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04/12 2018

A.J. FOYT EXHIBIT AT GILMORE CAR MUSEUM CELEBRATES FOUR-TIME INDY 500 WINNER

 

The special exhibit will highlight Foyt’s connection to Gilmore Racing, a team owned by a nephew of the Gilmore Museum founders.PHOTO BY IMS MEDIA

Foyt’s ties to west Michigan will be highlighted at the museum starting this month

BY:  JAY RAMEY

Just ahead of the 102nd running of the Indy 500, the Gilmore Car Museum in west Michigan will host a special exhibit honoring motor racing great A.J. Foyt. The museum will feature “A.J. Foyt: A Legendary Exhibition” that was first presented at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum last year, and it will highlight the racer’s ties to west Michigan.

Starting in 1973, Foyt raced with Gilmore Racing, which was owned by a nephew of the Gilmore Museum founders Donald and Genevieve Gilmore. Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jim Gilmore Jr. owned a chain of automobile dealerships and operated the team that Foyt was a part of for 11 years, until 1984. Foyt already had an impressive number of victories to his name by the time he joined Gilmore Racing in 1973, and with Gilmore, he added another win at the Indy 500. That fourth win made him the first racer to have won the event a total of four times, a record only later matched by Al Unser and Rick Mears.

With a total of 67 victories to his name in a variety of racing series, many of Foyt’s records are one of a kind: He’s the only racer to win the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and his victory at Le Mans (along with co-driver Dan Gurney) came on his one and only attempt.

At age 83, Foyt is still involved in the world of racing even though he has retired from the cockpit, with A.J. Foyt Enterprises fielding competitors in the Verizon Indycar Series.

Several of Foyt’s race cars will be on display at the Gilmore, including the Bowes Seal Fast Special from 1961, the Sheraton-Thompson Specials from 1964 and 1967, as well as the Gilmore-Foyt Coyote from 1977.

The exhibit will open this weekend, on April 14, and will run through September. Visit the museum website for hours and driving directions.