A.J. Foyt named grand marshal of this weekend’s air race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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A.J. Foyt spent decades flying around racetracks across the U.S. as a driver.

Now, the legendary 83-year-old Foyt – the first of three drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times – will once again be overseeing flying of a different kind around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Foyt on Tuesday was named grand marshal for this weekend’s Red Bull Air Race World Championship event at IMS. It will mark the third straight year the Speedway has hosted the Air Race.

Foyt will meet all entered pilots before the race and then give a competition command from Race Control to get the flying going.

A.J. Foyt will be grand marshal of the air race this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo: IndyCar.

“I’m honored that IMS asked me to be the grand marshal for the air races,” Foyt said in a media release. “Any time I can do something at the Speedway, I’m happy to do it because I always enjoy it.

“I owe a lot to the Speedway – that is what made me. It will be my first time to see a Red Bull Air Race, which is something that I’m really looking forward to. I had planned to go last year, but something came up and I couldn’t make it.

“I would like to see one before I pass on. I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would be on it.”

Foyt will travel from his Houston-area home to ride herd over the high-flying weekend, where pilots will roar around pylons suspended in the air to record the quickest time possible.

“A.J. Foyt is synonymous with excellence and speed at Indianapolis, so we’re happy to welcome him to the Speedway for this weekend featuring the best pilots and aerial competition in the world,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said in a statement. “A.J. always graciously says that IMS made him, and not the other way around.

“But A.J.’s passion for and success in the Indy 500 add significantly to IMS lore, and it’s always special for everyone to have him back home again in Indiana for any event.”

Practice and qualifying for the race will take place on Saturday, with actual racing on Sunday.

Pilots in the Master Class and Challenger Class fly against the clock at 200 mph, just 50 feet off the ground, through a course marked by 82-foot-tall Air Pylons over the IMS infield.

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III