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Foyt Racing highlights ‘Race 4 Houston’ at Watkins Glen

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – A.J. Foyt Enterprises, the lone Verizon IndyCar Series team that’s based in Texas, has endured a trying week in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the team having been temporarily displaced from its Waller, Texas base.

The team is split between Waller and Indianapolis, with its No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Chevrolet of Carlos Munoz temporarily moved to the sister location, which houses the No. 4 Chevrolet driven by Conor Daly.

Among the many ventures to provide aid and relief to the victims affected by the storm is the Race 4 Houston campaign, highlighted by t-shirts on sale this weekend at Watkins Glen.

The Foyt team partnered with the Greater Houston Community Foundation in the effort, and team president Larry Foyt explained the partnership between the two was seamless.

“I knew some people who knew (Houston mayor Sylvester Turner) and Judge Ed Emmett, who set up the HGCF, run that, set up the Harvey fund through there. We knew it was a credible place to help people,” Foyt said on how the effort came together.

The Verizon IndyCar Series paddock has embraced the campaign as well, with decals adorning other entries this weekend. Foyt described that the series’ involvement in the campaign is vital to its impact.

“With our team we have a little bit of reach. But when IndyCar jumped onboard with us, helped us really push it and helped us with the T-shirt campaign, it reaches a whole new group of IndyCar fans and racing fans. Just really appreciative of their efforts,” Foyt expressed.

Foyt added, “(It’s) just great to see all the teams really, because sometimes when you’re away from it, you’re not affected, it can take a backseat. But everybody has been so supportive. It was really cool (during Practice 3), I was watching cars drive by on pit road, seeing the big decals, really pushing the campaign. Really thankful for that.”

Although the team was not able to return to its Waller, Texas shop this week, Foyt did reveal that he and the team managed to emerge from the storm mostly intact.

“We were very lucky. I think of our whole team, we only had one person who had some damage. He was actually shop based, so he was able to be home and see to his issues. No, we all got very lucky.”

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F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.