A major shakeup that has been rumored the past few weeks at AJ Foyt Racing has just been confirmed by the team – Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz will replace Takumo Sato and Jack Hawksworth in Super Tex’s red, white and blue (what’s expected to be) Chevrolets. Daly will step into the No. 4 machine for his second full Verizon IndyCar Series season while Munoz will pilot the No. 14 entry.
The two young guns look to make the sort of change that will allow AJ Foyt Racing to forget the past two years of lackluster results. The team has only earned two Top 5 finishes since Hawksworth joined Sato in 2014.
Another significant part of the shakeup includes a second AJ Foyt Racing shop opening to house Daly’s No. 4 entry in Speedway, Indiana. The move splits the AJ Foyt Racing effort between Waller, Texas and the Racing Capital of the World.
ABC Supply is also returning to the team and has signed for an additional two years. Next season will be ABC Supply’s 13th season with AJ Foyt Racing, making the relationship the longest active sponsorship in the series.
The No. 4 that Daly will don is special to both the team and driver. It signifies AJ Foyt’s four career Indy 500 wins and holds special value to Daly’s childhood. Daly’s step-father, current Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles, co-founded Panther Racing which fielded the No. 4 entry from 1997 through 2013.
“I always grew up cheering on the number 4 no matter who was driving it. The number means a lot to my family and I can’t wait to wear it proudly,” Daly said about the entry number.
Daly’s return to AJ Foyt Racing in an ABC Supply-sponsored race car continues the American driver’s tradition of running patriotic liveries at the Indianapolis 500. Daly drove an ABC Supply-sponsored Honda for AJ Foyt in 2013, a Smithfield Foods “Powered by Bacon” Dale Coyne Racing Honda in 2015, and a Lilly Diabetes/Shirts for America DCR Honda in 2016.
Munoz moves forward from a four-year relationship with Andretti Autosport and a short stint with Panther Racing in 2013. The four years with Andretti have given Munoz a fair share of success with one win, which came at the rain-shortened Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit in 2013, one pole position, and 23 Top 10’s.
Munoz and Daly will take the green flag in their new rides for the first time at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 12. AJ Foyt, himself, is looking forward to seeing the future of the sport grow with his guidance.
“Both of our drivers are very young and they’ve got their whole future ahead of them,” said Foyt, who turns 82 in January. “I’m looking forward to being a part of that future.”
Photo: AJ Foyt Racing