IndyCar: As 80th birthday approaches, A.J. Foyt talks about ongoing recovery

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Verizon IndyCar Series team owner and four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt continues to recover after surviving complications following his triple bypass heart surgery last November.

But in an update issued by his race team, the tough Texan has admitted that he’s frustrated with how long said recovery process is taking.

“I’ve had a lot of accidents and have always recovered pretty fast,” said Foyt, who turns 80 years old on Friday. “But this is altogether different from an accident because it’s a health problem.

“All during my career, I never had any health problems so I don’t think I realized how lucky you are when you’re healthy. This last deal really caught me off guard and I think I’ve got it whipped now but it’s going to take time.

“My doctors told me it wasn’t something I’d recover from real quick. I didn’t want to accept that—and still don’t—but it’s taking me a lot longer than I thought.

“I’m not one of those guys that can just lay around and take it easy, but that’s exactly what I’ve got to do now. It’s driving me nuts.”

Foyt’s bypass surgery was a success, but he remained hospitalized until Dec. 2. According to his team, he was then re-admitted just one week later and spent another two weeks in the hospital to have several procedures done that were related to the complications.

Thankfully, “SuperTex” is now resting at his Houston home. However, the team says he’s thinking about making a brief visit to his team’s base in Waller, Texas on Friday to mark his birthday.

He’s also been keeping tabs on the team’s expansion to two full-time programs in 2015 for Takuma Sato and newcomer Jack Hawksworth.

“Larry and I talk every day to discuss the second team,” A.J. says in reference to his youngest son and team director. “I have to leave all of the hiring up to him, but he’d ask my opinion and a few I said no to and a few, yes. He analyzed it all and we agreed on everything.

“I think he’s done a great job, with it being the first time he’s had to put everything together. He stepped up to the plate big time. I felt like he could do it, but I didn’t know if he really wanted it, but he’s done a helluva job.”