Short track racing may not be the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of racing giant A.J. Foyt’s name. But make no mistake, “Super Tex” had the same massive influence and presence in the short track racing world as he did at Indianapolis and on the NASCAR Cup circuit. Today, we put the Spotlight on A.J. as he celebrates his 82nd birthday.
Foyt’s first steps on his journey to racing superstardom were on the gritty short tracks of the Midwest behind the wheel of a USAC Midget in 1953. It would be four years until he took down his first racing victory in a 1957 Kansas City 100 lap event. He soon left Midget racing to get his start in sprint cars, where he continued to enjoy success even after he became a widely known Indy sensation.
His short track racing resume is legendary, boasting 41 USAC stock car victories, 50 wins in short track open wheel cars (on both pavement and dirt), and a grand total of 138 USAC wins. He made a splash in Australian Speedcars (Midgets) too, taking top honors at both the 1975 and 1976 Australian Speedcar Grand Prix events.
His accomplishments in the top tiers of auto racing need very little explaining. He is a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, a Daytona 500 winner (in addition to his six other NASCAR Cup Series victories), and the only driver ever to win both of the aforementioned races in addition to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona events.
(Photo: History in Orbit)