Cole Custer and Stewart-Haas Racing will honor A.J. Foyt with a special throwback scheme for the Sept. 1 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
Custer’s car will pay tribute to the car Foyt drove and flipped in 1965 at Riverside International Raceway. With his brakes failing, Foyt had no way to stop. To avoid hitting Junior Johnson’s car, Foyt drove off the track and down an embankment, flipping several times. Foyt was knocked unconscious and declared dead by the first medic on the scene. Parnelli Jones, who had fallen out of the race, saw Foyt move and removed mud from Foyt’s mouth to allow him to breathe.
Two months later, Foyt won the pole at Phoenix for the USAC Champ Car Series. He won the won that year for the Indianapolis 500 and then won the NASCAR race at Daytona in July.
Just like Custer, Foyt ran a No. 00 car in that Riverside race.
“I said after that wreck that I’d never run a number that reads the same way when it’s upside down. I only ran it a couple times, but after Riverside, that was it,” Foyt said in a statement from SHR. “Cole seems to have had a lot more luck in the No. 00 than me, or at least more starts where all four wheels stayed on the ground. But I do appreciate the tribute. I remember all my racecars, and I remember that No. 00 Ford being fast before the crash.”
Said car owner Tony Stewart in a statement from the team: “A.J. is my hero, and a great friend who I’ve known for a long time. It didn’t matter what it was, but if it had four wheels and went fast, A.J. would drive it. NASCAR stock cars, USAC stock cars, sprints and midgets, Indy cars, IMSA sports cars – A.J. won in all of them. We both kind of came up through the racing ranks in the same way. He just did it in a different era.
“I think it’s pretty cool that Cole is paying tribute to A.J. with this throwback paint scheme at Darlington. It obviously has some history behind it, and it’s probably the best example of how tough and resilient A.J. is.”
Also Wednesday, Jeremy Clements‘ throwback scheme was revealed for the Darlington Xfinity race.
His’ Xfinity car will pay tribute to 1960 Cup champion Rex White, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013.