Petition now up for awarding Presidential Medal of Freedom to racing icon A.J. Foyt


A.J. Foyt has won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But a fan petition is seeking to give him one more special accolade.

On the White House’s petition page, a fan from St. Louis, Missouri has created one asking President Barack Obama to award Foyt with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The petition, posted yesterday, is short and sweet: “In honor of his 80th birthday and his unequaled record of winning in all forms of auto racing, including four wins at Indianapolis, we petition President Obama to award A.J. Foyt the Medal of Freedom.”

Along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal (which is bestowed through an act of the U.S. Congress), the Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in our country. It is awarded to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

The petition needs to have 100,000 online signatures by March 8 in order to receive a response from the Obama administration.

Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 following the end of his own superb driving career. He is currently the only racer ever to receive the honor.

Foyt, a four-time Indy 500 champion, is currently a team owner in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He is recovering from complications that occurred after undergoing triple-bypass heart surgery in November 2014 and celebrated his 80th birthday this past January.