Foyt offers Childress shot at Indy glory

AJ Foyt is joining forces with NASCAR team owner Richard Childress for this year's Indianapolis 500 as co-owner of Robby Gordon's car for the 500-mile classic later this month

Foyt offers Childress shot at Indy glory

Foyt filed for a change to the entry list and has added Richard Childress Racing as the co-entrant of Gordon's Dallara-Oldsmobile Aurora, along with his own team AJ Foyt Racing.

"I was talking to Richard at Talladega and asked him if he wanted to be my partner in the second car at Indy this year," Foyt said. "Richard and I have been friends for many, many years, and I know he has enjoyed coming to Indy in the past, so I figured I'd give him a reason to come again. The difference is he'll be a team owner this year."

Although Childress' only previous involvement in Indy car racing was sponsoring a car for Andy Michner in 1997, he is honoured to be involved with Foyt at the Indianapolis 500.

"Being involved in some way in the Indy 500 is something I've always wanted to do," Childress said. "AJ and I have been friends for a long time, and there isn't anyone else I'd rather be a co-owner with for that race.

"We have both been fortunate enough to get to Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I think we have a real shot at getting there together this year with Robby, who is a very talented driver."

Childress was a frequent visitor to the Speedway during practice and Pole Day qualifying in the 1980s. In the 1995 Brickyard 400, Winston Cup legend Dale Earnhardt led the race's final 28 laps to take victory while driving for Childress. The pair teamed up to win six Winston Cup titles between 1986-94.

Foyt last visited Victory Lane at the Speedway in 1999 when Kenny Brack won the 500 in Foyt's Number 14 car. Foyt's last victory as a driver came in 1977 when he became the first man to win the race four times. Eliseo Salazar is driving Foyt's famed No. 14 Harrah's entry in this year's race.

In other Indianapolis 500 news, 1998 Rookie of the Year Steve Knapp and former CART driver Memo Gidley were announced as drivers for Brayton Motorsports. Former Indy 500 driver Lee Brayton owns the team. His son, the late Scott Brayton, won pole for the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 and 1996 but was killed in practice at the Brickyard prior to the 1996 race.

Practice for the Indianapolis 500 begins this Sunday with opening day ceremonies.

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