DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt hopes to attend every IndyCar Series race this season.
And he feels healthy enough to make it happen.
The 81-year-old Foyt was at Daytona International Speedway on Friday to take part in a ceremony to open the renovated track's center fan entrance. Foyt, NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray and other past champions donated a piece of motorsports history to display in the fan "injector" during Speedweeks.
Foyt donated a Copenhagen driver's suit. But just being at Daytona — and moving around without assistance — was huge progress for Foyt.
"I'm feeling good," said Foyt, who had a triple bypass procedure in November 2014 and knee replacement surgery last September. "I kind of stagger a little bit and I'm just now getting to where I can walk again and out of the wheelchair and the walker.
"I made up my mind I wasn't going to walk with no cane. Every now and then, after I've been sitting down, I kind of look like I'm drunk. You don't realize at 81 years old you've got to learn to walk again. Who would have ever told me that, I would have told you you're crazy. I'm getting there. Every day is a better day for me."
Foyt missed the first five IndyCar races of 2015 following heart surgery. He missed the final two following knee surgery.
He hopes to make them all this year. Foyt Racing fields IndyCar entries for Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth. Foyt said he expects to field a third car for the Indy 500.
"I hope to go to all of them. I'm planning on it," he said. "Now, how we're going to go? That's something nobody can figure out today."
As for the Indy 500 in May, the 100th running of the series' premier event, Foyt has high expectations.
"I hope we win it. We made a lot of changes," he said. "I think we'll run pretty good."