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The Callahan Report: Foyt and Luyendyk Fined

10 July 1997

INDIANAPOLIS: The American Red Cross made thirty-four thousand dollars from a fist fight today. The Indy Racing League fined A. J. Foyt ($20,000) and Arie Luyendyk ($14,000) for an off track altercation which occurred last month. Indy Racing League officials stated the money will be donated to the Red Cross.

The IRL ran their first race at the new Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth just a few weeks ago. Billy Boat, driving for IRL car owner A. J. Foyt, was listed as the winner of the race. During the victory lane celebration, Arie Luyendyk stormed the ceremonies screaming expletives and claiming he had won the race.

 . . . A. J. Foyt

Luyendyk's actions didn't set well with Foyt. The former driver-turned owner slugged Luyendyk in the back of the head as he was leaving victory lane. The 62 year old Foyt then grabbed both sides of Luyendyk's head and pushed the youngster to the ground.

Luyendyk's team (Treadway Racing) filed a protest after the incident, still insisting they had won the race. United States Auto Club (USAC) officials performed an all night audit of the scoring. They announced the findings the following morning. Arie Luyendyk had won the race. Foyt's driver, Billy Boat finished second.

A.J. Foyt/Conseco and Team Menard have filed appeals after their protests of the final results were denied. The fine imposed on Foyt does not affect the appeal process.

The IRL took immediate action against USAC for botching the Texas race. The league announced the timing and scoring duties would be handled internally (by the IRL) for future races. The league performed those duties for the first time a couple of weeks ago at Pikes Peak. There were no timing and scoring errors. Too bad for the Red Cross.

Terry Callahan -- The Auto Channel