These changes are only two of several that Foyt is making in his
team's operations to improve its chances of winning in what will be
a signature season for Foyt. The team's only victory since 1999 was
by Airton Dare at Kansas Speedway in 2002.
"Next year is a big year for our team," the first four-time
winner of the Indianapolis 500 said. "We're doing everything we
can to get our program where it needs to be. My son Larry is a
great asset to our team on the management side and we've worked
hard to put together a solid plan for 2007.
"Part of that plan is hiring a driver who is experienced on
ovals and road courses and who will work well with our sponsor.
Darren Manning fits the bill. He runs hard and I think he wants to
win as bad as I do."
Manning, 31, has 24 IRL starts with a best finish of fourth.
"I'm excited about returning to the IRL with A.J.'s team," the
Englishman said. "Now everyone is running the same engines and
mostly the same chassis, so the playing field is more equal. Plus,
I have a lot of respect for A.J., and his team is putting a lot of
effort into making next year one of their best. I think I can bring
some good things to this team."
Larry Foyt, 29, began taking a more active role in the team in
September when he moved back to Houston from North Carolina, where
he had been living the past five years while pursuing a NASCAR
"We've been busy getting ready for next season," he said.
"We're bringing in new people to join our crew, and hiring Darren
Manning is part of that."