INDIANAPOLIS -- The frustrated Foyts missed their last
chance to get it right Sunday.
First, A.J. Foyt IV made a mistake by pushing his car too hard --
and into the wall in his second Indianapolis 500. Then uncle Larry
Foyt missed his own pit and later put his car into the wall to
close out what could be described as the most miserable May in team
owner A.J. Foyt's 46-year Indy car career.
After only 56 laps, all three Foyts were in the garage, watching
and lamenting what had gone so wrong.
"He just run out of brains,'' the elder Foyt said, describing
Foyt IV's early crash.
Both Foyts had struggled for speed in qualifying, but by the
last practice session they figured their cars were race ready.
By Sunday, however, the weather conditions and cars had changed.
Their results had not.
"We missed on the handling,'' said Larry Foyt, a 27-year-old
rookie. "I don't know whether it was the weather or what, but me
and Anthony had the same problem.''
The day went sour so fast that elder Foyt, the father of Larry
and grandfather of A.J. IV, refused to answer questions in his
garage after both drivers were knocked out of the race.
It was bad from the start Sunday.
The two drivers immediately struggled with their handling. When
Foyt instructed his 20-year-old grandson to back off the
accelerator, Foyt IV continued to drive hard. He wound up brushing
the wall exiting turn four, raced down the front straight and lost
control in the first turn.
"I'm OK,'' Foyt IV said after throwing his helmet into a truck
in disgust. "I'm not all right, but I'm OK.''
Three laps later, during the caution period caused by the
younger Foyt's crash, Larry Foyt was instructed to pit but pulled
into the wrong pit when he mistook the colors of the crew for his
own team's. The blunder cost him precious time when his car had to
be pushed to his own pit.
"I just got so used to my guys wearing blue, everyone was
pretty much in the same color and I turned into the wrong pit,'' he
said. "It was my fault.''
The team tried to resolve its problems during a one hour,
47-minute rain delay.
It held a short team meeting, while Foyt IV's crew worked
frantically on his No. 14 car to get it back in the race. Unlike
NASCAR, Indy Racing League rules allow teams to work on cars when a
race has been red-flagged.
When the race restarted, both Foyts were back on the track -- but
not for long.
Foyt IV, criticized last year for driving too slowly and holding
up traffic, ran 16 laps but his repaired car wasn't handling
properly so he parked it.
"I was in the way on every lap,'' he said. "I couldn't really
feel it, so there's no sense in staying out there in everybody's
On the 56th lap, there was more trouble. Larry Foyt's tires got
too high in the second turn, he lost control and slammed into the
It was a fitting finale for the Foyts' month.
"What's disappointing is that the car is the worst it's been all
month and you hate that,'' Larry Foyt said. "You work and work and
work all month and then come race day, it's the worst.
"I guess we didn't work hard enough on race setups,'' he added.
"I think that hurt us today.''