INDIANAPOLIS – Following another struggling Verizon IndyCar Series season, A.J. Foyt has had it with his entire team. The all-time winner in the open wheel series vows to make some major changes ahead of the 2017 season and is not going to sit back and watch both of his cars be back markers again.
“You’ve got to look at every possibility where we’ve been weak,” he said to IndyCar.com. “And where we’ve been weak, we’ve got to make changes. I think we’ve got some great engineers. They’re very smart.
“I guess one of the things I don’t agree with, I’ve run a lot of road courses and been fortunate enough to win, say we’re on a road course and the driver comes in and talks to the engineers. When he comes in, he’ll tell you 10 things that are wrong with each corner. Let me tell you something, if you’re giving me 100 percent, how can you remember every damn thing that’s wrong with each corner? If you come in and say in Turn 4 or 5, you’re having a lot of trouble, then later on we’ll look at the computer and see where we are. But if you’re concentrating on how to run fast, you can’t tell me every corner what’s going wrong.”
Foyt pulled a punch at his longest tenured driver Takuma Sato for a mistake he made at Watkins Glen over Labor Day weekend too.
“We’re going to run a good, honest fifth, started 22nd, and there’s no reason to spin. Nobody is challenging,” A.J. said. “That’s hard for me to swallow.”
With Sato coming home 17th in the final points standings in 2016 and his teammate Jack Hawksworth 20th, it appears evident, after those words, that two new drivers are heading to the team in 2017.
Also, rumors are surrounding that the team will switch from Honda engines to Chevrolet as a deal is all but done now.
“It’s to a point where when you’re not winning, you’ve got to do something. I like to win. That’s how I made my name. I cannot stand being in the back. Maybe I’m old school, but if things aren’t clicking, you’ve got to make major changes. So that’s what is going to happen.”
Larry Foyt echoed his dads comments too.
“We’re wide open on next year,” the younger Foyt said. “None of us are happy. A.J.’s not happy, I’m not happy, the crews aren’t happy, the drivers aren’t happy and certainly (sponsor) ABC Supply is not happy. We know we can do a lot better than this. There will be some changes coming and no doubt we’ll be headed a different direction next year.”
The team has just one victory since 2003 as it came in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2013 by Sato. They want to reverse that in 2017.