A.J. Foyt back on his feet after successful hip replacement surgery

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The next time you see legendary race car driver and team owner A.J. Foyt walking around, he’ll likely have a lot more spring in his step.

Foyt successfully underwent hip replacement surgery on Monday and doctors expect him to make a full recovery, according to a story on IndyCar.com.

The 78-year-old Foyt fell and injured himself while working on his ranch near Houston, Texas last month, prompting the need for surgery.

“I was a little nervous about this surgery but they had me up and walking the same day,” Foyt said. “I’m sore but nothing like I was before the surgery. I guess I waited too long to have it done though because my hip was in really bad shape. They couldn’t believe I was walking at all.”

Foyt will miss this weekend’s Indy car return to Pocono Raceway after a 23-year absence. Foyt is a former four-time winner at Pocono in the USAC and CART series.

“The doctors tell me it will be six to eight weeks before I can travel,” said Foyt, whose last career Indy car win was at Pocono in 1982.

Foyt, who still holds the record for most career Indy car wins (67), will remain in the hospital for several more days to continue post-op recovery and rehabilitation.

Monday’s surgery was the second for Foyt in three months. One of only three drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times (others were Al Unser and Rick Mears), Foyt had successful lower back surgery in April to relieve pain from a sciatic nerve issue.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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