m not one of those guys that can just lay around and take it easy, but that’s exactly what I’ve got to do now. It’s driving me nuts.”
In the spirit of not wanting to stay in his Houston home for longer than he needs to, he will be hoping to visit the team’s HQ 40 minutes North West of the Texan city where the team’s IndyCar campaign is getting well underway.
He will also be hoping to see the team’s new recruit, Jack Hawksworth, again before the Brit joins with Takuma Sato to start a comprehensive testing campaign with the newly expanded team.
Foyt said: “Let’s face it, it’s hard to compete with these guys that are running three or four cars—we had to expand to a two car team. When those teams go out and practice they get three or four times the information back compared to our one. I think you can do a great job with two cars and it’s something we had to step up to do to be competitive. I believe we have two drivers who are very competitive, and they can help each other. We’ve got a young gun and a boy that’s seasoned. I think the veteran can help the young gun and the young gun can help the older guy, and make him hustle harder (laughs).”
After the testing is complete the team will be heading off to the first round in Brazil, but the owner doesn’t think he will make it to South America: “I won’t be able to go to Brazil because I won’t be healed up but my hope is to make some of the races before Indy, my big goal is to be healthy for the Indianapolis 500. That’s what made me and that’s what I love—the Indy 500. I will be there come hell or high water.”
Everyone at Www.TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk wishes A.J. Foyt a speedy recovery.