top of page

What was your favorite Christmas gift?

Christmas is a time of giving whether it be gifts, your time or a donation to your favorite charity. For parents trying to find that perfect gift for their kids, it can also be a time of stress. We asked our team what was their favorite gift as a youngster. For those who responded, we hope their parents (or the gift giver) know they succeeded this one time at least…

A.J. Foyt – Team Owner: “I was around 12 or 13 and my momma and daddy bought me a .22 single shot rifle. I still have it at the ranch.”

Larry Foyt – Team President: “I got a little motorbike (with training wheels) when I was about 4 years old. Eventually we took off the training wheels and took it to the lakehouse. Between our driveway and the neighbor’s, I made an oval and drove lap after lap after lap. A.J. got a little mad because I made a groove with the tire rubber and messed up his driveway!”

Marty Armstrong – Gearbox Mechanic: “It had to be the Slot Car track called the Mario Andretti Challenge by AFX. It came out in 1979 so I was 12 or 13.”

Larry Arnold- Spotter: “I was about 13 when my parents (by that time I knew about

Santa Claus) gave me a top of the line Rawlings baseball glove. It was a Harvey Haddix model. At that age I thought I was going to be a professional baseball player (obviously that dream didn't work out). I used the glove all through high school and later when I played softball I still used that glove, which I still have.”

Becky Baranouski – Team Coordinator: “Hands down... my Man from U.N.C.L.E. gun set.

There was the official Headquarters transmitters (walkie-talkies) but I didn’t own those. :(. I was obsessed with, and played as Illya Kuryakin -- probably why I still like to dress all in black! Also I clipped playing cards on the spokes of my bike so it sounded like a motorcycle.... took my Man from U.N.C.L.E. gun and scanned the neighborhood for agents from T.H.R.U.S.H.”

Craig Baranouski – Team Manager: “There’s not one gift that I remember that really stands out but what I do remember is growing up when my brother and sister and I were all very young and believing in Santa Claus and how excited we were. Now that I have young children (two boys, 9 and 6), I get to see the excitement they have, and I appreciate even more what my parents would do for us back then. Now I enjoy making sure my kids have a great Christmas, and are just as excited on Christmas morning as I was.”

Andrew Copeland – Mechanic (who grew up in Nigeria):

“One of my favorite gifts as a child was a miniature carpenter set that a family friend gave me when I was 4, if I recall correctly. It even included a real hammer and saw! Having always liked building and putting things together it was a perfect gift for me.”

Dwight Brown – Engineer: “I think the year 2000 there was a lunar eclipse on Christmas Day (I was 9 years old), and the Indiana Pacers had just been to the finals in the summer so they got to play the Orlando Magic on Christmas Day. It started with a pen in the top of the tree and a scavenger hunt that led around the house to an envelope on the back of the tree. It had second row Pacers tickets (behind the Pacers announcer!) for my parents and I. Inflation is crazy: they were $140 each back then and now cost around $700 each. Bo Outlaw on the Magic was a comedian but I got to see Jalen Rose and Reggie Miller from 10 feet away -- every time they checked into the game!”

Bryce Dininger – Spotter: “Around 1980, I got Coleco Power Play Hockey. I was about 8. My teams were Islanders vs. Flyers but we ordered more teams so we could have a tournament within the family. We had to custom make the Indianapolis Racers since they were defunct by this time. Great family memory that often led to me and my brothers in a fight…the good old days! By the way, Wayne Gretzky started his pro career with them (Racers). Gretzky actually graduated from an Indianapolis high school, Broad Ripple.”

Cordell Durcholz – Engineering Intern: “As a child (around 10) my favorite

was probably a Bow and Arrow set my parents got me. It was my favorite because I loved to do outdoor things as a kid and still do now. I began a 4-H program called Shooting Sports after I got this bow where I would take it and practice weekly. I practiced a lot as a kid and began to hunt with it. Today I shoot less often but I can still hit an apple from about 60 yards.”

Scott Harner – Vice President/Operations: “My favorite Christmas gift was a Vertibird, a semi-remote control helicopter. I was about 6 or 7.”

Pat Jordan – Mechanic: “So this is my tenth Christmas I believe, maybe 11th. I got a

full-size drum set (I had a kid-size set previously) and the G.I. Joe Adventure Team Headquarters. Also got arrows for the recurve bow I received three days before for my birthday. And an array of other things. It was a pretty good Christmas that year in 71 or 72.”

Tony Kanaan - Driver: "I liked cars when I was little--any kind of cars. I don't have a recollection on a specific one to be honest. But I still like cars so that hasn't changed."

Nona Kelly – Office Assistant: “This time of year always makes me so nostalgic!! Mine (favorite gift) was easy, I don't have a picture sadly but I was 9 years old and my daddy drove me to Dallas to get a football signed by Roger Staubach (the greatest Quarterback to ever live played for Dallas Cowboys lol) two weeks before Christmas. The ball was lost at some point in my adult life and I'm still sad about it today.”

Rodney Klausmeyer – Transporter Driver: “Red Ranger cap pistol.”

Joe Pontin – Junior Mechanic: “Back in 2004 (I was 9) we spent Christmas at my

uncle’s house as we planned to ride ATVs. Little did I know I’d be receiving a dirt bike of my own. We had just moved to Arizona and because of that, we had sold my old dirt bike, so to acquire a new one was exciting. In the form of a surprise I uncovered my brand-new ride. Also a fun fact: I raced Peewee 50cc’s when I was around 5 years old.”

Thomas Semik II – Crew Chief: “As a kid, one of my favorite gifts at Christmas time was a Lincoln Log set. I don't remember how old I was exactly, but I am sure that I was in the single digits still. This toy ended up being one I played with for years to come while trying to build different creations. I was particularly fascinated with the cut of the pieces and the way they interlocked together.”

Tim Trowbridge – Data Acquisition Engineer: “To be honest, one of most vivid

memories for presents would have to be when Santa Claus delivered a full Rock Band kit for the Nintendo Wii for my two sisters and myself. I'd say this would have been somewhere in the late 2000's. It was a big impact since it brought us three siblings closer, as we would all play together. The three siblings being myself, my sister, Donna, who is two years younger than me, and my other sister, Taylor, who is six years younger than me.”

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page