A.J. Foyt undergoes successful triple bypass surgery

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A.J. Foyt has undergone successful triple bypass surgery in Houston. Release is below from A.J. Foyt Enterprises:

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt underwent successful coronary bypass surgery today in Houston after being diagnosed with blockages on Monday.

Foyt, 79, had been admitted to the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on Friday with intermittent chest pains but initial testing results were inconclusive. However, a cardiac catheterization procedure performed Monday revealed blockages in arteries where Foyt had several stents from past procedures, most recently in March, 2010.

The triple bypass surgery was performed by renowned cardiothoracic surgeons O.H. “Bud” Frazier, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery Research at Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Chief of Transplant Service, St. Luke’s Medical Center and William Cohn, MD, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Technology at THI. Both men trained under artificial heart pioneer Dr. Michael DeBakey while Dr. Frazier also worked with Dr. Denton Cooley, a former partner of DeBakey’s and founder of the Texas Heart Institute.

Foyt is expected to remain in the hospital through Monday.

Foyt and his son Larry recently announced the expansion of their IndyCar team from one car to two for the 2015-2016 seasons. Jack Hawksworth was named as driver of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda; Takuma Sato will pilot the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda for the third straight year. In October, Foyt purchased a building in Speedway, Ind. which will be used by his race team as a Midwest base during the summer.

Foyt has had a number of stays in various Houston hospitals in recent years, most of which were related to injuries stemming from his 1990 Indy car accident at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Last year he underwent back surgery and had his left hip and right knee replaced in separate surgeries, and in 2012, he battled back from a life-threatening staph infection after surgery to remove bone spurs in his artificial left knee, which had been replaced in 2006.

Foyt, who was deemed to be one of the toughest race drivers ever during a career that spanned five decades, has proven to be just as tough in his non-driving ‘golden’ years.

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

Live race coverage of IMSA’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports app with an encore presentation of the race airing later in the evening at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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