The 103rd Indianapolis 500 event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 26, 2019, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. The legendary event has been the premier event for American open wheel racing for decades with roots deeply imbedded in dirt track racing. To honor this heritage, we plan on counting down the top 20 dirt track racers that have won the Indianapolis 500.
Today we finish our top 3 with A.J. Foyt at #1. No explaination needed. Seriously. Foyt has done everything in motorsports that there is to do. He’s superhuman. Nobody battles killer bees twice and lives to tell about it. There is little reason that he was tagged “Super Tex” early on in his career. We prefer to call him “Death Before Dishonor Tex.” The only blemish on his record (if you can consider it a blemish) despite having won more USAC sanctioned events than any other driver Foyt never won a CART sanctioned event.
There’s no reason for us to go into a lengthy story on why Foyt is the best. Let’s just stick with the stats:
- He holds the USAC career wins record with 159 victories and the American championship racing (IndyCar) career wins record with 67.
- He also has 41 USAC Stock Car wins and 50 Sprint Car, Midget, and Dirt Champ Car wins.
- Foyt won seven NASCAR races.
- Foyt drove in the Indianapolis 500 for 35 consecutive years, winning it four times (the first of only three to have done so).
- The only driver to have won the Indy 500 in both front and rear-engined cars, having won twice with both configurations.
- He is the only driver to have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500 the same year (1967).
- Foyt 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 won the International Race of Champions all-star racing series in 1976 and 1977.
- In the NASCAR stock car circuit, he won the 1964 Firecracker 400 and the 1972 Daytona 500.
- He is the only person to have recorded victories in the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 stock car race, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans international sports car endurance race, as well as the 12 Hours of Sebring.
- He is one of only 12 drivers to have completed the Triple Crown of endurance racing (victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans). Foyt and Mario Andretti are the only drivers to have won both the Indianapolis and Daytona 500s.
- He won the 1975 and 1976 Australian Speedcar (Midget) Grand Prix at the Liverpool International Speedway.
A.J. Foyt’s Championship Titles
1960 USAC Sprint Car Series Champion
1960 USAC National Champion
1961 USAC National Champion
1963 USAC National Champion
1964 USAC National Champion
1967 USAC National Champion
1968 USAC National Champion
1972 USAC Silver Crown Series Champion
1975 USAC National Champion
1975-76 IROC Champion
1976-77 IROC Champion
1978 USAC Stock Car Champion
1979 USAC Gold Crown Champion
1979 USAC Stock Car Champion
Inducted into numerous motorsports halls of fame including, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 1978, into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1988, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (the only open wheel driver in the first class of 1989), the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1990, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000. He was named in NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers list in 1998.