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A.J. Foyt will drive Indy 500 pace car; Donald Trump exits

A.J. Foyt, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first triumph in the event, will drive the Chevrolet Camaro convertible pace car at the 100th Anniversary race Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Donald Trump, the businessman, television show host and potential presidential candidate, withdrew his name as the expected pace car driver, citing a busy schedule.

The choice of Trump as the pace car driver had drawn criticism via his political opinions and criticism of President Barack Obama.A.J. Foyt will drive Indy 500 pace car; Donald Trump exits 1

In addition to his Indianapolis 500 victory in 1961, Foyt also won as a driver in 1964, 1967 and 1977. He was triumphant as a team owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack driving.

Foyt also will mark his 54th consecutive Indianapolis 500 as a driver or team owner this year, an unprecedented span. He made a record 35 consecutive starts as a driver from 1958-92 and led a record 13 races. He also completed 12,272.5 career miles in the race, another record.

“Since I won my first Indy 500 50 years ago, I had hoped to still be racing in it, but driving the Pace Car is the next best thing. Foyt said. “Seriously, racing has always been very important in my life – it’s been my life – and the Indianapolis 500 is the most important race in the world.

“I lived for that race. When I got hurt in race cars, I always made it back for Indy because it is that important. That’s where people know me from – Indy. So being asked by my good friend Mari George to drive the Chevy Pace Car for the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500 – well, I couldn’t have a bigger honor come from the Speedway and the Hulman-George family.”

The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 begins at noon (ET) Sunday, May 29. Live coverage will begin at 11 a.m. on ABC and the IMS Radio Network/XM 94-Sirius 212.

Equipped with a 400-horsepower V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Pace Car requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in front of the 33-car racing field. The color combination is similar to the design used on 1969 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replicas – cars which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.

Foyt also will be honored Saturday, May 28 on A.J. Foyt Day at IMS. He will participate in a question-and-answer and autograph session with fans. Video highlights of Foyt’s incredible career also will air on the video boards located around IMS throughout the day.

Source: Indianapolis 500

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