This weekend, racing legend AJ Foyt is making a comeback in a very special way as NASCAR driver David Starr and sponsor Massimo Motor use a throwback paint scheme of Foyt’s 1979 Daytona 500 stock car!
Starr will be paying homage to Foyt, who has been his idol since childhood, at the Darlington Raceway on Saturday the 3rd.
He will be driving his #93 Chevrolet painted to the same scheme as AJ Foyt’s in the 1979 race that Foyt describes as, “the one that got away”!
I had the privilege of talking with Texan David Starr about the special event and his lifelong appreciation of the racing legend.
Starr grew up in the racing industry beside his dad and it makes up the majority of his early childhood memories. By age 14 he was a member of a pit crew. By 16 he was driving in street stock racing, winning the championship at Big H Motor Speedway in his very first year.
Throughout the years, Starr has been a constant in the racing world, currently running in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Since childhood, Starr has had one larger than life idol, the great A.J Foyt!
During a race fraught with pitfalls, Foyt noticed the young racer had sure ability, even in the face of calamity, and asked to meet with him. David told me he “ran to Foyt’s the hauler”, and from that point on, the two became friends, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Recently, Starr called Foyt, asking him permission to use one of his paint schemes in the upcoming “throwback” race. Honored, Foyt asked him to use the paint scheme from his 1979 Daytona 500 stock car!
The story behind that particular race at the 1979 Daytona 500 is famous in racing circles. Cale Yarborough and Donnie Alison collided near the end of the race and ended up in a famous fist fight after they settled inside the track. It gave Foyt a chance to win.
Slowing at the waving of the caution flag as was required in Indy racing but not NASCAR. Foyt backed off and Richard Petty raced ahead to the win.
“If I hadn’t backed off, we could have finished 1st, wound up 3rd, which I guess is better than 4th,” states Foyt.
In my conversation with David Starr, I discovered another fascinating relationship. That is the relationship with David Starr Racing and Massimo Motor, owned by fellow Texan David Shan.
Shan was approached by Starr about being a sponsor and it was a perfect fit! Massimo Motor and their American made ATV/UTVs represented the same values as well as having a superior product at a competitive price. Shan and his ‘Out-of-the-Box” thinking led him to enter the world of NASCAR! There is huge mutual respect between David Starr and David Shan. Starr spoke very highly of the sponsor.
Starr described Shan as a “Proud American” and a “Proud Texan”. The American and Texas Pride shared by Foyt, Starr and Shan, as well as NASCAR and it’s fans, fit like a glove!
A tale of three successful Texans living the American dream. Starr described his life as ‘fortunate’ to be able to do what he has loved as long as he can remember.
You know the routine! Time for some social media love! Like the Facebook pages, follow the Twitter, share and retweet! Check out the websites. If you are close to Darlington, South Carolina this weekend, be sure to attend the NASCAR XFINITY Series event and see the #93 Chevrolet all decked out in remembrance of the AJ Foyt 1979 Daytona 500 stock car!
See the famous ending of the race that AJ Foyt describes as “one that got away”:
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. As a child, I too was a big fan of AJ Foyt! I even had the AJ Foyt Racing Team van, trailer, race-car and action figures!
Mr. Foyt doesn’t know it, but he was also famous for off-roading, demolition derby, mudding and flying through the air at great distances off ramps like Evel Knievel! Ha!