A.J. Foyt Enterprises has announced a fourth car that will race in the 2021 Indianapolis 500, with NTT IndyCar Series veteran J.R. Hildebrand behind the wheel.
The No. 1 machine will be sponsored by ABC Supply Company, and feature an iconic livery celebrating the 60th anniversary of team boss A.J. Foyt’s 1961 Indianapolis 500 victory, his first of four wins as a driver in the event. The number 1 currently belongs to Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing as the reigning series champion, but as a courtesy gesture Ganassi gave the number to the Foyt team for the event.
Hildebrand and the crew will also be wearing uniforms like that of Foyt and his crew in 1961.
“This livery is more than just a throwback for us,” Team President Larry Foyt said.
“It is special to our team and family, and its imagery is something I have grown up seeing my whole life. It is wonderful that our longtime friends and partner ABC Supply will be the primary sponsor on this tribute to one of my Dad’s great accomplishments.”
Hildebrand has qualified for the last ten Indianapolis 500s, spending the last three with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. He has four top ten qualifying efforts as well as four top ten finishes in the event. The thirty-three year old California native expressed how eager he is to begin working with the legendary Foyt team.
“This is definitely a drive to be excited about, and for multiple reasons,” he said.
“Getting the chance to drive for A.J. and Larry is something I’m looking forward to no matter what, but with ABC honoring the 60th anniversary of A.J.’s first 500 win that makes it extra special.”
“I’ll be back in a Chevy which I’ve spent almost my entire IndyCar career driving, gain the benefit of three teammates, and get the chance to reunite, in a way, with an engineer I’ve had success with before in Justin Taylor, who’s race-engineering Seb [Sebastien Bourdais] this year.”
“We all know that the 500 is only getting more competitive so we’ll all have to bring our best to the table, but that, to me, is what makes this race so worthwhile in the first place. I can’t wait to get rolling.”
Foyt himself stated how much he is looking forward to seeing this iconic car on track.
“At my age, I don’t get too excited anymore but I’m thrilled to see this car painted like my ’61 car,” he said.
“That win was so special because it was my dream just to be good enough to make the race. To win it three years later well I was thrilled to death about it. They were all sweet victories but to win that first one after where I came from, it was unbelievable.”
Foyt also expressed how happy he is to be partnering with ABC Supply again.
“Having ABC Supply sponsor this car is fantastic,” he said.
“They were awful good to us as our main sponsor for 15 years and they came back for the 500 last year when things were pretty tough. Well, that just shows what type of company they are. We’ve been great friends and we’ll remain that way.”
Hildebrand will be joining full time drivers Bourdais and Dalton Kellett, as well as fellow Indy 500-only entry Charlie Kimball in the Foyt camp for the 500. The 105th running of the iconic event will take place on 30 May, with practice for the event beginning on May 18th.