A.J. Foyt IV was scorching at Speedway on Sunday, as the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that the Indianapolis 500 hopeful was on fire - literally.
Just after barely securing a qualifying spot for next weekend’s Indy 500, Foyt was making a practice run ’round the oval, when flames shot out from the back of his vehicle, causing him to hit the wall.
It’s likely that Foyt was fuming a bit when he found out what fanned the flameout (with video of the crash after the jump).
Turns out A.J.’s accident was caused by an unsecured gas tank over:
He was running laps, working on race setup and preparing for the possibility of being bumped and having to requalify, when the cover to his fuel tank blew off. That allowed fuel to pour out of the tank and ignite from the heat of the engine. Within seconds, the rear of Foyt’s Vision Racing entry was a ball of flame and his car backed hard into the outside wall.
The hot episode left A.J. with neck burns & singed hair, but the incident didn’t extinguish his drive to keep driving:
“I’m fine mentally, and crashes like this, where you know what happened and what caused it, you can brush those off pretty quick. It’s when you snap loose and crash and don’t really know what happened, that’s what gets to your head.”
And for the pit crewman who forgot to fasten the fuel cap? He better get his resume ready:
“We know who did it. I don’t want to single anyone out, but he’s probably going to be looking for a new job and it’s too bad because he’s a good guy. He just made a mistake.”
F1SA races over news that Charles Buckman was finally released last week and is back at home recovering. Although he doesn’t remember what happened, he doesn’t hold Danica to blame:
“All I remember at this point was walking down pit lane to get my jacket and I stopped off to talk with someone from Marco Andretti’s crew then everything after that is blank. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was not Danica’s fault and I do not hold her to blame for what happened. In my 35 years in auto racing this is the first time anything this bad has happened to me. I’m just thankful that I’m still alive.”
So, how’s he feeling now?
“The only problem I am having right now is a case of vertigo when I sit or stand up. Besides that my right arm is bruised all over, I have a fracture in my skull, my face is scrapped and I have to wear a neck brace for a month. Other than that I feel fine and want to get back to work.”
Now that’s dedication. What a trooper.