Celebrating Father’s Day: Words of Wisdom

June 21, 2020

Celebrating Father’s Day at A.J. Foyt Racing by taking time to remember those words of wisdom that our fathers imparted to us or demonstrated by example. Hopefully it brings to mind others’ memories of their dads and how they influenced them as they grew into adulthood. We start with the patriarch of AJ Foyt Racing whose love for his “daddy” is well documented…

 

A.J. Foyt

Father: Tony Foyt

“We always had a big day for Father’s Day. Momma would cook a big dinner and she would buy us little presents to give to him ‘cause we didn’t have any money. My Daddy always worked hard and that is one of the biggest things he impressed on me because I do too.  I guess one of my biggest thrills was winning Langhorne on Father’s Day and bringing the trophy home to him. He was more than a father to me, he was my best friend.”

Tony Foyt and A.J. discussing 1967 Coyote in which he went on to win Indy that year. 

 

Becky Baranouski (Team Coordinator)

Father: Walt Morrow

“Have fun in life, laugh, work hard and love what you do.”

Becky's parents in 1949: Ethel & Walt Morrow

 

Andrew Copeland (Mechanic/No. 4)

Father: Don Copeland

“Through my dad I learned to pursue my goals and desires even if they were unconventional and a little crazy.  He himself moved to Nigeria with his young family and I followed my desire to be in Motorsports.”

Andrew on front of bike with Dad and siblings behind (in Nigeria). 

Andrew with “Papa Copeland” , his dad,  2 daughters Aviva (L) and Isabel.  

 

Bryce Dininger (Spotter/No. 14)

Father: Joe Virgin

“The most impactful lesson(s) I learned from my father is his incredible work ethic and the devotion he has to our family.  I had the pleasure of playing tennis and wrestling for him at Ben Davis HS and the regional championship in 1990 stands out as testament to hard work paying off.  I am forever grateful for this man in my life.”

"Our tennis championship team in 1990.  I am holding the trophy and my dad/coach is above the team." - Bryce Dininger

 

Cordell Durcholz (Junior Engineer)

 Father: Alan Durcholz

 “My father leads by example and his lessons have made me into the man I am today. He always has a smile on his face, wakes up early and works hard for what he has, and above all, he treats everyone the way he would like to be treated, with compassion. The biggest lesson I have learned from him is to take care of the things that I have.”

Cordell and his family at the shore.

 

Larry Foyt (Team President)

Father: A.J. Foyt, Jr.

“My dad has given me countless pieces of advice, whether it was when I was

 driving race cars, or learning how to manage a race team...I wouldn't even know where to begin.

But when I think of Father’s Day, and what it means to me, I have to think about my Formula 2000 crash at Atlanta in 1999. It was the biggest crash I had experienced in my career, and it's hard to put into words what I was feeling. If you watch the replay, it’s amazing to see my dad running across the infield to check on me as I was laying there after climbing out of my destroyed race car. I had collapsed in the infield and the first face I saw was him getting my helmet off and comforting me as I was trying to realize what had happened. I've made some jokes that I thought I was dead when I saw him, because everyone knew that after his legs had been severely broken after his crash in Elkhart Lake, he shouldn't have been able to run to me like he did. He was the first person to comfort me that day, and I will always remember how comforting that was and how it made me feel.”

A.J. was first to Larry after fiery F-2000 crash at Atlanta in 1999.

 

Pat Jordan (Mechanic/No. 4)

 Father: Mike Jordan 

 “Taught by example: Be Punctual; Respect your elders; Whatever you do, do it the best you can; Take care of your family.”

 Pat's parents: Jean and Mike Jordan

 

Tony Kanaan (Driver/No. 14)

Father: Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan

“Never give up.”

Tony receives congrats from his dad who passed away when Tony was 13.

 

 Dalton Kellett  (Driver/No. 14)

 Father: Mark Kellett 

 “My Dad has always led by example. He taught me the value of work ethic, sacrifice, and treating others with respect. Also, he worked as a lineman, so naturally I learned how to tie a bowline pretty young.”

Dalton with his dad Mark. 

 

Charlie Kimball (Driver/No. 4)

Father: Gordon Kimball (named after his uncle who was killed serving in WWII; namesake for our son)

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. The advice has always driven me to find things I am passionate about because that means I will enjoy them, be good at them and that success will lead to prosperity. Also, his integrity and responsibility to others has always been an example for me. I will never forget the night of the fire on the ranch, as his office was burning around him, he grabbed his computer (leaving many irreplaceable heirlooms and treasures) so that he could calculate and make payroll for his employees that week. I’ve said if I can be half the man he is, my life will be a success.”

Charlie fist bumps his dad in Muguello at F-3 Euro Series race; at the Thomas Fire in 2017 which severely damaged their avocado ranch.

 

Brent Nedbalek (Pilot/AJ Air)

Father: Wayne Nedbalek

“You can do anything if you work hard at it.”

 

Mike Pawlowski (Race Engineer/No. 4)

Father: Bob Pawlowski

“Don’t do anything the first year of marriage, that you don’t want to do the rest of your life.”  (He wins the prize for funniest advice)

 

Kyle Sagan (Mechanic/No. 14)

Father: Tim Sagan 

 “Life is all about what you want to make it. Life is short and moves fast. Don't worry about mistakes in life no one's perfect, just keep the drive!”

Kyle Sagan with his dad Tim and brother Randy. 

 

Tim Trowbridge (Data Acquisition Engineer/No. 14)

Father: Tim Trowbridge

“Best advice/lesson I learned from my father would have to be while we were running mini-stocks at our local dirt track. I was always taught to help your fellow competitors when they have trouble (crashes, broken parts, etc.), because ‘I'd rather help them and then beat them on the track, than to run while they watch from the stands.’ I still keep that in mind to this day!”

Winning ways with the Trowbridge family--Tim worked on the No. 14 long before his IndyCar career! 

 

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